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Monday, April 7, 2014

REVIEW OF CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER


About The Movie:

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

What Is Good/Bad About The Movie:

The Winter Soldier, successfully building from the super-soldier origin story and subsequent Avengers team-up to create an entertaining, as well as action-packed, spy drama – one that just so happens to be based on a comic book. As a result, The Winter Soldier is one of the most accessible and high-quality Marvel movies yet. There are countless Easter eggs (and two post-credit scenes) for fans, but at its heart, the Captain America sequel tells a captivating political thriller story with clever ties to actual U.S. history and the larger Marvel universe. Both die-hard comic readers and casual filmgoers should enjoy the film, and even though viewers might not agree on which Marvel Studios movie is their favorite, there’s no question that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is among the best superhero adaptations to hit the big screen.
Certain Marvel solo movies struggle to tie into the studio’s shared universe storyline especially following The Avengers. Following the exuberant personality of Tony Stark and raw power of Thor, a new Steve Rogers movie could have easily been an afterthought. Nevertheless, The Winter Soldier takes a fascinating look at Captain America, trading “fish out of water” gags for an intimate portrayal of the values (and doubts) held by a man who has accepted a lifelong mission of protecting the innocent.
Evans, who has now portrayed Rogers in three full length feature films, is finally at home in the role – showcasing a quick-witted and extremely capable warrior. By presenting a profound and outright exciting depiction, reinforce what many comic book fans already knew: that Captain America is more than an honorable, shield-wielding, super-soldier: he’s one of the smartest and most powerful men on (or off) Earth.
The sequel also makes good use of its supporting cast – most notably Black Widow, Nick Fury and newcomer Falcon. Black Widow and Nick Fury are already fan-favorite entries in the shared universe, but The Winter Soldier script takes each character to a new level, affording Johansson and Jackson ample screen time to comb new layers in their respective roles, ultimately delivering strong insights, as well as downright rousing moments of heroism. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a welcome addition to the squad, and the actor enjoys some of the film’s most humorous beats. Still, Falcon isn’t just comic relief – he presents a stimulating juxtaposition to Rogers and quickly earns his spot onscreen.
Similarly, Robert Redford carries veteran charm to his role as Alexander Pierce – a role that is a make or break element of The Winter Soldier plot. Redford’s exchanges with key heroes, especially Fury, are among the film’s best, and Redford develops Pierce into a well-rounded ideologue instead of one-note bureaucrat.
The Winter Soldier, portrayed by Sebastian Stan, is also a standout – a formidable antagonist capable of knocking Rogers and his team on their backs. The villain is the centerpiece in some of the most exhilarating (not to mention intense) action sequences that Marvel has ever put to film – with creative realizations of trademark source material weaponry (especially his mechanical arm). Though, the real success of the character is Stan’s ability to convey emotion through basic expressions – since the Winter Soldier relies on action, rarely dialogue, to communicate his feelings.

Where The Avengers sold casual moviegoers and comic book fans alike with an epic superhero team-up event, Captain America: The Winter Soldier should have no problem pleasing both parties by delivering a high-quality spy thriller. It’s not the biggest Marvel movie to hit theaters, but with a timely narrative, deeper exploration of fan-favorite characters, a strong cast and unforgettable action set pieces, Captain America: The Winter Soldier makes a compelling case for being one of the studio’s best adventures.

Overall Grade: A-

2 comments:

  1. Just saw Man of Steel over the weekend...I sure hope Winter Soldier is better than that!

    ReplyDelete

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