Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

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Bold & Blood-Tingling – Marvel produces yet another thrilling sequel in the form of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

Once again, the Marvel giants have produced a successfully thrilling sequel in the form of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Released internationally on March 26, the second instalment of the Captain America franchise was directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. It stars Chris Evans as “Steve Rogers,” Scarlett Johansson as “Natasha Romanoff,” Samuel L. Jackson as “Nick Fury,” Sebastian Stan as “Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier,” Anthony Mackie as “Sam Wilson / Falcon,” Cobie Smulders as “Maria Hill,” Frank Grillo as “Brock Rumlow,” Emily VanCamp as “Sharon Carter,” Hayley Atwell as “Peggy Carter” and Robert Redford as “Alexander Pierce.”

Set two years after the hellish events in The Avengers, The Winter Solider follows Steve as he continues to adapt to life in the 21st century while working for Fury at S.H.I.E.L.D. With a new Helicarrier operation known as ‘Project Insight’ about to launch, Steve is tasked – alongside Romanoff – to extract some vital information from an Algerian pirate ship. Unbeknown to Steve, this information could change the entire direction of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what it means to be a soldier in Nick Fury’s army. From corruption in leadership to revelations about the founding fathers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a film you’ll be hard-pressed to forget. With that in mind, let’s explore this movie shall we?

A Little Predictable but Certainly Spellbinding

Marvel is surely known for its audacious action sequences and riveting fight scenes, and this film satisfied the viewer’s thirst for thrills. It didn’t matter the time nor place, the battle kept on raging: the guns firing and Steve’s shield swinging.  Undoubtedly, Marvel can escape scrutiny when it comes to exaggerations (where there’s a superhero there’s a way), though isn’t that what we love about a film where the good guy survives a plane crash and the 20,000 foot drop? Understandably, this makes Captain America a tiny bit predictable in its execution, but it doesn’t mean you won’t love the ride.

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Peering Beneath the Layers

Underlying the film’s core plotline – The World’s In Trouble Again, We Need You To Save It Steve – was another, more profound message of sacrifice. Do we allow a potential murderer to go on living so that they might choose not to kill, or do we eliminate them before they become a threat? Likewise, do we obliterate an organisation when it no longer adheres to black and white principles? Without a doubt, this isn’t a new concept to the superheroes of the Marvel universe, though it was interesting to see both Captain America and Fury’s point of view as they faced this dilemma. Besides, conflict establishes layers within these characters and, in effect, humanizes them. We enjoy their moral disputes as much as their physical ones.

The Wig of the Lot

While Evans remains fantastic (on the eyes and as the main character), Johansson continues to disappoint. Ignoring her woefully terrible wig, the actress might kick some serious ass in this movie but her personality remains doleful, even boring at times. It’s difficult to say whether this is simply because Johansson lacks chemistry with the other actors, or whether her minimal facial expressions sever the viewer’s interest in her character. Either way, the choice of clothing didn’t help (we couldn’t even perve on her glorious figure, for crying out loud). That being said, the other actors held their own as the film went on; most notably Stan, who portrayed a rather impressive new villain. And let’s be honest, whoever stands his ground in a punch-up scene with Evans is sure to mesmerize viewers.

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Surprises & Disappointments

The surprise contender was VanCamp, who may not have a large role in the film but slipped easily into the fray as if she had been doing it her whole life. Similarly, Mackie meshed beautifully with Evans and in scenes where the dialogue was marginally cheesy he alleviated the sour taste in your mouth quick-smart. If anything, I was a little disappointed in Redford’s portrayal of HYDRA’s leader Pierce. His presence failed to grip the viewer; especially paling next to Jackson who – when he speaks – the whole world listens. Interestingly, I found Smulders much more relatable in this film compared to her cameo in 2012 Marvel adventure The Avengers. If not phenomenal, her presence is certainly enjoyable. As a cohesive unit, the cast maintained a moderately believable stance in the film; although Johansson and Redford dragged the calibre of the casting down a notch. Nevertheless, Evans, Jackson and Stan more than made up for any shortcomings: each as distinct and memorable as the other.

Worth the Watch?

On the whole, I loved this film. I loved its quick-witted dialogue and Captain America’s daring fight scenes. I loved Evans – once again – as America’s Most Loved Superhero (those pecs baby, one look and BOOM! You’re pregnant). Stan embodied his character so well it was difficult to be critical of him at all; likewise, Jackson retained Fury’s humour and audacity throughout the entire film. I loved the movie’s fast pace and mind-bending special effects (Bucky’s electric arm – wowzers) and the intriguing development to the S.H.I.E.L.D industry. I give the acting a 7/10, the story and overall flow of the movie an 8/10 and the action-slash-new villain a 9/10, with an umbrella rating of 8/10. If you’re a fan of the Marvel universe, or if you simply love your action and suspense, then Captain America: The Winter Solider is a definite must-watch. Besides, where there’s Chris Evans to perve on you really can’t go wrong.

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