Tuesday, April 29, 2014
What's Playing: Captain America - The Winter Soldier Text Review
It's a known fact that Marvel Studios knows what they're doing when it comes to making feature films. Their success began with the launch of their "Phase 1" series, which started with Iron Man starting Robert Downey, Jr as the titular hero. Other heroes included in "Phase 1" were The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and the hero in today's movie, Captain America. This series was developed carefully, choosing these specific heroes which would ultimately lead to the superhero team up movie The Avengers. Now with the launch of "Phase 2" we're getting even bigger movies like Iron Man 3, Thor: the Dark World, and now is the release of the 2014 blockbuster, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Taking place sometime after the events of the The Avengers, Captain Steve Rogers tries to play catch up with the years he's lost and has also become an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the secret organization that aids the world from global terrorist attacks. While on a rescue mission to save hostages from a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship at sea, Rogers discovers that teammate Natasha Romanoff (the Black Widow) has her own mission of extracting data from the ship's computer about a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. plan known as Project Insight, a plan which involves three Helicarriers, a lot of guns, and the means to eliminate a lot of enemies, but whose enemies exactly? We start to see an old enemy of Captain America's past returning and its up to him and a new team to thwart their nefarious plans.
From here, the movie takes an interesting direction, bringing up topics such as eliminating our personal freedoms to ensure the security of our nation, or perhaps fighting for said freedoms knowing that they could lead to argument, debate, and violence. This story takes a smart decision in my opinion. Comic books often times take real world events and experiences and develop a complex situation that all readers can relate to, and I'm really glad that Marvel's Movieverse is taking this step as well. I can see this film being used as a tool for future debates about these very same issues. The story here is what makes the movie shine the brightest. It's smart, it's entertaining, and it makes the movie a huge hit.
While the story is something worthwhile, the acting is, well not so much. Don't get me wrong, the performances from all the returning stars (Evans, Johansson, & Jackson) are at the same level if excellence from their previous films, but that's a bit of a problem. I would have loved to seen more from these actors as the situation from the first Captain America movie, to the The Avengers, to this film has escalated. However some of the new stars in the film stand out pretty well. Anthony Mackie, who plays the Marvel hero Sam Wilson aka Falcon becomes who could be labeled as the Cap's new best friend. Robert Redford also does a good job portraying the war torn acquaintance Nick Fury, who may be more involved than you may believe. In the end, the acting, while not a huge highlight with previous characters, is still something to bring up as it moves the story with making new friends and enemies on both sides.
This is film is definitely one to be seen in theaters and if you haven't seen either Captain America: The First Avenger or The Avengers, I suggest doing it now so you can play catch up and enjoy the ride.