Monday 25th of September 2023

Captain America Movie Review- The Dark Side of Corporatised Defence

An American defense system corrupted from within by an organisation planning to use cyberdata tracking for the purpose of eliminating 20 million people, thus bringing order to seven billion.  No, it's not the beginning of a new Michael Moore book- it's the plot for Marvel's dark new offering, "Captain America- The Winter Soldier".

Given that the initial origin-retelling (one film back) was such a trite piece of cheesy flotsam, the fact that this movie will rate alongside V for Vendetta (whose protagonist has beciome the symbol for the Anonymous movement) to me came as a surprise. The impact of the second Captain America offering being such a well scripted and acted condemnation of the US corporate defense structure is multiplied tenfold.  Much of this impact is generated by Robert Redford's performance of a character that people like me will identify with Dick Cheney, while the organisation corrupting the system, for all intents and purposes, could well be Marvel's portrayal of the Project For A New American Century or suggestion of the true nature of Halliburton/KBR.

Marvel have been steering in this direction quite a while, right back to Ang Lee's version of The Hulk, in which a Raytheon only disguised by removing the letter "R" were attempting to defence-corporatise the Jolly Green Giant.  In the Fantastic Four Doctor Doom uses weapons "borrowed" from his corporation's defense contracts.  Iron Man was born when weapons manufacturer Tony Stark was blown up by one of his own bombs.  In The Avengers a powerful part of US Goverment was prepared to vaporise Long Island for the safety of the rest of the country.  It doesn't take a Sherlock or a Shylock to figure out what message Marvel persists in sending.

There's room left in this film for hope, a possibility that people will see the light and rebel against being "ordered" by security cameras and fear to bring a sense of morality back, especially if those with the information are whistleblowing in assistance.  

This is a movie that would never have been allowed to be made in the early years following September 11 2001.  In fact the first Spider-Man flick, scheduled for release a few days later, had to be removed from billboards and partially reshot to remove the climactic confrontation in the Twin Towers.  Maybe that kind of suppression is why Marvel have taken the opportunity now to take from the pages of the Cap comics the use of this character to question the morals and ideas of their country and fling those issues full-force into the public's face.

Don't forget that such things are not restricted to being a problem only with the USA borders.  If Bradley Manning's releases are anything to go by, the problem is a much bigger one everywhere else.