Maybe my expectations were too high. Which is a bit weird to say because Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a comic book movie, so basically I should have known what I was going to get. And as a comic book movie, it does its job. It gives us lots of really fast and strong heroes who jump out of planes and off buildings, endless bad guys with unlimited bullets who shoot at those heroes for half the movie, and a head bad guy with a mask and metal arm who may not even be the mastermind behind all this mayhem. What it does not give us, and why I was ultimately let down, is any real change to the formula that we have seen from Marvel in its ten (ten!) movies and counting. It’s all the same and it’s getting a little tired.
The problem is, I’m a comic book guy and an action movie guy. I should have enjoyed this movie a lot more than I did. I’m still excited to see Avengers 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. But now I’m a lot less excited. I wonder, am I just going to get a rehash of what I’ve seen before like I did in Captain America 2, a story that really begins at the same place it started without advancing the greater plot I thought was underlying these movies in the Marvel Universe? Before watching this movie I had felt that maybe I should go back and watch the Captain America movies as well as the two Thor movies, but now I feel confident I don’t need to and certainly don’t have any desire to since this movie was so forgettable and so self-contained.
Is this just a middling installment in the Marvel movie juggernaut? Or is it a sign that we’ve used up all the good ideas for now and it’s time to wait for the inevitable reboots of all these characters, since their origins are the only stories from which Hollywood can consistently make decent movies? I guess we’ll have a better idea in just a few months because Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1 and Ant-Man follows shortly after. My gut says making a movie about Ant-Man is overkill at this point, and then I look and see that there are 16 more Marvel-related movies (including Fox and Sony ones) scheduled to come out between now and 2019. That’s way too many. One a year might be too many. The worst part is, I know there are better movies to be made that have been passed over in favour of these big-budget, low-risk, no-art movies. I would like to have seen those and 18 more Marvel movies, plus whatever DC is doing, is a poor trade and a loss for all of us.
Big picture aside, I’m still not satisfied with what I was given here. This movie is a tolerable distraction but leaves you with nothing memorable. It gets five indestructible shields out of ten.