Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford, Emily VanCamp, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Toby Jones, Hayley Atwell, and a pretty cool cameo by Danny Pudi (Community).

Directed By: Anthony and Joe Russo

The Russo brothers, probably best known for directing a few episodes of Community, pulled off a feat. They managed to make a sequel in the Marvelverse, possibly more interesting than the original. The first Captain America is really a great origin film, as far as those go. In many ways, it almost feels like a prequel. Like, what happened before… and then Captain America is rooted in the now. Also having seen every other Marvel film helps, since Nick Fury and Black Widow have substantially larger roles here than they usually do. Even Widow, who was featured heavily in The Avengers, has more to do here than she did in really anything she’s been in so far.

I’ve been sitting on this review, marinating on it, and allowing my opinion to rise (or fall). When I first saw it, my opinions were all over the map. Now that I’ve taken some time, I already feel like I want to see it again… which is really the true sign of a good movie. Last year, I gave Frozen an A-, and I winded up seeing it a second time theatrically before owning it on video. Was the minus warranted? I gave several films A’s last year, most of them I haven’t seen a second time, let alone paid to see a second time in theatres.

I’m not saying that I will necessarily see the good Captain in theatres again, but I did enjoy the film. I enjoyed it perhaps more than any other Marvel Studio release. Other than the Falcon, whose odd path into Captain’s life could have been written better, I didn’t have any lingering qualms. I love that Hydra built SHIELD, and Captain America (not Iron Man or Thor) was the one to bring it down. After all, his trademark is a Shield.

I could have definitely used more Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. For a film titled The Winter Soldier, I was expecting The Winter Soldier to have more to do. Instead, I’d argue that he has less screentime than Black Widow. Still, I’m excited for the possibilities of a third Captain, and where Bucky falls in that.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s enough of a spectacle that you should see it in theatres. The effects are pretty great, and the Russo’s did a good job of bringing an epic feel to the movie. Also, Chris Evans’s career has come a long way, and he’s really turning into a better actor. I never thought I’d say that about him.


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