Saturday, April 5, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (USA, 2014)

Nine Things about the Movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier

1. I didn't really like the first Captain America movie. I thought he was a goofy, generic, and one-dimensional character. But they fixed that in this movie. This movie is much grittier, and Captain America has some good character development, as he is forced to grapple with modern political realities, where it's not so easy to figure out what being a "good guy" means (in a nice symbolic touch, his cheesy American-flag uniform in the first movie has been replaced by a darker uniform with a lot more shades of gray).

2. The movie is surprisingly complicated for a superhero movie - it's a conspiracy thriller that kind of feels like the old 1970's political/conspiracy classics. Casting Robert Redford in the movie helped with that.

3. As the Marvel universe expands and overlaps each other in various movies, it gets harder to keep up with what's going on. In order to really understand everything in this superhero mythology, you need to make sure you've seen not only the first Captain America movie, but also "The Avengers".

4. Scarlett Johansson is one of the best parts of the movie, as she continues her Black Widow character from "The Avengers".

5. The action scenes are well done. Some are also pretty unique. This movie ranks fairly high on the kick-ass scale.

6. For some reason, it's refreshing to see a superhero that doesn't always need to hide his identity. Captain America is Captain America whether he's in uniform or not, which gives him more flexibility to handle situations.

7. His shield is kind of cool to watch, but it's still stupid, though. And it completely defies the laws of physics.

8. The final confrontation between Captain America and The Winter Soldier was a little too melodramatic for me. And it features one of those cheesy, played-out "countdown clock" sequences. So I think it kind of wasted part of what it had built up along the way.

9. While this isn't the best superhero movie ever made, it is in the top half. It's relatively smart, with characters that are starting to feel more real. It's fun to watch, and is a nice addition to the Marvel mythology.