Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson
Rated: PG-13 (Intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout)
As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
By Cole Schneider
Captain America is back for the first time since the Avengers saved New York two years ago. This edition, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, builds on that 9/11 recreation as it reimagines the Captain’s old WW2 enemy, Hydra (then imagined as Nazis), as modern a terrorist threat. The Captain is joined by Black Widow, Nick Fury, and his new sidekick Falcon on a mission to find and eliminate the threat.
The mission itself is boring. Some lazy writing carries CA to a museum about himself where the conflict of the film is dictated to us. Later, as he is investigating a secret hideout he immediately finds a secret door which leads to a room where a former enemy’s brain has been saved through 70 year-old technology. This computer-person proceeds to dictate all of the enemies plans to both the hero and the audience. It’s undeniably stupid. The movie is far too long, the CGI-action is far too over-the-top at the end, and many of the action scenes throughout are shot with a camera zoomed in far too close.
It’s a flawed film for sure, yet the film still finds some success. Unlike most of the Avengers’ films, which have interesting characters in lead roles but no one else to really care about, CA2 is full of interesting characters getting screen time. Scarlett Johansson is great as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie is charismatic as Falcon, and the Winter Soldier is the most convincing villain in their universe aside from Loki. It’s no classic, but CA2 is easily the best film to be released in phase two of the Marvel machine.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
By Matt Greene
Forget the lingering cold weather and winter skies. The summer has officially arrived with CA:TWS! The first movie was a hit-and-miss affair that really served as a place holder until the Avengers. The Winter Soldier far exceeds the original in every way, showing how a recently-unfrozen 90-year-old reacts to the technology and politics of the 2000s. True, I am undeniably biased and utterly impressed with the cinematic universe Marvel has created. Still, with Iron Man and The Avengers, this is one of the better Marvel Universe films, one with gigantic implications for the entire franchise.
It takes place a couple years after The Avengers, with Steve Rogers trying to find his place within SHIELD and modern America. But a new mysterious villain, Winter Soldier, is taking down everyone close to him. It plays on the 70s espionage thriller genre with verve and nostalgia, with the stakes always high and always felt. It asks big questions like, which matters more to us: our freedom or our safety? As this blast of intrigue and mystery begins to unfold, our yearning for fantastic action and hand-to-hand combat is fully fulfilled in what may be the most action-packed Marvel movie yet.
Johansson and Jackson both play their roles as strongly as ever, but what truly makes Captain America work is Evans. He doesn’t play Cap like Superman, but instead injects vulnerability and naiveté into the superhero. He’s taken seriously. This leads to a bit of corny nostalgia and some moments of slight boredom, but overall CA:TWS is an action packed blast that is a must for any fan of the Marvel universe.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars