Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America, aka Steve Rogers, is finding it hard to adjust to his modern-day role as hero following the events of New York where he joined S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of the Avengers team. He performs his duties as ordered but things just don’t feel right to him. Things get interesting though when an old foe and some new ones are revealed and he is once again called upon to save humanity from an unknown threat; this time wight he help of The Black Widow and Falcon. Starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Maximiliano Hernandez, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Stan Lee, Callan Mulvey, Jenny Agutter, Bernard White, Dale Coffman, Chin Han, Gary Shandling, Georges St-Pieree.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a visually stunning, action packed and thought-provoking film that will have the nerds giggling with the glee and the casual movie goers interested in seeing more.
The old adage about the sequel always being worse than the original is debunked by The Winter Soldier. The original Captain America movie was a set up for things to come. It was simple, slow-moving and plot heavy. While this film is playing a role in the larger Marvel movie series it holds its own with more depth to the characters and an interesting story arc that required me to actually use my brain to understand what was going on. Personally I prefer this sequel to the original. It also feels like one of the stronger films in the Marvel series as well. It seems that the more they make the better they get.
If you thought the Marvel flicks were getting stale then be prepared because this one breaks all the rules. Sure it sticks to a formula in terms of the plot but it sure as heck shakes things up in the Marvel universe. I don’t want to give to much away cause that will just take the fun out of watching the film. Now I recommend that you take me seriously when I said earlier that I had to use my brain to understand what was going on in the movie. There are a lot of relationships, back stabbing and new characters to keep track of. It gets complicated. I didn’t feel it was over complicated though but then I have seen all the previous films. I can see someone who doesn’t know anything about the Marvel universe being more than a little lost. If there was anything to complain about when it comes to the story it’s actually the dialogue. A bit archaic the dialogue is one liner heavy and it can get old after a while. This is a small thing in comparison to the overall film and not something that will really bother the majority of viewers.
Aside from the unexpected twists – which I am always a sucker for – I think what I loved best about the film was the action. It is down and dirty. Lots of hand to hand combat plus car crashes, bomb explosions and gun fights. It has it all. The reason I was pleased was because it isn’t over the top if you can believe that. Sure there is loads of CGI but it is done well and used in the appropriate situations. I can see some critics not appreciating the action but it is part of the series and is to be expected. You will be pleased to know though that the best of the action scenes are the ones that aren’t CGI laden which is a refreshing change from say what we saw in the last Iron Man film.
Bottom line is if you are fan of the series then you need to see this one and like me you will probably appreciate how it moves things forward. However, as a film its good but not great and therefore might not stick with you like say the first Avengers film did. Still, Captain America has set a high bar for Spider-Man and X-Men sequels that are yet to come this year and for Avengers 2 next year. Oh and stick around for the credits because as you would expect there are several extra scenes that hint at what is yet to come.
8/10 Stars – Lots of shield slinging fun!
Since the Avengers movie back in 2012, Ironman and Thor have each had a film to move the story along, and now it is Captain America’s turn to do his “post New York” adventure. Unfortunately, Captain America isn’t one of my favorite Marvel characters so I’m not all drooling over his stories, but I do know the first movie was entertaining and well done so of course I was going to want to see Winter Soldier. The movie starts off ok with a simple mission to defeat the bad guys and it looks like it will be “just another super hero movie” that is until a pivotal moment about 20 minutes into the movie where it become pretty freaking awesome! One thing I noticed not too far into Winter Soldier is that it’s a mystery. The story sets up conspiracies and double-crossing that keeps it very intellectual and mentally simulating. Don’t get me wrong, this is no Inception, but it still is more cerebral than the last Ironman. The action is dialed up a notch from the last movie and I love the fact that Nick Fury and Black Widow are major players. The only thing I didn’t like (and kept it from being a 9 for me) is a personal taste… I don’t like the lack of color. Between the buildings, the military base and the flying metal ships, there just wasn’t very much color. I know this is something totally based off preference and I’m not knocking the movie, but I just like something more flashy, and that’s probably why Captain America isn’t one of my favorite characters. I know other people who grew up with Captain America will love it, and they should, I just would rather see Spider-man or the X-Men (with their COSTUMES!) over this one. At the end of the day, Captain America is exactly what people will expect from an Avengers film, but this time prepared to use your brain while seeing some pretty exciting action sequences. I fully expect this movie to be in my Top 25 of the year!
8/10 Stars – My least favorite Avenger, yet starring in a pretty solid and cerebral mystery that introduces new faces that mingle with plenty of old faces.
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