Captain America: Winters Soldier

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Amy and I see many films throughout the year most of which we both want to see, but sometimes one of us wants to see a film more than the other. This was one of those occasions as we went to see Captain America, the old war hero brought back to life in the modern age to defeat the bad guys and work for Shield. I was quite surprised by the film and although I knew I wouldn’t hate it, I wasn’t that keen on seeing it, but I came out of the cinema having enjoyed an action packed film.

As a side thought, I did come out thinking about war veterans and how they cope after the wars that they fought in. Surely even Captain America would have been traumatised by some of the things he saw during WW2 as well as the events that have taken place since he was brought back. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something that only really came to our attention in recent years, but research has shown that many war veterans have suffered once war is over. They often have flash backs, nightmares, feel depressed, turn to alcohol and some even attempt suicide. This is a major issue amongst American soldiers although it is obviously something that affects you whatever nationality you are. In 2012 more American soldiers died as a result of suicide then those dying in combat. To show it isn’t just modern soldiers affected, research shows that one in twenty WW2 soldiers suffered PTSD. 479,000 male war veterans who fought in Vietnam had PTSD and 610 Female war veterans suffered this disorder too. What causes it? Well research shows that those taken as prisoners during WW2 were less likely to suffer PTSD, this is because they did not have to kill any more. Killing another human being must be one of the hardest things to do and even as a soldier I suspect that killing is not what you want to do, but sometimes to protect your family and your country, you have to do it. As a military soldier you are likely to see dead bodies, be shot at, be sexually harassed, feel lonely, kill people, be ambushed, worry about family and get hit by mortar fire. How could anyone come back from something like that and not be affected in some way?

What happens to the soldiers when they come home? Well only fifty percent of those suffering from PTSD actually seek help and of the fifty per cent that do most do not receive adequate care for the disorder. Six hundred veterans were used for a study of PTSD and fourteen percent were suffering from the disorder. Thirty-nine percent abused alcohol and three per cent abused drugs. Many had symptoms of depression of which some committed suicide. How does a soldier go on with their daily life without adequate treatment or for some no treatment at all? Some will struggle to keep their family together, some will divorce, some will struggle to gain employment, which by itself would lead to depression. I know I am strange as many wouldn’t watch Captain America and immediately think of PTSD, but it should be thought about and war veterans should be acknowledged and helped. So next time you see Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full metal Jacket, Saving Private Ryan or any other war film, you should spare a thought for those soldiers and see what you can do to help.

I hope those that wanted to hear about Captain America are still with me? I went to see this film having not seen the first film, which really didn’t matter as their were very few references to the first and when there were it was quite easy to piece the bits together. This was the same when I saw Thor 2 having not seen 1 and when I saw Ironman 3 without seeing The Avengers. Captain America always seemed to be the most boring Marvel hero, as he only really has his strength as a weapon although he can kinda fly with that shield of his. I soon changed my mind as I watched the film because plucking Captain America from WW2 is almost liking bringing an alien to earth because so much has changed over the last seventy years. I know my grandparents really struggle to keep up to date with all the latest technology, fashions and music. So to bring someone back without any time in between is a major challenge to his or her mind.
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There is so much action in this film, but there is still a great storyline to piece things together. Whether your bad or good, your goal is to get rid of the evil on the planet, but if you are bad this involves killing a hell of a lot more innocent people to achieve it. There are so many great characters in this film and they all work together brilliantly. Samuel L Jackson is Mr cool (Nick Fury) with his eye patch and dark clothing and he really is always one step ahead of everyone. Scarlet Johansson is great as Romanoff as she kicks even the biggest brutes ass. She too is also one step ahead of the enemy much to their pain and anger. Captain America has an innocence about him and is almost pure in the way he conducts his life where as others will beg, borrow and kill to get where they want to be. The most important part of this film is the corporation Shield and all I can say is that all is not what it seems in this quite complex story line. The enemy has his own story to tell even though he does not remember it as his life entwines with the life of the Captain. It takes Captain America and Romanoff to work it out, something that was long worked out by Samuel L Jackson.

There are fights, explosions, flying men, muscle men, deceit, lies, death and dodgy German accents, which make this film a thrill a minute. I didn’t yawn once and I didn’t drift off due to a lull in the story line. There are so many heroes in this film on both sides and there are also those that are weak and feeble. The link between Captain Americas previous life continues throughout the film as he marches through the modern world. There is no romance or very little which is quite refreshing really, but there are strong relationships and a type of love that friendships bring. There are links to Ironman and the avengers as you would expect, but this its not important to see these films first. Its a thrill a minute and easy to watch, so sit back and enjoy.

7/10

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