Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America was on TV tonight and I watched it while eating dinner and it got me thinking about what it is I like about hero movies (and superhero movies).

I like heroes because they're, well, because they're heroes. They stand for something bigger than themselves. They ACT on their beliefs and they're good guys. I believe most people themselves are good people. I think heroes are important not for their actions only, but to serve as examples for the rest of us that even if the odds are terribly against us that's no reason to let something go that we think is wrong.

Captain America is that kind of do-gooder hero and I like it. I also like that in the originals his bad guys he fought were the Nazis. One of the things about today's world is bad guys are often harder to tell from ambivalent guys, or people just trying to get by. Nazis... those were easy. They were bad. Today's world of terrorists is harder, more complicated. Not everybody in a turban is a bad guy. Everybody in an SS officer uniform was though. So, what do we do now? We have vague enemies, and tortured heroes are popular, broken people like Batman who is haunted, tortured, by the death of his parents and bent on justice that has a suspiciously vindictive quality to it. His simmering anger always just beneath the surface isn't someone I can look up to. He's someone I would fear if he were in our town. Captain America isn't somebody I'd fear at all. I'd LIKE having him in town.

I also like that the Captain uses a gun. He's killing bad guys remember? Batman doesn't kill anybody and doesn't use a gun and what happens? Gotham falls victim to the same bad guys over and over again. Which of them is a better hero? Batman thinks he is because he won't kill but I think sometimes killing is necessary. The Joker has killed a LOT of people over, and over, and over again and still, Batman won't put him down. Captain America would and that would stop a LOT of suffering and that's something I think is part of a hero's job description. It's something that should be part of ALL of our job description. We should ALL leave the world better than we find it every day. I think that's a real thing.

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