avengers: natasha rolling hating

My thoughts on Black Widow 2...

...I mean, Captain America 2. In short: it is a very good movie. I did not love it as much as Avengers, but it's probably my current second place in the Marvel franchise.


And now for my unpopular fannish confession: I have almost zero interest in Steve. I recognize him as a well-written character, and he is all about being out of place, which is my favorite thing to write about. And yet I cannot find it in myself to care for him. I was watching the movie for Natasha, Maria, Nick Fury, Sam, and then Steve. In spite of having little interest in the main character, I was very interested in the whole movie, which I think says a lot about the overall quality of the film.

Things I didn't like
1. I wish they could have pared down the action sequences a little bit. There were a few too many scenes in which four guys with machine guns didn't manage to hit anyone. That's a definite narrative pet peeve of mine.

2. I wish Natasha didn't always have to stand all sexy like all the time. Like when she's leaning over the computer in the beginning of the movie, she might as well be at Playboy shoot.

3. At the end of the movie, I honestly believed that the woman on the council was actually some incredible bad ass. And I was super excited to see a random older lady bust out martial arts moves and save the day! So I was a little sad she was actually Natasha, though of course I'm always glad to see Natasha kicking ass.

Things I did like
1. Aw, Steve got a new BFF! Even though I don't care about Steve a whole lot, I'm glad he find someone who can empathize with his experiences of coming back from a war and not understanding his place in the world. I also like that Sam is a counselor/mentor sort of person who can hopefully help Steve process his feelings. I think that would be a neat dynamic for their friendship -- Steve not always being the leader, and having someone to call him out on his occasional BS. Also, those wings were fucking cool.

2. Post-Soviet!Natasha. This post about the world Natasha would have grown up in is so awesome, and it makes me want to write a huge back story about her. Why do I have a job? Why can't I just sit around and write fanfic all day?

3. Natasha telling Steve how to be undercover. He's making a battle plan in the mall, and she's all like "pretend we're a couple, and everything will be fine." And she's right! Also, that conversation in the car: "I have a question, and you don't have to answer it, but not answering it would be like an answer anyway." And Steve's fundamental unease with her in that scene. He knows that she's good at what she does, but she's completely the opposite of him, and he doesn't know how to respond to that.

4. Natasha's little arrow necklace! I'm glad that the movie went with a friendship arc for Natasha and Steve. I do not accept that relationship arcs are inherently disempowering for female characters, but I also very much enjoy seeing male/female friendships in pop culture. There is a little flirting/UST, but I think that's mainly Natasha's personality. She has chemistry with basically everyone, and she flirts with everyone too -- either because it's fun for her, or she likes the subtle power it gives her. Or both.

5. Maria Hill, so awesome. When Black Widow finally gets a movie, can Maria be part of it? Fury says he didn't know who to trust, but when he thinks shit is fucked up, he asks Maria to come RIGHT FUCKING NOW. "Any attempt on the director's life had to be convincing" -- if she wasn't in on this from the beginning, she was the first person Fury called. Most likely she was in on it because how else was he going to get to his bunker? I feel like this would be a good film for the Maria/Steve lovers on my flist.

6. Nick Fury! He's always seemed so distant and remote and a little creepy, so I really enjoyed seeing his character get more definition. When he goes to Pearson about Insight, he looks seriously freaked out. And obviously he wants to protect SHIELD because it's his baby, but when everyone around him says it has to go, he accepts it. I want to read a million stories about him!

7. People fight when you take their freedom, so you have to make them give it up voluntarily. Still giving me shivers.

Is there a comment fic meme somewhere? I have prompts, and I want to write stories like burning.
I love this post (though I also love Steve, but I continue to be surprised by that, so/and I don't expect everyone to.)

I think there are avengerskink and capkink commentfic memes. My computer is running slowly right now or I'd go looking for them and find the exact community names..
Maybe I have a hard time latching onto Steve because he doesn't seem to have flaws? I don't dislike him or think anything is wrong with the way he's written; I just don't have any emotional investment in him.

I'm not sure kink memes are the best place for the most vanilla fangirl on the internet, but if nothing else turns up, I'll try them out :)
I was also disappointed by the old lady not being a thing, especially since she was probably the only woman besides Peggy Carter who was over 25. I did side-eye her incredibly high stiletto heels when she walked in though, because I feel like someone of her age and fashion sensibilities would probably choose something more comfortable and conservative -- but it made slightly more sense for Natasha, with her little Louboutin heels in Avengers. So it was nice to have that actually be a clue instead of just inexplicably poor writing.

But yeah on the action sequences. I respected that they went through and gave everybody things to do that were actually different -- especially that everybody's fighting style was individual and made sense. Otoh, it just took too damn long and involved way too many shots that didn't make it even though they were all but point blank. Ditto all of the different missions and arcs for the characters, which I liked but all could have been made tighter.

And def agreed on the friendship arc for Steve and Natasha. I was also interested to read that Johansson believes Natasha is not ready for relationships at the moment, while Mackie was, not quite jokingly, convinced that Sam and Natasha were dating in the background of the movie.
I am pretty sold on Natasha/Clint, but I think the idea of her secretly dating Sam would be hilarious! And yeah, the action scenes went on *forever.* I liked how most of the fights in the Avengers were one-on-one confrontations rather than gigantic car chases.
I agree with your feelings on Steve. I like him fine in relation to other people, but on his own I just can't get interested enough in him to care.

I want all the fic about post-Soviet!Natasha. A lot of people on tumblr are speculating that she's lying about her age (which is mainly shipping related, from what I can see), but I think having her be about 29-30 in the MCU is actually very interesting.
I think the age they give her in the movie actually makes more sense. Even if she were born in 1974, by the time she would have been physically capable of working for the KGB, the Soviet Union would have been on the way out. Of course, Natasha/Bucky has never been important to me, so I have no particular shipping-related need for her to be a certain age.
Steve's not my fave either, but the movie surprised me at how much fun it was. More Natasha is never a bad thing.

And yeah your number 7: so creepy. Hi NSA!
Surely they will have to give her a movie of her own one day!

And yeah, that movie was totally about the NSA and I hope it creeped a lot of people the fuck out because it needs to.
/There is a little flirting/UST, but I think that's mainly Natasha's personality. She has chemistry with basically everyone, and she flirts with everyone too -- either because it's fun for her, or she likes the subtle power it gives her. Or both./ - Oh, nice explanation! *nods*
/Maria Hill, so awesome. When Black Widow finally gets a movie, can Maria be part of it?/ - OMG, can we have Sharon Carter (Natasha did say she knew her and that she was nice at the end of the movie) and Melinda May in it too?
/if she wasn't in on this from the beginning, she was the first person Fury called./ - Because Maria Hill is the only person Nick fucking Fury trust implicitly! How awesome is that?!?

Edited at 2014-04-07 07:43 am (UTC)
The arrow necklace made me very happy! I'm also enjoying everyone's head-canons about how Clint's phone broke while he's on vacation, or something, and he turns up for work at SHIELD and it's ...on fire and in the river.

And I would take allllll the fic about Natasha and Steve: awkward undercover beffies.
Agreed with everything except I really loved Steve. You articulated a lot of the things I loved about the movie. Mainly, I just thought it was well-written and character-driven, which is my favorite.

...and I kinda liked it more than Avengers.

Also, would love to read ALL the backstory for Natasha/speculation of where she'll go from here.
I don't dislike Steve at all. I just can't seem to find any emotional investment in him.

And yes, I really appreciated that it was character driven and not just an action movie too. That made it so much more enjoyable!
"There is a little flirting/UST, but I think that's mainly Natasha's personality. She has chemistry with basically everyone, and she flirts with everyone too -- either because it's fun for her, or she likes the subtle power it gives her. Or both."

There were a number of times when Natasha made me think of the old exchange between Jack Harkness and the Doctor.

The Doctor: Stop flirting.
Jack: I was just saying hello.
The Doctor: To you, that IS flirting!

Especially the car scene, but since that was a new person that she hadn't really scoped out yet, flirting might be her automatic plan until she can assess whether someone is a threat or not. It's easier to be under-estimated than outgunned later.

I admit I use that technique at work a lot. I've even fallen back into using a Southern accent because people find that less threatening since they associate southern accents with stupidity.
Glad I'm not the only one who thought the fight scenes were a bit long (I had to go to the ladies during one of them - it was still going when I came back...)

Point 7 - so true (and scary as you say)

Point 3 - I got so excited by the council lady too... then I thought: at least she is out of harms way (and now possibly the only council member still alive and against Hydra)