EXPECTATION: 2.5/5 stars
PROS: the primary focus is story and character, well rounded movie, well executed action sequences
CONS: can be a little cheesy at times in its slower moments, still feels like a basic marvel movie with a better story
Marvel movies can become a bit exhausting and monotonous to watch with all the sarcastic characters and quick witted dialogue, but alas the great Captain returns with his humbleness in tow to restore the balance of things. And with him he also brings the same set of writers who made the first film so good, with a story that digs deep and brings us the most ‘relatable’ and ‘human’ superhero in Marvels arsenal.
Directors Anthony and Jon Russo create a tense mystery thriller in which the more we learn, the bigger the puzzle becomes. “Captain America: Winter Soldier” is full of intense action sequences, but its strength is deciding not to be fueled by them, but instead focusing heavily on the storyline. Many things come full circle, revisiting Rogers’ past, and reminding us why we love watching comic book movies. “Winter Soldier” is a great standalone movie, but what makes it great is that it is also an important piece in the story of the Marvel universe. You can watch “Avengers 2” without ever seeing Iron Man 3 or Thor 2, but the incidents in “Winter Soldier” cannot be missed.
The last time I saw the character of Captain America he was in The Avengers looking like nothing more than a set piece. His role in “The Avengers” left me wondering what more they could do with the character, and after the ‘filler’ movies “Iron Man 3” and “Thor 2”, which contributed little-to-nothing to the grand scheme of things…I feared the worst for “Winter Soldier,” despite enjoying the first Captain America film very much. But unlike its predecessors, “Winter Soldier” tackles a problem that extends outside of the Captains world and actually creates a problem that could become troubling for many of Marvels heroes, resulting in a sense of urgency that never lets up.
They seem to have pumped up his fighting abilities, polished up his personality a bit, and made him an overall more interesting person to watch on screen. I never cease to be intrigued by his old fashioned morality constantly clashing with the way things work in the modern world, making for a more personal experience that you can’t get with other heroes in the Marvel universe. You can’t help but feel for Steve Rogers in his lowest moments, and root for him in his highest. And when he’s in danger, you can’t take your eyes off the screen.
“Captain America: Winter Soldier” has everything you love about Marvel movies and then some, becoming not just the most important ‘superhero’ movie since “The Avengers”– as far as storylines go–, but also becoming one of the most well rounded Marvel films to-date. It’s not without flaws though, feeling cheesy when trying to connect with the Captains past, and having some momentarily equally cheesy speeches about freedom. But, despite that, it’s a fairly strong film. With supporting characters such as Falcon and Black Widow aiding him on screen– a match up that, when first announced, seemed a bit awkward– we’re actually left wanting to see more of the trio in action. Black Widow shines without stealing the spotlight, and it’s a great introduction for Falcon.
“Captain America: Winter Soldier” isn’t one to be missed. It’s a well rounded mystery thriller full of action, suspense, and questions. This is the best version of Steve Rogers that we’ve seen on screen, accompanied heavily by a deep story and intense action sequences. If you plan on seeing “Avengers: The Age of Ultron”, then you have to see this movie first. And, if you’re looking for a great escape from the basic “sarcastic and witty” Marvel formula, then this movie is a breath of fresh air.