The trailer for Captain America: Winter Soldier is finally here. The good news is that it looks like it has all the makings of solid espionage fare: Robert Redford? Check. Russian spies? Check. Shady spy agencies? Check.
The bad news? It has all the makings of a blame-America espionage flick.
Robert Redford? Check.
Alexander Pierce: To build a better world sometimes means turning the old one down. And that makes enemies. … Are you ready for the world to see you as you really are? Look out the window — you know how the game works. Disorder. War. All it takes is one step.
Shady American-led spy agencies? Check. Captain America whining about America? Check.
Nick Fury: We’re going to neutralize a lot of threats before they even happen.
Captain America: I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.
Nick Fury: Shield takes the world as it is — not as we’d like it to be.
Captain America: This isn’t freedom. This is fear.
Didn’t we just have a super-hero movie that was the anti-American conspiracy theorist must-see film of the summer? I believe it was called Iron Man 3.
The problem with most Hollywood espionage movies is that the creative teams tend to come at them from the “if only the CIA didn’t exist the world would be a better place” perspective. Writers start their script by operating from a place where America is to blame for the vast majority of “disorder” and “war” in the world.
Mullah nuts in the Middle East who deny the Holocaust and call for pushing the Jews “into the sea”? Eh. Chinese Communist intelligence agencies who have never met a U.S. business or defense contractor they wouldn’t hack? Eh. Nebulous terrorist organizations that don’t fly under the flag, even as they plot and plan to kill military and civilian targets on a massive scale? Eh. CIA attempts to “connect the dots” and “neutralize” threats before thousands of Americans die on their way to work on a Tuesday morning? Now there’s a movie!
Do I want to see a S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier crash into the ocean? Sure. Do I want to see Captain America take down a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier after whining about his own country for two hours? Not really.
Alexander Pierce says to Steve Rogers in the trailer for Captain America: Winter Soldier: “You work has been a gift to mankind. You’ve shaped the century. I need you to do it one more time.” Sounds logical. It would be nice if a character named Captain America ensured that the next century was an American Century. Unfortunately, there’s a high probability that The First Avenger will only do so after a magnificent monologue of American self-flagellation and all other options have been exhausted. I hope I’m wrong. Regardless, I’ll see you there opening night.