I know that it’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review but we all know how life gets in the way. I’m not going to bore you with that. Let’s get to the #1 movie in the world! By now, all of my readers know that I am a major fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how much it has organically grown over the last couple of years and it’s only getting started. More Marvel characters are ready to leap from the comic book pages and onto the silver screen.
This past weekend, I made two treks to the theaters to join The First Avenger on his second solo mission in a post-Avengers world.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier picked up two years after the events of The Avengers, finding Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finding his place in the modern world while working missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. This is where we find Cap at the beginning of the film, leading a team of commandos and partnering with the Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). By the end of the film, we find out secrets in our favorite spy organization that shake the Marvel Cinematic Universe to its core but I’m not going to spoil that for all of you.
I have to give credit to the Russo Brothers (Arrested Development) for what they provided to this film. They gave die-hard fans and newcomers a smart and excellent political thriller action movie. The Winter Soldier is full of car chases, hand-to-hand combat, and action scenes that don’t bring down the dominating story line. The completion of the film occurred with a fearsome, ski-mask wearing villain played excellently by Sebastian Stan. The theme of living in a post-9/11 world and how the line between national security and civil rights is blurred in the grey world we live in is executed well in this film. It’s certainly a theme that Americans can relate to right now.
If you are not a devoted fan of the Marvel films, this movie just passes as another superhero film. The general superhero template is still the undercurrent of this film with senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) plans to kill potential threats in America, willing to take down anyone in his way, even director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). To do this, Captain America and Black Widow must go rogue against their agency and seek help from Sam Wilson (Marvel newcomer Anthony Mackie) in order to save the world. But, the movie is so much more than that (once again, no spoilers!)
Chris Evans once again delivers as Captain America, playing the patriotic soldier out of time and staying true to his moral compass even among the shades of grey that surround him. Even though he is constrained by Cap’s straight-arrow character, Evans owns the role of Captain America. Scarlett Johansson plays the Black Widow for the third time and helps provide a little more depth in a character we don’t know much about. Not nearly as manipulative or cunning as her previous outings, we see a more human soul from the S.H.I.E.L.D. assassin. While it might not agree with Black Widow fans, I loved the growth, no matter how small. Robert Redford was a great casting choice for the role of Pierce, adding years of credibility and acting experience and making the role his own.
All in all, I can see why Marvel was excited about this movie and the job that the Russo Brothers brought to The First Avenger was so good, they deserved to return for Captain America’s third outing that is set for release in 2016. I did my best not to spoil the movie and I hope that you all will go out and see this excellent films and how the events will affect the Marvel Universe forever.