Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Prinz Lee wrote this review 2 years and 11 months ago
High on intensity, low on dullness and crisp in terms of display, as a whole (including its two post-credit scenes) “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a flawless flick! Superior to those that led up to it, this Marvel(ous) action-packed piece sets up a lot!
We’ve come to the point where we tend to expect big things with anything upon the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Catering to nerds and late-bloomers, there’s an abyss of mind-boggling places the MCU can take us considering their vast array of some of the most unique, appealing, intriguing and vibrant heroes and/or villains ever laid upon mankind.
Tapping into their more notable posse (The Avengers), introducing the crew one-by-one was one of the most astute launches. With highs and lows (depending on how you feel about it), Captain America has been one of the most complex, yet successful characters ever to bless the silver screen. Remember “The First Avenger” back in 2011? Damn! Joe Johnston’s piece was by far one of the best stand-out films for the MCU, that not only felt like one of the best laid out origins during one of the nation’s most complex of times (WW2), but also a smooth, exciting set-up for one of their biggest and best with 2012’s “The Avengers.”
No dis to The Hulk, Iron Man, or Thor, but Captain America has become my favorite of the bunch (so far – still waiting on that pulsating Hulk picture). In “The First Avenger” his arc was superb and watching him against Red Skull was classic. Watching him take the lead in “The Avengers” was a charm among a circle of egos and now in “The Winter Soldier” his appeal and purpose goes beyond words.
Taking on a more contemporary story-line tapping into paranoia on taking away freedoms for purposes of security, the Russo brothers do a damn good job when unleashing a world that entails crazy action-based sequences, introducing and developing new characters while running parallel to more familiar ones and piecing together a script that’s a lot more engaging and emotional than “Iron Man 3” or “Thor: The Dark World.”
For starters, continuity post “Avengers” blends in beautifully. The whole “nothing’s been the same since NY” appeal is felt and heard from start to finish. And with good reason because nothing HAS been the same since NY! With a harsh plot that unfurls, “The Winter Soldier” gets right to the difficulty for Captain to maintain his purpose among the nation while still trying to pick up on almost 70 years of history—including one that causes troubling nostalgia.
Filled with all sorts of colorful excitement and heart-pounding action, “The Winter Soldier” has the ability to keep our patriotic hero front-and-center while balancing those who surround and/or oppose him along a web of confusion that involves S.H.E.I.L.D and Hydra. With missions that tether Mr. Red, White and Blue to the ever so stunning Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and rugged smooth-talking Nick Fury (Nick Fury), we’re introduced to new characters who come off strong and generate a lot of attention. With Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Anthony Pierce (Robert Redford), Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) and titled-based antagonist The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) to name a few, the plot expands, thickens and raises the bar unlike any other MCU film we’ve seen as of late.
Fantastic and fun to watch, each character has an edge that carries lots of weight. Much like “The Avengers,” each has their moment to shine—and so much that you find yourself rooting for more than just The Cap! Falcon (for example) leaves a pretty nice impression. However, the most intriguing of all (considering he doesn’t say much) has to be The Winter Soldier. If there’s something the MCU has to work a bit on are memorable villains. They’ve scored high with Loki, but there’s been slips considering a pretty good amount of villains we’ve seen in prior films. The bionic wonder that is The Winter Soldier comes off a bit short with his story-line. Although awesome to watch in action, especially fight scenes, there was some weakness towards his existence as a whole which is strange considering he’s basically the title. It wasn’t BAD by any sense, but if I have to pick out a “gripe” it would be having wanted more to see and hear about The Winter Soldier.
In a nutshell, the film is beyond entertaining. If anything, this one practically makes you live a Captain America comic book issue. Well executed on all ends covering drama, comedy, suspense and action, “The Winter Solider” seems a tad darker than its predecessor as well, but no question a gem in terms of introducing the next phase. Strong on every level, this has to be my personal favorite of the MCU to date. Teasing at “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and a third Captain America film, I’m as psyched as can be and cannot wait for what’s to come. A must see, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is one of the best films this year so far.
Grade: A / Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 2 Hrs. 16 Min.
Starring: Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Sameuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Frank Grillo, Robert Redford
Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo