Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4 ½ *’s) (2014)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the latest installment in the Marvel Superhero movies that have been hitting the theatres in recent years. It continues the story of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, the cryogenically reanimated super-soldier from the World War II era. The movie stars Chris Evans (as Captain America), Samuel Jackson (as Nick Fury), and Scarlett Johansson (as The Black Widow) among others.

 

The story begins simply enough: Steve Rogers doing a workout. This serves to introduce us to the character of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) who *spoiler alert* later becomes Falcon. After a brief exchange, Steve is called away on a mission. Terrorists have taken over a SHIELD ship, and it is up to Captain America and an elite team of SHIELD operatives to rescue them. Unbeknownst to Steve, though, although the Black Widow is one of the operatives she has a secondary mission: to retrieve some critical data from the ship. Captain America finds out and is a bit irked that she had secondary motives in the mission. Oh, there is also a brief encounter with what appeared to be another super-soldier. Captain America manages to beat him, but it is a much closer fight than his other confrontations. Anyway, once back from the mission, Captain America takes his issue up with Nick Fury. They have a few words. What is apparent is that the information retrieved from the ship is extremely important and valuable. The plot develops from there. Soon, the whole world is threatened by Captain America’s old nemesis—Hydra—and it is up to him to save the day … with some help from Black Widow and Falcon.

 

Strengths: I really enjoyed this movie. The action was excellent. The acting was seamlessly good. The writing excellent and the plotline engaging. And, of course, being a big budget film, the special effects were superb. There were no major plot loopholes that I saw on a first viewing. Overall, an excellent film. Weaknesses: There were two that I noticed. One, there was a scene where Falcon dove out of a building window into a moving helicopter … and that stretched the believability meter to uncomfortable lengths. Second, and this is a minor detail, too, there was one scene where a corrupt senator was talking about “pressing the flesh” with a young intern. If this was a PG-13 movie, then maybe that’s okay. But I’m not comfortable with modern sexual mores infiltrating superhero movies. To me, superhero movies seem to be child-oriented and so I think an effort should be made to clean them up. This should probably also entail none of the good guys actually killing the bad guys. Beat ‘em up, and take ‘em into prison. Otherwise, we are making an adult film off a child theme. I just noticed: it is PG-13. So, I guess my complaint should morph into a warning to parents. It really is PG-13 … don’t take your five year old, even if he is a big fan of Captain America.

 

Anyway, it was a great film. I’ll give Captain America: The Winter Soldier four and a half stars out of five.

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