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Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Submitted by on April 4, 2014 – 2:44 pmNo Comment

As Marvel continues into Phase 2 with its ninth film, Captain America gets his second installment with The Winter Soldier. It is, arguably, the best of the Marvel films and right up there with Iron Man. On the outset, the story is simple enough as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) working a mission for him when things go terribly wrong. S.H.I.E.L.D. is compromised, trust is questioned amongst the unit and a new threat emerges that is a call to Cap’s past.

The Winter Soldier functions as both a direct sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger and carries over some of the narrative from The Avengers movie. There are strong ties to the Marvel Universe throughout and a boatload of Easter Eggs. But, more importantly, it is an excellent action film that will satisfy both avid readers of the comics along with those who could care less and simply want to enjoy a good action flick.

What Captain America: The Winter Solider accomplishes is pretty remarkable. Given the fact that the Thor and Iron Man movies stand in stark contrast to one another, Captain America does an excellent job combining the high notes from both movies while cutting the fat. You get some awesome action sequences, slick car chases and gorgeous special effects. But you also get some strong character development and the trio of Evans, Johansson and Jackson (along with Anthony Mackie as Falcon) show off some impressively seamless chemistry.

The plot, with its political undertones, isn’t too overbearing but it does strike the right notes that don’t allow it to get in the way of the action. It’s far from mindless and actually gives you enough to chew on throughout the film’s 136 minutes.

Cap’s enemy, The Winter Soldier, is quite possibly one of the best villains Marvel has had to offer throughout this stretch of nine films. He’s a silent assassin with an intriguing backstory and how he impacts the story should be commended. Sebastian Stan plays The Winter Soldier excellently and gives him a chilling aura. He may not be as charismatic as Loki, but he is certainly more of a threat and is arguably more engaging. When he hits the screen, you cannot help but be entranced by his presence. Also fun to watch is Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce. While most assumed that it would be nothing more than a cameo, Redford is actually a major part of the film and plays his role to a tee.

It’s difficult to go too deep into the movie’s narrative without spoiling a great deal of it. However, the plot is best left alone and the focus should be on how strong the characters and action sequences are.Jackson’s Nick Fury is much more than a stern boss and is injected with more emotions. Captain America’s shield is utilized far more than it ever has been. Johansson has just the right combination of sass, sex and snark to make you wonder when a Black Widow film is going to be released.

All in all, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a movie that comic book fans should not miss as it sets the table for the next Avengers movie and can stand strongly on its own two feet.

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