To be fair to Luc Besson, with a name like Captain America, it's hard to think of it as anything but propaganda.
In a recent interview with Brazilian outlet CinePop, director Luc Besson made his feelings clear about what he thinks of Marvel, DC and comic-book movies in general, and singled out Captain America for specific criticism. "What bothers me most is it’s always here to show the supremacy of America and how they are great," said Besson.
"I mean, which country in the world would have the guts to call a film Captain Brazil or Captain France? I mean, no one! We would be like so ashamed and say, ‘No, no, come on, we can’t do that.’ They can. They can call it Captain America and everybody think it’s normal. I’m not here for propaganda, I’m here to tell a story."
The comments came in relation to Besson's new film, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, which bombed hard at the US and hasn't even come close to recouping its production budget. Besson was essentially making the point that most comic-books in the US are pro-American, whereas Valerian - which was a French comic - was much less nationalist and far more embracing of different ideas and values.
It's a fair point, but it's also worth pointing out that there were plenty of Captain America storylines where he went in direct opposition to the government. Even in Civil War, Captain America was fighting against the entire US Government and the United Nations.
Not only that, Captain America: Civil War was critically acclaimed by just about everyone, whereas Valerian is currently sitting at around 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. That might have something to do with Besson's comments.