Captain America is a man out of his time, everyone tells him so, and it does carry some truth; the Captain is rather old fashioned. Proudly wearing his red, white, and blue suit the Captain stands for justice and freedom while charging through a world of grey shadows and one of Marvel’s best movies to date. After being thawed from his deep freeze, Captain America, or Steve Rogers, goes to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. If you’ve seen any of the Marvel movies you’ll be familiar with the super-spy branch of the government; however if you are familiar with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the notions of what makes a Marvel movie then prepare to leave them at the door. Steve soon discovers some shadows that can’t stay hidden. With the help of Marvel regulars Black Widow and Nick Fury and the newcomer Sam Wilson, the Captain does his best to make sure that the world does not plunge into chaos by a devastating villain with dark ties to Captain America’s past.
“The Winter Soldier” is a film that is not afraid to take risks, leaving the previous two cinematic Marvel stories of Iron Man and Thor feeling confined and inconsequential in comparison. The film takes inspiration from world events such as the WikiLeaks and the NSA surveillance scandal but this is hardly a CNN update as “Captain America” provides action and spectacle on a large scale. It’s hard to believe that this is Anthony and Joe Russo’s first major movie (the brothers have a long history working with the television show Community and fans of it will appreciate a certain cameo) as they deftly shoot the action of the film but thankfully not at the expense of character development. Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson as Nick Fury and the Black Widow, respectively, are given more fleshed-out character scenes than all of their prior Marvel outings. This goes especially for Johansson, who uses the Black Widow’s secretive ways to provide an enjoyable and often amusing foil to Steve Roger’s straight-laced superhero. Newcomer Anthony Mackie is a welcomed addition to the roster, providing some well-timed comic relief, and it is easy to feel cheated out of screen time with him as he takes a backseat to the main players. Robert Redford is also in fine form as his character calls back to his “All the President’s Men” days and the titular Winter Soldier is also easily Marvel’s best villain since Loki. The strength and credibility of the movie falls squarely onto Chris Evans as Captain America. Evans gives it his all, giving Captain America a sense of earnestness, dry humor, and even melancholy which creates one of the most sympathetic cinematic heroes. Overall the film is not perfect, the trademark Marvel sense of humor and awe is notably absent, but the story drives at a breakneck pace and is filled with spectacle and heroes to care about. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is now out in theaters.
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