In Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Steve
Rogers teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful
yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C.
The film, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, stars Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Frank Grillo and Samuel L. Jackson.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters everywhere on April 4.
I’m going to start off my review of Captain America: The
Winter Soldier by disclosing the fact that I am, indeed, a fan of the Marvel
Cinematic Universe (and Captain America as well).
How much of a fan?
Yeah, this much.
That being said, I am both enamored and critical of the
movies that come out of the Marvel comic world. Thor 2 was less than good and, I mean, I liked
the first Captain America, but I didn’t love it.
I love this one.
I love it a lot.
I love it so much that I want to get into a long-term relationship with it and then eventually not know how to reconcile my own
feelings of abandonment with the love that this movie makes me feel inside of
myself and, eventually, ruin everything while spending the remainder of my
short time on this planet searching for another movie that makes me feel even
remotely as good as this one did.
That’s how much I love this movie.
First off, and I need to get this out of the way or else
it’ll be in the back of everyone’s (my) mind: the Cap suit from the Avengers
was ridiculous, and they remedied that in a major way. Taking design cues from
the comic books, the new outfit just looks better.
OK, I got that out of the way. Good.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a story that starts
with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) living a relatively quiet life in Washington, D.C., punctuated with the occasional mission to thwart a terror plot, which we get
to see almost immediately.
As it turns
out, however, this is a movie and obviously things have to get complicated. Cap becomes embroiled in the world of espionage when his boss Nick
Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) comes under attack and warns Cap not to trust
anybody. As it turns out, the spy organization that Cap works for is – you
guessed it – engaged in some shady business that traces itself back to the
beginnings of the project that created Cap in the first place.
Soon, we see
Cap on the run with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson, reprising her role for
the third time) as they search for answers while avoiding the
jack-booted thugs that were their most trusted associates only hours prior. When you add the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) into the mix, we now have an incredibly
strong mix of great characters, plot and action.
honest, going into the screening, I was not stoked about the Falcon being added, because I never really
enjoyed the character in the comics.
honest again, I was the wrongest wrong you could possibly be: Mackie nails it
harder than Justin Hamilton nailed me in the face with that dodgeball in gym
class in 7th grade and his performance felt way better (although I
did feel the need to call my mom and
tell her what happened in both instances).
As events unravel, as they usually do, Cap learns that someone from his past has risen in the form of a new and formidable enemy – The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
This human weapon turns out to be a powerful opponent, despite looking like Jared Leto on his way to a paintball tournament.
Tell me you see it, too.
Ultimately, this is a superhero-action movie that doubles as
a high-stakes espionage thriller, with just a dash of buddy-cop flick – a great combination.
I do want to
take a moment to add that, in this film, the Black Widow is a strong
character that’s finally fleshed out more successfully than in the
previous Marvel films.
As Johansson herself said at the press junket, “we really get to see
Natasha as a person that gets up and gets ready for work in the morning. [She] has
a life outside of the suit. She’s a woman and she has her own kind of reality.”
She added, “As the plot unfolds we kind of
find both Steve and Natasha questioning their own identities. Wait, I actually
don’t know who I am, I’ve been this sort of hired hand for my entire
professional career and who am I and what do I want? They’re just cresting the wave of this huge moment of
with this in a big way. In my opinion, Cap and Widow were the least interesting
things about the Marvel Universe up to this point – in the Avengers they were practically
vestigial. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we see both characters evolve into deeply rich, complex
Overall, this movie is a great stand-alone story while also being a
part of a much richer tapestry in the Marvel Universe.
As Samuel L.
Jackson put it, the film is “a bit more than a comic book feature.
It has intrigue. I’m sure a lot of young people are gonna be surprised that
they actually have to think about something other than what’s going on, and
that always excites me.”
I agree, Mr. L. Jackson.
A movie in which younger audiences are actually going to have to
follow the plot might not be so bad. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for
big dumb blockbusters in the future (I’m looking at you, Michael
Bay), so why not give people something they can enjoy while also utilizing
audiences, as well as teens and tweens alike will enjoy this movie. It’s fast-paced,
wonderfully written, and action packed.Younger children will like the action,
but the plot will probably go over their heads pretty early on. I doubt they’ll
care, though, because it’s just too awesome to worry about things like
following the plot.
Go see this
movie. I’m trying to think of a reason why a person wouldn’t want to see this
movie, and the only thing I could come up with was that they hate amazing
And really, if you hate
amazing things, you probably stopped reading this a while ago.