‘Captain America’ triumphs

Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

The big film for this weekend is none other than Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In as much as I like avoiding “bombastic” cinema, I have been unable to escape Marvel’s outings. Their last four films in the Avengers Universe: Captain America, The Avengers, Iron Man III and Thor: The Dark World have been very satisfying and totally entertaining.

The first Captain America had a story with heart, made creative use of nostalgia, and had a fine performance by Tommy Lee Jones. The Avengers was clever, big, and pulled all the super heroic stops. Iron Man III had great comedy, and Thor: The Dark World was a huge improvement over the first.

And surprise, surprise, Captain America: The Winter Soldier triumphs by being the most serious of the bunch. In The Avengers, the heroes fought aliens; in Thor, dark elves—in The Winter Soldier, Captain America fights an “enemy within.” The storyline here is less dependent on little gags and marvelous and excuses for romps; it seems well thought out and planned.

For starters, we have Captain America—super soldier, the pride of the United States military and asset of S.H.I.E.L.D.—questioning his orders, saying no, and letting his superiors know he’s not the obedient hero they expect him to be.

Nick Fury: We’re going to neutralize a lot of threats before they even happen.

Captain America/Steve Rogers: I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.
Sinister things are happening in an artery of the Marvel / Avengers / S.H.I.E.L.D.
universe—the boat is rocked and fans are hoping the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV show’s plot works with Winter Soldier’s storyline.

Chris Evans is in mighty fine form as Captain America, and he’s in this one with Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff a.k.a The Black Widow, and his new friend Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson a.k.a. The Falcon. Joining the cast is Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury, Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill.

For those who enjoy good fight scenes, I found many of sequences here very well choreographed—especially the ones involving knives. I don’t like when the edits of the fight scenes are too quick that you can’t really see what’s going on—here I could see what was happening, and how skilled on-board fight choreographer (and Winter Soldier stunt double) James Young was with this film.

As usual, stick around for not one but two short sequences at the end.

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Captain America opened in cinemas at IMAX theaters on March 26, over a week ahead of the US release date, and is currently showing nationwide.


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