Since his inception in 1941 Captain America has been an amalgamation of everything good we saw in our country and ourselves. For over 70 years he has been a symbol of unwavering moral character and patriotism that has been a guiding light for many throughout our countries hard times. Cap punched Hitler in the face during WWII and gave many of us a symbol of hope after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.
In the latest superhero blockbuster from Marvel Studios, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it is abundantly clear that the entire cast and crew takes this character and his hallowed history into account for every second of this film. They have complete respect for what he and his image has meant to so many people for so many generations. Gone are the times where comic book heroes would be brought to screen in name only with very little resemblance to the source material. Now the creative minds behind the character, like Ed Brubaker, are heavily involved in these projects throughout the entire process.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes place roughly two years after the Avengers or The Battle of New York as it’s known in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s clear from the first minute of this movie that the creative vision is to tie it to the viewers’ reality; to give them the feeling that this is happening in their world and not some fantastic world that they cannot connect to on any level. Being invested in the small scenes makes it much easier for the audience to buy into the larger scale action that occurs in later parts of the film. Even as things begin to ramp up, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) continue their banter about the mundane, their quips about who he should or could date are witty and keep the movie grounded. There are so many more wonderful examples but those are better left for each viewer to experience on their own.
The underlying plot of the film is a well crafted spy drama filled with intrigue and scandal that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Evans played a better and more believable detective as Captain America than the greatest detective himself Batman did in all three of the Christopher Nolan films. The inclusion of Anthony Macky as Falcon was the one part of the movie that stuttered a little bit. Their meeting is hilarious in its own right, but two supers just bumping into each other through happenstance without prior knowledge was probably the biggest suspension of reality in the entire film.
This movie is filled wall to wall with excellent combat sequences; we have seen cap fight a little bit on screen in previous movies but nothing like this. It is filled with visceral hand to hand fighting, that finally utilizes his shield as an extension of himself. The movie ups its game with the return of Bucky Barns, aka Winter Soldier, and delivers some of the best up close battle scenes that have ever been recorded on film. Much of the mythos of Winter Soldier has been ripped directly out of the comics. It’s extremely faithful to his origin in explaining how he has made it to current day, all the while still telling a fresh and original tale.
The team at Marvel Studios has effectively written, directed and produced not only the finest comic movie of all time but arguably one of the best spy and action dramas to ever to hit the screen. At its core Winter Soldier is a spy/political thriller that is focused on the modern day erosions of our civil liberties. Somehow even with the inclusion of Helicarriers, and mass conspiracy it doesn’t feel like a hammer on the head while the movie drives its point’s home in grand fashion. Captain America: Winter Soldier is a must see for persons of all ages and walks of life, in theaters everywhere April 4th, 2014.