Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Wednesday, April 30, 2014




After being frozen for half a century, Cap is back to save the world. Welcome back Captain America for your second solo, “save the world” battle. I am not a comic book fan. I haven’t read a single comic book. But I am a great fan of comic book adaptations. When I saw the first trailer of Captain America: The Winter Soldier I was so excited and couldn’t wait till it hit the cinema, though the first Captain America movie isn’t in my “fantastic movies” list.

It has been two years since the New York battle and Steve Rogers is slowly adapting to the modern world of digital era. The black and white world he used to live no longer exists, no one can clearly separate the good guys from the bad guys. It seems that his superior Nick Fury also has his own agenda and Steve cannot trust anyone. With the death of Nick Fury, Captain becomes a fugitive and teams up with Black Widow and Falcon, and with few people he knows he can trust, to unravel the conspiracy that has been hidden behind the S.H.I.E.L.D for nearly 70 years.

Steve Rogers is a trustworthy military veteran who always value nobility. What Marvel did with the character was, threw him out from his comfort zone. Steve always want everyone to be trustworthy, have a black and white morality and Marvel tossed him into an espionage, politically savaged, gray world where no one can be trusted. So the battle of “save the world from Hydra” is not just some scenes with actions to kill the bad guys, it is more of a personal mission to the character as well as an emotional journey to the audience. It is good that Steve reads a lot on internet and making to-do lists to catchup those 70 years that he had been missing, though I wonder how many years he would have to spend on history and pop culture lessons with his busy schedule. Chris Evans has never been better as Steve Rogers, with a heroism physical and stunt actions. After watching Fantastic Four, I was disappointed to hear Marvel’s decision of casting Chris Evan as Captain America. But now I am so glad that they picked Chris Evan for the role of Steve Rogers.

Scarlet Johansson perfectly embodies the role of Black Widow. She is mind blowing with her sarcastic comic attitude, and complex martial arts movements. This time Black Widow has quite a long script than her previous scripts, and her tools, intelligence, and stunning combats are quite impressive. Though she is working with Captain, she always has her own mission and goes through her own emotional journey rather than just being an eye-candy to the plot. She is indeed a superhero and I expect a Black Widow solo movie soon from Marvel since there is so much to tell about this amazing character.

The other member of the “Team Cap” is Falcon. This is the first time Falcon has introduced to the Marvel cinematic universe. I cannot think anyone better for the role besides Anthony Mackie and I’d definitely like to see him in more movies in the future. Nick Fury gets more screen time in this movie and Samuel Jackson is great as always embodying the role of Nick Fury giving a lot more power to his scenes. Robert Redford, giving a calm and gripping performance, portrays Alexander Pierce who leads the Hydra activities inside the S.H.I.E.L.D with high authoritative powers. Marvel introduces two more comic characters in this movie, Brock Rumlow and Sharon Carter, a.k.a. Agent 13. Frank Grillo’s performance as bad-ass S.T.R.I.K.E agent is remarkable. Even though Agent 13 has a minor role in this movie, Emily VanCamp steals those few scenes with amazing performance portraying Agent 13.

Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier is brainwashed and doesn’t know his true identity and he has a more personal connection with Steve Rogers than the Hydra lets him believe. Sebastian Stan is remarkable as Winter Soldier and performs well with his limited amount of screen time. I expected more scenes of Winter Soldier, after all the movie is named after him, but we don’t get to see much of him and it feels like he is more of a window dressing to the plot. Even in those few moments he manages to scare them all since his humanity switch is off, yet, he is having some soft spots here and there. I always like villains but here it’s different and I feel sorry for him. You can’t blame him for his ruthless assassinations when he has been brainwashed and frozen for time to time for nearly 70 years. Do we get to know more about him, his personal life, and his motives in the next Captain America movie? Fingers crossed.

In many superhero movies and comic book adaptations we can see lots of plot holes and silly plots. To my surprise, I didn’t see major plot holes in the first watch. The writing is pretty much good and smart in this movie. Also Captain America: The Winter Soldier has the best hand-to-hand fight scenes as well as best heavy action scenes. The most disappointing scene for me was to know that the Councilwoman who kicked Alexander’s ass is turned out to be Black Widow. It would have been more excited if it was really the Councilwoman. And the most predictable scene was the last battle. Captain and Falcon manage to replace chips on the first two helicarriers and here comes the Winter Soldier to the third halicarrier to stop them. It would have been more intense if Winter Soldier appeared in the first or second helicarrier and fought through the last one. Also I knew from the start that Alexander Pierce cannot be trusted, he always had that villainous look in his eyes.

I don’t want to spoil this post anymore by describing the post credits. But I can say those two post credits give some clues about next Avengers and Captain America movies. All in all Captain America: The Winter Soldier is all you want from a superhero movie: actions, thriller, comedy, and little bit of drama well balanced in a one movie.

My Rating: 4 out of 5


Shehan Perera said...

Good review Sumudu!!! Hope you have seen both the mid and post credit scenes.. :)

Sumudu Siriwardana said...

yeah... saw both of them... and now so excited to watch Avengers 2 :)

Dan O. said...

Good review Sumudu. Marvel never seems to hit a bad-note with these movies, which makes me even more excited to see Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Sumudu Siriwardana said...

Thank you Dan... Yes, so excited about the next Avengers movie and I'm sure phase 3 would be even better.

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