Get your US-flag ready! The most American superhero of all time is back! Captain America – The Winter Soldier is the third movie in Marvel’s second phase , and the 9th movie in the entire shared universe. Back as America’s scout boy#1 (at least in the eyes of Marvel-fans) is Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson are also reprising their roles. New are Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo and Emily VanKemp.
There will be spoilers of some sort, so beware.
Just as he learns to adjust to his new surroundings, Steve Rogers, alias Captain America, experiences the cold truth that good not alway means good. When a friend and colleague of his gets attacked and killed, Rogers must uncover a terrifying political mystery on his own. Hunted by the very same people he once trusted, he will have to face the question who is an enemy, and who’s an ally. And what role does the mysterious Winter Soldier play in it?
“I joined S.H.I.E.L.D. to protect people”
Evans is quite solid as Steve Rogers, and Johansson and Jackson are finally playing real characters instead of caricatures, like in “Iron Man 2” or “The Avengers” There are some quite moments with those people, where they shine some light on their background and behave like real people would. The plot is thrilling and full of twists and turns, and keeps you at the edge of your seat. Then again you have some moments in which you ask yourself what kind of function a machine gun inside a bulletproof car does have. Or how many innocent/ good people have been killed by our protagonists. Or why Black Widow bothered to exchange outfits during an action scene. Speaking of which…
The action is great, there are some excellent hand-to-hand-combats, some stunt performances and car chases/ destruction. Only the first action sequence is shot and edited rather quickly. And an action chase involving Sam Jackson’s character is too long in my opinion.
” ‘Murica, Fuck Yeah!”
The movie has quite an interesting premise, that sometimes what seems right doesn’t actually be right, and that the boundaries between right and wrong are fading. Captain America, the WWII icon, who back then differ between good (America) and bad (Nazis/ Hydra) has to face a new evil: politics and treason in his own ranks. There is a mystery about a certain mcguffin, and the solution to it is truly shocking. On the other hand, it also raises some very specific questions which the plot doesn’t bother to answer. And although the movie kind of claims that it is rather critical towards US-policies, when you think about it further, you realize that it actually claims that America has done nothing wrong in like, forever.
In case of the titular antagonist, I’m a bit torn. Unlike that the Winter Soldier stays rather in the shadows (except when he clearly works in broad daylight), but the thing is, he is more of a henchman than an individual opponent. This is sad, because he may be the ultimate opponent for Captain America, like the Joker is for Batman, two sides of the same coin.
“Captain America – The Winter Soldier” is momentarily the best movie in Marvel’s phase 2, and in my opinion also one of the best Marvel- films in general. It has got some flaws, some questionable messages and some missed opportunities for the villain. But it balances with good action-scenes, nice twists, solid acting and a good plot, as well as some very funny scenes. But that doesn’t mean Marvel can rest on their laurels. Having actual characters and writing good, coherent stories should not be an exception.