By: Christopher Quiroz, ’17
Captain America: Winter Soldier must be one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen to-date. Well-paced, well-shot, the film was highly engaging amidst witty dialogue, intriguing moral predicaments, and characters of surprising heart. This begs the question, what’s not to like? Though superhero films are violent by definition, something about this movie struck me as excessive.
For those who haven’t seen, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has Captain America teaming up with the Black Widow, newcomer Sam Wilson, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill to stop a threat from within the very agency of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself, namely, the Winter Soldier.
Even though the Cap usually isn’t one to mow down baddies, he still ends up fighting legions and practically laying them out in heaps. When such gratuitous violence is shoved in our faces in the name of justice, I feel obliged to ask, is it actually necessary? I know any good hero must fight to be heroic, one way or another, striving for what’s right. However, it bothers me that the film spends more time on free death and destruction, with comparatively less time focusing on the actual virtues upheld. Using imagination to glorify violence over virtue signals greater connotations beyond the theater. Might we end up enjoying destruction so much that the overarching question of why wouldn’t matter, whether for good or for evil? If so, we have clearly encountered a problematic situation.