Captain America The Winter Soldier is set after the events in Marvel’s The Avengers, where Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finds himself trying to fit in to a world that has very much changed. Questioning whether his old ways still hold true in todays world, Captain America is joined by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson ), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and new comer The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to battle a mysterious new enemy, The Winter Soldier.
The movie is fantastic, if you couldn’t tell from the title of the review. It hits quite a few great notes that were missing from some of the other movies in phase 2.. Cough Iron Man 3. Yes I’m still bitter about that movie. One of the main things you feel when you watch this movie is “Wow, Marvel has really grown up”. Now this could just be the fact that we are dealing with Steve Rogers, who is basically a rigid, respectful, and overall good man with values, as opposed to the self absorbed Tony Stark, or the battle hungry Thor. However I do not think that is the case. The humor doesn’t run rampant, but don’t get me wrong though, as there is plenty of humor in this movie, except it is not placed by a comedy relief character. The comedy comes mostly from Cap by the situations he is put in. It’s a light bit of comedy that works very well in the very serious tone (rare for Marvel) of this movie.
In the Avengers, as great as it was, I never thought for a second they would lose, nor that they had even been maimed enough to make a dent in that direction, they just kinda pushed along through the movie with out really trying. Not so the case in Captain America, which is one of the things I really loved about this movie. It had real weight to it. It was mortal, it felt like there really was a chance that they could lose and something was at stake.
The fight scenes and action points are not to be missed as they is some of the best I’ve seen in any comic book movie. I loved how they used some of the soundtrack from Captain America The First Avenger, something sorely missing from Marvel movies in general. They can’t seem to use the same composer, or at least the same music for more than one movie. The Russo brothers really did a great job with the plot. The story is a political thriller with a touch of espionage and spy games, all wrapped up in a superhero shell, speaking heavily to the events of today (If you’re one of those people who pay any kind of attention to the world at all). With every movie Marvel makes, it seems they hit a new stride, with the exception of Iron… okay forget it.. I obviously have issues. Nick Fury feels much more like the Fury from the comics, a lot more secretive, much more cryptic, and you are always supposed to feel as if he is not telling you the truth, so you can’t quite trust him. Black Widow.. not only is her screen presence commanding.. she also can’t be trusted, or can she? How can you not trust someone who voice is the hypnotic sultry sounds of the OS from HER.. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a very nice surprise as well. Those wings look fantastic, and the flight scenes are amazing, a real treat. Last but not least is the ever so wonderful portrayal of The Winter Soldier. This guy is just a bad ass. Played by Sebastian Stan, which I’m sure you already know who he is, he completely flips it for this sequel. Amazing job!
Agent 13 is what sticks out in my mind immediately. She is pretty useless in the movie, and she provides one of my pet peeves in action movies. Spoilerish rant right here
Why on earth would a trained agent of the government do something as stupid as get up as close to your hostile as possible with your gun so that they can grab it away from you. I think the more that people get educated about guns, the less of this kind of foolishness you will see. I’d completely understand if she did that foolishness as a civilian, who has never shot a gun before. But come on!! </rant>
Okay got that out of my system. As for the rest of the movie, I didn’t find too much out of place except for the obvious, Hollywood blockbuster, over the top ending. Other than that it’s the usual complaint in these Marvel movies. Where was Iron Man? Was this not important enough.. and isn’t Thor now living on Earth? Aren’t Black Widow and Hawkeye supposed to be partners.. No mention, no call, no nothing? All minor gripes, but hopefully in future movies both DC and Marvel can figure out a way to close up these gaps. Most of the time simple dialogue solves the issue.
As I mentioned before, this is a departure for the standard Marvel movie and only brings excitement for the future of Phase 2 with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. This is the kind of movie I want to see, and with out stepping on any toes, would venture to say that for the rest of us comic geeks out there. Once again congratulations to the Russo brothers for crafting an excellent, gritty, smart, and very unusual movie for Marvel. As I left the theater I thought, man this is almost the best Marvel movie to date, because I simply loved The Avengers. But when I really thought about it more, Captain America is simply a better overall movie, with polish, excellent plot, superbly acted, and executed wonderfully. This is one superhero film, fan or not, that is not to be missed. It’s that good!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp and Maximiliano Hernández. Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters with evening shows beginning Thursday, April 3, 2014 with a delightful 136 minute runtime!