You Know They Are Bad When They Are Shooting At You
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Stars: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Toby Jones and Jenny Agutter Director: Anthony Russo Scriptwriters: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely Composer: Henry Jackman Cinematography: Trent Opaloch Disney Studios Running Length: 136 minutes Rating: PG 13
Frozen in time, defrosted and back in action, you can't keep Captain America (Marvel Comics) down. Does anyone remember Blackhawk and his group of fighters who lived on a hidden island and came out when there was trouble? Oh, well, this is Captain America’s turn and he, and Shield (or SHIELD or S.H.I.E.L.D.) are continuously fighting the bad guys. Captain America, in case this is your first film, was a 120 lb. soldier named Steve Rogers, who just couldn't keep up in training, circa WWII. Given special injections/training, he bulked up to 240 lbs. and became Captain America, complete with a shield of his own and a mind of its own. Thor probably wonders where he could get one of those. Captain America’s partner-in-crime, Black Widow (otherwise known as Scarlett Johansson in witty mode) and their boss-in-crime, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson in secretive mode), make quite a trio. However, they need help and along comes a new partner-in-crime, Falcon, otherwise known as Anthony Mackie (in flier mode) with wings Leonardo Da Vinci would envy. And who, you may ask, is the bad guy this time around? He is called “The Winter Soldier,” with a black mask straight out of The Dark Knight Rises, a prosthetic arm with a mind of its own, and an expression of dedication akin to mow-the-place-down. There is a secret here, though.
The story begins with Captain America dropping out of a plane (who needs a parachute) to fight the bad guys. Later, he meets with Black Widow and Nick Fury and soon, people are being targeted by an unknown assassin. Before you can say, “don't drive down that street,” the assassin attacks and it looks as though SHIELD is either under attack or looking as though it is under attack. This is where Pierce (Robert Redford) comes in as a member of the World Security Council and one look at those blue eyes and you see danger. The rest of the movie is filled with chases, escapes, being wounded and healed, again wounded and healed, trying to ask a nurse out for coffee, the nurse turning him down (you can figure out who “him” is), leaping from tall buildings (parachute not in vocabulary), and plenty of special effects to keep fans happy. Also, the story has twists and turns and keeps one on their toes. No going out for popcorn here.
Fighting in close quarters must be in now, as The Raid 2 has plenty of them, while Captain America has one---the elevator and how neatly stacked are those bodies. Captain’s mode of transportation is usually a motorcycle, and as a toss back to WWII, goes into the Smithsonian Museum, where there is a display of him, and “borrows” his old uniform with a helmet like the old football helmets of the 1930’s. There are references to the WWII era in “Cap’s” apartment, which looks like a 1940’s museum piece and a poignant one, where he visits his wife, who has aged considerably and is in a nursing facility. Here is a man who looks young, tenderly holding the hand of an old woman.
Acting is well done, with everyone looking as though they were having fun, even Sebastian Stan who portrays “The Winter Soldier” with long hair covering his face most of the time. Chris Evans has the crisp, clean-cut look of a hero and always has the patriotic thing to say. Scarlett Johansson is slightly sarcastic and keeps “Cap” down to earth. Anthony Mackie has a quip or two and makes a fine Falcon, giving veterans a chance for a message on what to do when your tour is finished.
Captain America is only one of the many Marvel comic book characters, but his popularity is right on top. This film, though longer, tells a good story and should keep fans appetites whetted for what comes down the road, riding a motorcycle and carrying a red, white and blue shield. By the way, stay all the way through the end credits.
Copyright 2014 Marie Asner
For more action film reviews, see the following:
The Raid 2: Berandal
The Dark Knight Rises
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