Spoiler-Free Quick Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fun, exciting, family-friendly film that successfully bridges the gap between solo and team superhero films.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters today, and it packs a solid punch.
Cap has learned quite a few new tricks since we last saw him in The Avengers. His fighting style and movement have received significant upgrades, making him feel much more formidable than in previous films. Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, talked about this in a recent interview.
Not everything about Cap has changed, however. In a world of anti-heroes and morally-ambiguous protagonists, it’s refreshing to find a hero who is uncompromising when it comes to truth, liberty, and freedom. Freedom is a key focus in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and, for Cap, there are no gray areas when it comes to preserving it. Captain America is not a “the end justifies the means” type of hero. With Cap, how and why he fights a war are just as important as the results. It’s a valuable lesson that is too often lost in today’s “shoot first, ask questions later” action movies.
Speaking of action, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has it. Lots of it. And it’s pretty fantastic. The visual effects and fight scene choreography rival anything we’ve seen in superhero movies, including films that I consider to be at the top of the superhero movie food chain, like The Avengers and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
This brings me to another thing that Captain America: The Winter Soldier gets right. If you didn’t know that the film was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, you might assume it was helmed by Avengers director, Joss Whedon. That’s a good thing. Too often, a new directing team means a jolting change in character for superhero movies. That’s not the case here. Although Cap feels stronger and more imposing than in previous films, this is still the Captain America that we’ve come to know and love. It just feels… right.
I’ve mentioned The Avengers a few times now. Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes closer to bringing us a full Avengers team experience than any of the other solo Avengers movies. Cap is joined by Black Widow and Falcon in his fight and, fortunately for Cap and the audience, these allies are more than just glorified sidekicks. Both Widow and Falcon bring added personality and lethality to the table. Their characters are very well done and feel ripe for their own solo films. Kudos to Scarlett Johansson and Anthony Mackie for bringing Cap’s super team to life.
There’s very little I can say about the actual plot of the film without revealing any spoilers, so I won’t. However, I will say that attentive comic book fans will spot a number of Easter eggs, lovingly placed by the film’s creative team. Pay careful attention, fanboys and girls. And be sure to stay all the way through the credits. It is a Marvel movie, after all. Of course there are post-credits goodies.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fun, exciting, family-friendly film that successfully bridges the gap between solo and team superhero films, and should satisfy fans eager for next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Five out of five stars.
Have you seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier?
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