AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
SYNOPSIS: After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.
REVIEW: Phase two of the Marvel’s cinematic spectacle continues to hit the ground running, much like Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) does in The Winter Soldier. While the action scenes seem much more influenced by “Parkour-style” movements as well as being much more hardcore than the previous release, the events here put the psyche of Captain America to an even harder test: Is he the super being that is expected of him and does his being up to date with modern crime fighting, seem a little too unrealistic? The answers are “no” and “no!” He’s a great balance between what’s wrong with many of the recently released comic-book action figures (i.e. Batman fighting Bane) and what is right about the today’s versions of superhero characters.
As a part of Marvel's ongoing plot, this second release feels much more like Avengers 2 when we take its overall scope into consideration. Without having to tiptoe around actual spoilers, this much is revealed in the trailers: It is obvious that this time the threat comes from within S.H.I.E.L.D. Therefore, it's just logical that the first one-third of this flick serves mostly as a vehicle to showcase SHIELD's might, resources, gadgets and efficiency. And at the same time revealing just how awesome Captain Rogers is at his job, of saving the world. Not surprisingly, he’s also somewhat of a ladies man as well.
Overall, Captain America: The Winter Soldier may be by far the best Marvel release to date. The movie is an action filled joy ride on the level of the first Avengers flick, but only better. What this latest effort does better is its inclusion of an interesting spy plot that is drastically more original than the “end of the world” plots that have been used in past Marvel films such as 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3. However, the million dollar question is: did I like the movie? Let me just put it this way: if one doesn't like the character Captain America, this movie will most likely change descending minds. If one likes spy flicks or action flicks or have ever enjoyed any comic book flick, then one will love it. The only people I can imagine not liking The Winter Soldier are those whom simply do not like comic-book superhero stories at.
To that end, I think it’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of the most recent Batman (Dark knight Rises, 2012) release (going very much against the grain of conventional admiration for the series). And I wasn’t really impressed with the first installment of Captain America part one, but with this latest release, it has pleasantly reaffirmed my passion for the comic-book hero genre. It probably deserves a better rating, but for now I’ll give it four and a half stars out of five for a great combination of interesting storyline, awesome casting and endless action from beginning to end.
By Movi-Man Stan
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