We live in an era of superhero movies and there is just no escaping that. So here comes another one, the second installment of Captain America - The Winter Soldier.
The first of this Marvel series I thought as really well done. It told us the origins of Captain America, and took us back to WWII. Of course at the end, they brought him into the contemporary world where we find him in this movie. The strength of the original was that it looked, and was, very different from other superhero movies. Here with the strength of a thoughtful story it is pretty interesting. But sadly, now it looks like 25 other superhero movies before it, and 25 more that are still to come.
This is basically the story of Captain America (Chris Evans) today who is teamed up at SHIELD with The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). And they find themselves in an epic battle with a political faction that has infiltrated SHIELD. This is a group that is in pursuit of total world power and has been since the end of WWII. They have come to know that people won't give up their freedom in the world by force, but they will willingly if given blind assurances that they will be protected. So under that guise they set out on a world conquering mission.
Trouble for them is, Captain America and troupe don't like that idea. And they are holding on to "antiquated" values from his era, that people should simply be free, and actually fight for it. As he sets out on his quest to save the world's freedom, he encounters a new and awesome foe, The Winter Soldier, who has been in the rival's possession as long as Captain America has. The Soldier has been an off the radar weapon for 50 years, and now comes face to face with our hero. Who will win?
This is not really a good vs. evil movie as you might think. To a degree it is, but this really makes very loud social commentary pulled right from today's world. Do you really want freedom? Or do you want some government, or some agency promising you freedom without really giving you freedom at all. That plot line alone is riveting, and topical, and a fair question that many people around the world are having a tough time answering these days, so it resonates. It also makes very loud commentary that will go over many heads. They state all of the world's most horrible people that threaten world peace and that need to be eliminated are within a few counties of Washington D.C.
But the weakness of this movie is now the Captain America series now has a new look. And it's the same look as the other superhero movies. And that's a shame. This is loaded with 2 hours of computer generated effects and sets. And the public just can't get enough of countless hand to hand martial arts style fight scenes. And you get plenty of them here. Lots of things blowing up, crashing and catching on fire too. And it has this new look for one reason. It works. People don't care that it looks like the rest. They liked the rest, and now they like this. The formula is proven and true, and makes big money. But you will be way smarter than the movie in most cases here. There are a few twists, but two of the really big questions will be known in your mind, long before the movie thinks you will.
As far as performances are concerned, there really aren't any. This is so action driven, our actors are limited to sparse but effective dialogue that tells the story. But what it really does is kill some time so we can catch our breath for the next long action sequence. A nice cast has been gathered here, including Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson and others. This has also been set up nicely for the series to roll on seamlessly and it will.
Captain America - The Winter Soldier. Solid, and fun for many. Moves nicely and will thrill it's fans.