THE CLUBBERS GUIDE TO MOVIES: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I’m a little late out of the gate on this one! Well, for one I do work for a living, I attend music events which is how I became connected with 1200Dreams in the first place, and getting to the theater is not as easy as you think, it all depends on timing, scheduling, and availability, left over after partying, of course.
But more so, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a film I held off watching. Why, you ask? Simple, because I felt Captain American was not on par with superheroes such as Spider-Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, etc… cinematically at least. He gained his powers through the Super-Soldier Serum and “Vita-Ray” treatment, he is transformed and his strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability, and healing are at the zenith of natural human potential. He’s a political superhero. Yeah, just a man in a costume carrying a shield, at least I thought.
The first film, Captain America: First Avenger was quite good and surprised me very much, but I didn’t think it could go much further with this storyline of a soldier/hero that spent decades frozen in a block of ice in a state of suspended animation and awakens in current times and must acclimate to a new society. It didn’t move me enough to jump to see it. Well, when I had the time I decided to do just that, and boy was I wrong!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the third film in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (after last year’s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World). This time around, Marvel decided to take a different approach on things. This Captain America sequel is more serious, with a darker plot, and more face-to-face, close-range hand combat fights. Yet, what could have been a typical superhero film, becomes a conspiracy-espionage thriller.
Film reviewers might judge this film solely on its merits as a film, but us geeks always keep the source material in mind, and this story pops out of what Lee & Steranko did, which had all manners of political intrigue and vast conspiracies included in the plot. A lot of those story lines are from back when Nixon was goddamn president and artists of all levels began to seed the media with a distrust of the government, the belief in shadow organizations that control everything. This was reflected in the original storylines, and the filmmakers did the exact same thing.
This film is well-scripted, filled with suspense while highlighting some important socio-political issues such as government surveillance and control. Although the twists in the film are predictable and fairly easy to guess, the sequel is a marked improvement compared to its predecessor.
The film comes with excellent, fast-paced action and great choreography. Although the cinematography is a bit dodgy due to the shaky-cam techniques used for depicting the chaotic moments, the fight scenes between the Winter Soldier and the Captain are fantastic and serve as one of the film’s highlights. The geeks among us finally get to see in greater detail how the Captain’s shield is utilized effectively in both offensive and defensive combat situations. It is also good to see Natasha kick ass again. Speaking of Natasha, umm, dare I say, she looked delicious? Focus Rog!
All the actors delivered pretty decent performances. Once again, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson proved that they fit their roles well, adding more depth to their characters. Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) is a welcomed addition to the Marvel franchise and hopefully he will appear again in the Avengers sequel. Unfortunately, despite the film’s title, the Winter Soldier is not a complex villain and doesn’t appear much in the film. It’s such a shame to just show him as a formidable physical fighter who’s capable of challenging the Captain.
The story unfolds gradually and comes with huge, surprising developments by the end of the film. Needless to say, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not going to be the same again. What’s going to happen next? How the story is going to progress in Avengers: Age of Ultron after what happens in this film marks for some very interesting developments ahead.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is such an excellent Marvel concoction that as a fan/geek, you’re just going to fucking lose your shit! Sure, I miss the green outfits, I miss the green and orange or even the red and white of the Falcon, but those are really, really petty issues. The reality is, this thing is a comic book fans wet dream. Sometimes, it’s not so bad to be wrong!