Tag Archives: Sebastian Stan

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-HD-Wallpaper1Maybe 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.

shield punch

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.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I liked but didn’t love Guardians of the Galaxy. Having complained in the review that I posted yesterday that I found it sometimes hard to follow, I starteed to worry that I was becoming a bit of a wet blanket. In hopes of repairing my image of being no fun at all, I am prepared to go all in in my support of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Captain America

I didn’t even like the first Captain American all that much. In fairness, I suspect I might have nodded off at one point. As far as I can remember, a scrawny Chris Evans gets an injection of something to become supersoldier Chris Evans so he can go overseas and fight with the Allies in World War II. In the sequel, Captain America isn’t just super strong but has been cryogenically frozen so he can fight for SHIELD in Marvel’s version of the present.

It’s this fish out of water story that makes Winter Soldier such an improvement. And it’s not just played for laughs. Sure, there’s the usual confusion over the internet and modern music. But what does the iconic war hero Captain America think of how America fights its wars now? I won’t go so far as to call Winter Soldier The Thinking Man’s Superhero Movie or anything like that but like, Iron Man, it takes just enough from real life to make the world that Cap is trying to save more relatable than usual. In fact, this is probably the best Iron Manless Avengers movie so far.

The first half or so of The Winter Soldier almost feels like a thriller, with the action getting bigger and bigger until it becomes unmistakably Marvel. The action scenes are a step above most of the other movies in the Avengers series, although I did wish that the directors wouldn’t cut away so fast sometimes so we could see what’s going on. Chris Evans, who I thought was so boring in both the first Captain America and in The Avengers, has a lot more to work with this timepulls it Winter Soldieroff. Or maybe I have just started thinking of Evans differently after having seen and loved last year’s Snowpiercer. Anthony Mackie is a great addition as somebody named Falcon. And Samuel L. Jackson, in his sixth appearance as Nick Fury, finally has something to do. Early scenes where he clashes with Captain America over modern warfare are a big part of what makes it feel like something important is happening and it was refreshing to finally start to get an idea of who Fury is.

If you don’t think you’ll like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I didn’t think I would either. Check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.