Sunday, April 13, 2014
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Not only is Captain America the "First Avenger," but he is also the "Best Avenger"! There is no doubt in my mind that the first Captain America film was the best pre-Avengers Marvel flick, and I was hoping that Captain America: The Winter Soldier could follow that up and become the best of Marvel's "Phase 2" films. Unfortunately, many of the plot details for the film were under wraps, so I wasn't quite certain what to expect. At the same time, it is quite nice that Marvel now has the power to hold in the big secrets of the films. In fact, that power is what made everyone trip over the big twists in Iron Man 3, which may have inflated expectations for The Winter Soldier. Anywho, my expectations were high, because of the greatness that was The First Avenger...
The end of mindless superhero films may be fast-approaching, as evident by the BLATANT political themes presented in The Winter Soldier. In case you didn't know, Obama is watching you, and he is going to destroy you because Robert Redford said so! And Rob Red is the man!!! However, on Captain America's (Chris Evans) end, there were just a few too many things going on for him to really be making a political statement. Black Widow's (Scarlett Johanssonn) continual need to be insignificantly significant took up an unnecessary amount of screen time, and, in the end, the film probably should have been titled Captain America: S.H.I.E.L.D. & Friends. The film wasn't a total bust, but I truly believe it had great potential. At one point, the trusting, old-fashioned Captain had a moment where he didn't know who was with/against him. That moment was probably the most intense Marvel moment ever! Unfortunately, in less than five minutes, he figured out who to trust again, which left me disappointed at what could have been. Even with this disappointment, the action was absolutely great, and Cap had no problem with anybody he faced.
As a result of the numerous storylines, there were waaaay too many characters for any non-Avengers film. Like I said, Captain America is THE MAN! Why would you want to be distracted by minor characters? The answer to that question can probably be found in the fact that The Avengers: Age of Ultron needed a lead-in, which is quite unfortunate.
Hayley Atwell was absolutely amazing in The First Avenger, but there was no need for her Peggy Carter to show up, ever again. Captain America seemed to be moving forward and accepting the 21st century, eliminating the need to bring his past back into the picture. Additionally, Toby Jones's Dr. Arnim Zola was awkwardly brought back into the picture, although he was a bit more necessary, in the grand scheme of things. Although Robert Redford's Alexander Pierce was quite important to the storyline, he was the one significant character that I did not care for, but hopefully you will like him!
My main man Danny Pudi had an extremely short appearance as some sort of computer guy, and I just wanted to be sure to give him a shout out. Without him, Community would no longer be on the air and no one would know what the term "butt-dial" means (look it up... he was the first to say it). New to the Captain America crew, Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson/Falcon was a fun addition to the film, and I truly hope that people reward Mackie with larger roles in the future. Finally (and I never thought I would say this), Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill actually fit in quite well with the rest of the cast. Her short time on screen was quite significant, and she nearly redeemed herself for being the only negative in The Avengers... but not quite.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a great Marvel film, but it could have been so much better. There was just waaaay too much going on, which greatly scattered the focus of the film. Really, Captain America had very little riding on the outcome of the film. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Black Widow took center stage, which would have been fine, if they didn't already have an entire TV show dedicated to S.H.I.E.L.D. Additionally, if Black Widow could have had her own film, instead of showing up in others over and over and over, neither Iron Man nor Captain America would have had to worry about her. Regardless, I would certainly suggest that you check out The Winter Soldier, especially if you like to keep up with the events of the Marvel universe. You miss this one, and you might as well skip The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I give Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2.99 out of 5 stars.