Review of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

captain_america_the_winter_soldier.jpg Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), is having trouble coming to terms with life in the present day but even more he is having problems taking orders in a world with shades of grey. He is sent by S.H.I.E.L.D. to rescue several of their agents held by pirates during which he discovers Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), extracting files from the vessels computers onto a flash drive. Returning to headquarters Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) shows Natasha and Steve three Helicarriers being worked on as a more “active” form of protection against terrorists and attacks such as those experienced in New York in The Avengers. Fury attempts to extract the files stored on the flash drive but finds they are encrypted, seemingly on his own orders. He is later attacked in his car then, battered and beaten, manages to escape and make his way to Steve's apartment. When Steve arrives after a few minutes of talking where Fury tells Steve he suspects his home is bugged Fury is shot by a sniper and gives Steve the flash drive telling him, somewhat obviously, not to trust anyone. Steve pursues the assailant, “The Winter Soldier” (Sebastian Stan), across the rooftops but he escapes using super-human powers. Later Natasha and Steve are able to trace the origin of the flash drive encryption where they discover a bunker and an old foe: HYDRA. It seems that HYDRA has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and it is up to Captain America to make things right…

This is just an abbreviation of the action. There is far more to it than this, believe me.

The simplicity of Captain America's origin story in Captain America: The First Avenger is a thing of the past as we are thrown into the complexities, and much bigger budgets, of the Avengers world. Throughout it all Steve Rogers still manages to keep his innocence and moral center despite his new world falling to pieces all around him. Evans still does an amazing job with the character, playing it perfectly and managing to keep the Cap's integrity intact. However it is Fury's turn to shine as much of the story line centers on him, as the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., being under attack and it is here that Jackson excels - the badass struggling against overwhelming odds.

The release from the heavy tension of the treason plot is somewhat mitigated by the presence of “ordinary vet” Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and his “Falcon” jet pack as he joins Cap in his momentous task but this is only a minor reprieve with a devastatingly depressing story-line (and I have not even told you the half of it!) however this is really the only reprieve. “Trust no one”, indeed.

More often than not in watching this film I was able to accurately predict what was going to happen time and time again with many obvious clues laid bare with the lead-up. This predictability means that the film seems as though it is just going through the motions - a bridge between various films - which, of course, it is. Often I found myself struggling to follow the exposition-heavy dialogue with nods to several on-going story threads from multiple Avenger movies. Keeping everything straight was quite difficult and I am sure I missed a lot of it. Having said that, the action has been seriously ramped up from the Cap's first outing with the finale truly massive in scale (a “miracle” that Washington manages to stay intact while an epic battle wages overhead). The effects are, of course, amazing and often quite dizzying.

A necessary bridge between the movies in the Avengers franchise this somewhat predictable film fills in the necessary gaps. Not recommended for anyone new to the Avenger movies as it will likely be impossible to follow what was going on (even though I have seen the movies it was difficult enough for me) but it is a pretty good action flick.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-12-30

Directed by: Russo Brothers

Studio: Marvel Studios

Year: 2014

Length: 136 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Russo Brothers: