Captain America: The Winter Solder (2014): Captain America returns in the latest of Marvel's Stage Two plan. This time, he can't trust anyone because SHIELD is not as advertised. Muhaha.
So, a lot of people are already calling this the best movie in this whole Marvel Universe-like-world-thing that's been released outside of The Avengers. And I'm here to tell you that they are right. Between Iron Man 1-3, The Incredible Hulk, Thor 1 and 2, and the original Captain America, Marvel has been trying desperately to break out of the realm of just good and reach greatness. This was achieved in The Avengers, but nothing else. Until now. We finally have a Marvel movie that is great. FINALLY. Ok. It's not perfect. There were some bad cinematography moments, and some of the action scenes were hard to follow.....ok quite a few of the action scenes just HAD to use shaky cam to be confusing and unnecessarily chaotic, but the scenes that I could see were breathtaking. And The Winter Soldier just might be the BEST villain introduced in a Marvel movie to date. (Loki doesn't count.....c'mon guys.) So let's jump into it shall we?
So, where to begin? Acting? Acting. The acting here is fantastic. To be honest, I was terrified when I saw that Robert Redford was in this. The man's a living legend, and I was afraid that he would take Anthony Hopkin's precedence in Thor and phone in in his role. But he didn't. He. Did. Not. While I've definitely seen better from him, Redford was still fantastic as Alexander Pierce. Johansson and Evans were great together, providing some great banter. In fact, they were maybe too great. I think there was an unintentional romantic subplot between Captain America and Black Widow because they had such great chemistry. Yep. Never thought I would say that but I did. But that's just me. Anthony Mackie was also great as a new character to the universe, the Falcon. He had shockingly good comedic timing. Well really, they all did. This just might be the funniest Marvel movie too, by the way. Just saying.
So, the story. This story is what sets this one apart from other Marvel movies. They went with the route of political thriller here, and boy was it a good decision. The movie successfully makes you question who (outside of the Captain and Black Widow) you can trust, as every other character does have some secrets that are exposed. And most of the twists in this movie I did not see coming. And there were enough of them here to keep me guessing from start to finish. Then there's the villain. This movie is called Captain America: The Winter Soldier for a reason.This character truly is terrifying, and really felt like an adequate challenge to Captain America. Finally, someone in the Marvel world who I could actually buy would go toe-to-toe with the superhero of the movie. From start to finish, this character truly was one of the most memorable villains I've ever seen in, you know what? In any superhero movie. Not just in a Marvel movie. In any movie. Seriously, go see this movie just for him. It's worth it. The only thing I wish is that we saw more of him! I would've been ok with this movie being called The Winter Soldier: Captain America versus the other way around.
Negatives? Well there's really only one. The biggest mistake of this movie was the cinematography. F*ckin' shaky cam. I hate it so much. Man. It is in full force here, plus some very hasty editing makes things like a big car chase almost impossible to follow. The camera was constantly cutting to different vantage points, and as a result you really didn't know where anything was at any given point. A huge mistake. While in a lot of movies this wouldn't be a big deal, but in an action movie? Kind of an issue. But the movie did give up on these chaos-inducing tactics enough to show off a lot of bad-assery. But this made it even more confusing, as Anthony and Joe Russo just refused to agree on one style. Other than this, there isn't a lot wrong with this 136 minute film. Not even kidding. This movie is for everyone, with enough references in here for Marvel fans to nerdgasm over while keeping the rest of us entertained enough to have fun throughout. And the post credit scene? Awesome. Marvel fans will flip out. Promise.
So it's almost 2 AM. I'm really tired, so I'm done. Go see this. Just trust me. End of discussion. Bye bye. See ya later.
The Critique: Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson shine in the Marvel movie we've all been waiting for. A wildly enjoyable political thriller set in the Marvel universe.
The Recommendation: A must-see for everyone. Just go see this. I promise you won't be disappointed. Do it. DO IT.
The Verdict: 8.5/10 Really Great
Photo Credit: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/markhughes/files/2014/03/CAPTAIN-AMERICA-75.jpg
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