After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, 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.
Release date: April 4, 2014 (USA)
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Running time: 136 minutes Cine21
Prequel: Captain America: The First Avenger
MPAA rating: PG-13
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Robert Redford
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is Marvel’s foray into the political thriller arena. When Captain America: The First Avenger is a patriotic period movie, The Winter Soldier pulls a steroid-built, goody-two-shoes superhero into the present and force him to face a new world where the line between good and evil is blurred.
I am a fan of the political thriller, especially the Tom Clancy movies. In Clancy movies, where dealing with real spy and government organizations and the threat feels real. Where Captain America struggles, you take real world problems and replace the players with costumed superheroes. The movie now becomes spy organization ABC must defeat rival spy organization XYZ or the country headed by MNO government. There is a level in which viewer will find it hard to connect with the politics.
Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers (Captain America). He’s our displaced hero in a new time and is perfect. He shows that he is the super-soldier that can single-handedly sub-due a ship with 25 pirates on board and not have to kill a single one. He’s also the idealistic patriot willing to give up his life for freedom and his fellow soldier. Emotionally, you also see Steve conflicted over just who side he’s fighting for.
At the start of the movie, after the events of the Avengers, Cap is working for S.H.I.E.L.D. whose goal is to bring peace all over the world. Since the attack on New York, S.H.I.E.L.D. is building three new hellicarriers armed with hundreds of gun turrets and missile launchers. As the new carriers fly over the earth, it can easily squash any uprising or violent situation on the ground. I love that fact that we’re never sure in any of the Marvel movies or even the television show that S.H.I.E.L.D. is the good guy. Captain America realizes that to S.H.I.E.L.D. the price of peace is more important price of freedom.
Captain America boasts a cast that is exciting and each given a chance to shine. Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), the Falcon, shines in The Winter Soldier and it’s amazing to watch him fly in the Falcon suit. If you’re not a comic book fan, Captain America and the Falcon have been partners for a very long time, esp during the 70’s and 80’s. The designers at Marvel Studios have created a plausible working flight suit for Sam Wilson.
Scarlett Johansson proves once again, why she’s perfect to play the Black Widow. She’s just the right amount of bad-ass and sexy to get the job done as a spy. Her interaction with Steve Roger’s about his love life is classic. Samuel L. Jackson also proves again that Marvel picked the right guy to play Nick Fury from the first Iron Man movie. He’s cool, streetwise and has finally met his match against Robert Redford in S.H.I.E.L.D.
Speaking of Robert Redford, I originally thought his role in the movie was going to be a cameo but he’s all over this film and that’s really cool. Redford plays Alexander Pierce, the true head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pierce is just as interested in achieving world peace as Nick Fury is. The difference between Pierce and Fury is how to attain the goal.
Finally, let’s talk the Winter Soldier. The character is based on the Ed Brubaker storyline, which help revitalize the Captain America comic book in the mid 2000’s. No one thought you could bring Cap’s best friend back from the dead, but Marvel certainly could. In both the comics and movie, Bucky thought dead was preserved and injected with a variant of the Super Serum used to create Captain America. His mind was wiped and now serves as a mysterious and deadly assassin. He’s become a killing machine and can Captain bring back his best friend or is it too late.
The Winter Soldier is a good political thriller. The political chess game between Steve Rogers and S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps you guessing. The teamwork between Cap, Black Widow and Falcon is fun to watch and the action features an amazing car chase at the beginning of the movie. The fight scenes are good, but since when is the shaky cam style become acceptable. I’m not sure that it’s a style of filming action or just a means to cover up the fact you don’t have the exciting shot you need to pull of amazing fight scenes.
In the pantheon of Marvel Studios movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a good movie but not great. Walk into the theater with low expectations and you’ll have a really good time. The critical and fan hype might just ruin this movie so be warned. It won’t convert the cynic that thinks guys in costumes saving the world is a silly idea, but suspend your disbelief for a fantastic roller coaster ride.