Friday, April 4, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (First Impressions) (Movie Review)

    If your familiar with my site, you may be aware that I’ve reviewed a lot of Marvel comic based movies, and it should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of the Marvel comic characters, as well as their many different media adaption’s. However, even a hard core fan like myself can get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, especially when it’s all so common in today’s entertainment industries. I even remember saying to myself after watching the 2012 movie “The Avengers” (which I loved by the way) that these films have to get a lot smarter and less formulaic if there to hold my interest and stay strong in the media. Well, it seems that the good people at Marvel are aware of this because the 2014 motion picture titled “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is one of the absolute best entries in the Avengers cannon and a very potent example of how to make a smart comic book movie that doesn’t rely on lots of action and over blown special effects.

     This movie is a sequel to the 2011 motion picture “Captain America: The First Avenger” and it’s the ninth entry in Marvels cinematic universe. The plot is difficult to describe without spoiling everything but I’ll do my best. Chris Evans is back in his signature role as Captain America, who’s trying to find some goal in his life, so he devotes his skills to protecting the country from any and all threats. Soon he discovers that the country’s greatest threat comes from deep within its own government. Through a series of events he finds himself labeled as a fugitive and on the run from his fellow agents who are hiding a terrible secret from him. Short on allies, he teams up with his fellow Avenger, The Black Widow, played again by the, oh so beautiful Scarlett Johansson. They also recruit a new friend, code named Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, to help with their mission. Together, the three set out to restore security to their government, clear their names and discover the real enemies that threaten their country.

       I love that this movie doesn’t go through the same basic formula of most comic book movies, this isn’t a film about a superhero defeating a super villain, it’s smarter, and even reflects some political themes that are very fitting for this day and age. The actual villain in this movie is actually very real and could even exist today, which makes this a lot more interesting and even frightening on some levels. Now the premise of someone becoming a fugitive on the run from a corrupt government is nothing new but it’s a very refreshing concept for a comic book movie and it feels very appropriate for Captain America of all hero’s. I also like how the film doesn’t rush to every action scene, instead it spends a lot of time with characters engaged in conversations and the performances are all fairly good. Samuel L. Jackson finally gets to do Nick Fury justice by making the character a little more dimensional and just as awesome as ever. The action scenes are surprisingly subtle, with little CG and is mostly comprised of hand to hand combat and lots of stunt driving. The climax is still a pretty big spectacle with lots of explosions and big thrills.     

       My only complaint is that the actual Winter Soldier that the movie is named after, actually has little to do in the film. He’s functional and is an awesome character but he really isn’t given that much attention. Overall, this was a smart, well passed, very entertaining and solidly crafted entry in the Marvel cannon, honestly one of the best of the Avengers movies that can appeal to both comic fans and non fans alike. I give “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” 4 ½ stars out of 5.    

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