Forget the world domination motives of Hydra, Marvel is taking over the world one superhero comic book movie at a time! Do we have objections? Of course not! With the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel continues to blaze brighter —and profit better— with its grittier take on the star-spangled blond superhero…
By anyone’s standards, this is one of the better Marvel films so far. Directed by the dynamic brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, with a script written by Christopher Marcus and Stephen McFeely, the latest installment in the Marvel cinematic universe proves to be a darker and more character-driven version.
We check in with Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) who, after being encased in ice for decades, is still trying to cope up with modern lifestyle, dating being one of them. However, the captain finds himself caught once again in a SHIELD conspiracy involving advanced weaponry, world domination, and an arch nemesis glaringly named in the title as the Winter Soldier.
Chris Evans continues to play his titular character with a casual finesse, bearing that gorgeous blond glow of a charming boy, the brave almost-brutish rogue of a war veteran, and the clench-jawed focus of a new superhero. Samuel L. Jackson continues as the rigid and strangely sub-motivated Nick Fury while Scarlett Johansson sports the ever-voluptuous and agile physique of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow. On an added note, the snarky banter between Steve and Natasha is surprisingly likeable, even convincing. Robert Redford is a very welcome addition to the cast as well.
As for pacing and storytelling, the directors have claimed that they were going for a 1970s conspiracy era film with a grittier tone, and on that note they’ve succeeded. The shift from setting to setting with surveillance-type camera angles is nearly similar to Argo, which is an impressive feat. What’s more, the 70s aesthetic pays off wonderfully during big action set pieces, like a car chasing scene and a freighter infiltration mid-sea. I particularly enjoyed the musical mix and sound vibrations. They felt more dangerous and in-your-face, compared to the previous Captain America: The First Avenger where the sounds seemed forced and out of place.
However, it’s not a perfect film nor is it a classic one. If it embraced the grittiness and creative flair of the aesthetic it was going for, it could easily have become another “The Dark Knight”, a superhero classic even without the prequels or sequels.
The movie’s only flaw, in my opinion, is that it felt too forced. It’s as if the producers gave the directors a check list of Things to Have on the Film instead of letting them take it in a more natural direction. Yes, there were big action set pieces, astounding use of CGI, terrific banter between characters, and even some likeable albeit predictable plot twists. But still, it felt forced.
So is Captain America: The Winter Soldier worth the movie ticket?
Absolutely. It’s a fun and entertaining ride into the cinematic universe that Marvel Studious carefully constructed. Whether you’re a fan of the comic books or not, you’ll most likely enjoy this action-packed romp with America’s favorite patriot.