CGB Review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Winter is coming and so is its soldier.

This is my review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

 

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It has been two years since the Battle of New York (the first Avengers movie).  Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (or “Cap” for short) is living in Washington, D.C. and works for S.H.I.E.L.D with Nick Fury.  However, things are not always as they seem and Cap’s trust in S.H.I.E.L.D is tested.  When a deadly conspiracy is discovered, Cap and Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) must team up to save the day.

The Hits
As someone with a devotion to Saint Michael the Archangel, I am pleasantly surprised by how much Captain America reminds me of Michael; brave, honorable and standing firmly on the side of truth.  I love Cap’s sense of justice and duty, how he faithfully carries out S.H.I.E.L.D’s order, yet never does so blindly and how he stands his ground in the face of opposition.  He’s not perfect by any means.  He is a good man who seeks what is right and just in all things.  Often times, characters who are essentially pure of heart tend to suffer from being written as bland and uninvesting.  Luckily, a combination of thoughtful writing and Chris Evans’grounded performance make Cap virtuous without artifice, completely human while at the same time being a cut above.   I guess what I’m trying to say is I really love Captain America! 🙂
The Winter Soldier himself is a seriously terrifying villain.  I appreciate that his dialogue is sparse and how he uses the intensity of his gaze to intimidate and strike fear into the hearts of his victims.  His few words and fierce facial expressions make him an unnerving presence when he is on screen.
I really like the idea that [SPOILER TO ANYONE WHO STILL HASN’T WATCHED WINTER SOLDIER] S.H.I.E.L.D has been compromised by Hydra.  It mimics real life in that the people or groups we think are moral and upright sometimes turn out to be the opposite.  Also kudos to the strength of the plot’s intrigue, which is important for a film like this which has many complex elements.

The Misses
Some of the action is hard to see due to rapid editing.  I could see Cap’s action just fine, though at times the shaky cam would give me a headache, but Black Widow’s action sequences in particular are difficult to make out.  Speaking of Natasha (and I apologize in advance to any and all Black Widow fans), but I’ve seen her in four movies now (Avengers, Age of Ultron, Winter Soldier and Civil War) and I still don’t care for her character.  She has a good rapport with the other characters, but by herself, she’s not very interesting to me.
Can we please talk about the first five minutes, where we see Cap jogging with a seemingly random stranger (Sam Wilson) who we later learn is Falcon?  I get that the filmmakers were setting up Falcon, but within the movie’s universe, it just comes off as abrupt that two strangers would suddenly start jogging together for a long period of time.  I kind of wish the opening scene had shown Cap and Sam meeting first and then jogging into the Washington sunrise.

I can see why Captain America: The Winter Soldier is held with high regard among Marvel fans.  Along with the exciting action, well-written intrigue and a solid plot, Captain America himself is an admirable character and a hero you can believe in, just like the mighty Archangel himself.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
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