Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Stars: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie
Sentence Summary: Corruption, action, and secrets define this quest of the moralistic Captain America.
How the Russo brothers could have moved so seamlessly from the likes of Community and You, Me, and Dupree to THIS is beyond me, but whatever they did, it really, really worked.
To start off, I will note that I am not as enthralled with the Marvel Universe as some fans are. I think I have seen all of the movies, but I don’t read the comics or mark the movie release dates on my calendar. I was also not overly impressed with the original Captain America; I did not find Steve Roger’s character to be very interesting, and I did not like the story very much. It actually kind of annoyed me that they downplayed the badness of the Nazis and created a different, worse version of Hitler.
Nonetheless, I was pretty excited to see this sequel because I have been reading such fantastic things about it.
Well, even my indifferent reaction to the first instalment and my high expectations for this movie did not ruin The Winter Soldier. While some of the same themes do return, this movie does not have the same cheesy feeling as the first. The Winter Soldier is complex, multi-faceted, and very original, and it has some truly exceptional aspects working in its favour.
Steve Roger’s character also gets more development than he did in all of the previous Marvel movies combined. A delicate combination of humour, leadership, recklessness, and bravery finally shapes Captain America into a truly awesome superhero.
The supporting characters of Natasha, Nick Fury, Sam Wilson, and Winter Soldier all added so much to the story too. I was especially impressed with the ominous and dangerous force that was the Winter Soldier. His robotic, methodical, merciless character is terrifying, but he also gets enough development to make him fascinating too.
Producer Kevin Feige described this movie as being “A 1970s political thriller masquerading as a big superhero movie.” This quote nicely summarizes my feelings of the story; it is more layered than anything we have seen in the Marvel Universe. I won’t spoil anything, but it really was a mature and complex story.
However, I’m not saying that it was a perfect story; it tackled a lot of ideas for a short movie. I think it might have been a bit too complex to cover in one movie, but in the end, it still worked.
While the story was great but not perfect, one aspect of this movie that was perfect was the stunning creation of action scenes. Every movement, every sound, and every frame were used purposely in these scenes to create an intensely realistic and exciting sequence of events. The action in this movie outdoes anything else I have seen from Marvel. The maximized use of live action and minimized use of CGI effects make the fight and action scenes unique, thrilling, and dangerous. Sometimes I felt exhausted just watching them.
So yeah, I guess I really liked this movie. The story was good and the acting, character development, and especially the action scenes were pretty close to perfect. So take it from me, a tepid fan of the Marvel universe, that this movie is not only worth seeing, but it’s worth seeing in the theatres, in 3D, because you will want to enjoy this movie as it was meant to be seen.
So I will say again, I’m not sure how the Russo brothers went from directing Community to the best movie in the Marvel franchise, but whatever they did, it really worked.
Verdict: See it! Marvel fan or not, everyone should be able to find something to enjoy in this movie.
Photos courtesy of Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com)