Friday, April 4, 2014

Movie with Abe: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Released April 4, 2014

Until recently, it seemed impossible to make a good Captain America movie. Something about the all-American hero just didn’t translate from the comic book pages to the big screen, and any efforts to do so were laughably abysmal. The 2011 reboot starring Chris Evans changed that completely, offering an enormously compelling story of this super soldier in the 1940s taking on Nazi Germany and the enemy Hydra, and now for his second installment, Captain America is back in the present day to take on a far more internal foe in this enjoyable blockbuster.

Evans’ Captain America is much like many of the current members of the Avengers, possessing the winning charm of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and the sarcastic wit of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. Evans’ Steve Rogers is far less assuming, however, and tends not to hog the spotlight despite the grand nature of his position in both American history and its present. It’s a good thing, too, since another Avenger, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, doesn’t even get her own movie, and instead has to share his. Fortunately, the two make a great, attractive pair, and putting them together is a dependable choice that pays off well.

The plot of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is much more tied to the organization of S.H.I.E.L.D. than all of the other films currently being put out by the Marvel franchise. That means the full participation of Samuel L. Jackson in the role of Director Nick Fury, which is never a bad thing. The film also enlists Robert Redford as a powerful political player and Anthony Mackie as a new ally for Captain America and Black Widow as they go on the run following a major attack on S.H.I.E.L.D.

One thing that inarguably works about “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is its ability to transition into action at a moment’s notice, with all characters on deck and ready to burst into hand-to-hand combat or something more intense. Captain America’s powers, and those of his opponents in this film, are fun to watch, and Black Widow is also a great action star. The film’s storyline is ambitious and not always logical, but ultimately this is a relatively solid standalone entry that doesn’t lean too heavily on its previous or subsequent chapters. It may not have the cohesive and history-defying gravitas of the first film, but it’s still a blast that proves that Marvel should continue making movies.


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