Review: Captain America The Winter Soldier – An Exciting Outing For The Avenger's Dullest Member
Ok, I’ll be completely honest here, the first Captain America film did little but reinforce my opinion that he is by far the dullest member of The Avengers. After all, the Captain’s most distinguished skill is that he’s rather good at extreme frisbee. However, Marvel has really turned it around with The Winter Soldier.
To date it’s been a bit of a journey for the Captain, as in two films he’s gone from weak army reject Steve Rogers, with aspirations no greater than merely serving his country, to a Nazi-fighting super soldier who then enjoys a 70 year deep freeze and seamlessly takes to combating aliens as an Avenger.
The film starts explosively, throwing the audience into a desperate hostage rescue mission abroad a hijacked ship, from which Rogers (Chris Evans) knows something is up. After the fast paced start the Captain links up with S.H.I.E.L.D, at the behest of director Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), and learns of the dictatorial scheme to take SOME extremely preventative crime stopping measures – courtesy of three colossal heli-ships each packed with a huge array of weaponry.
The plot heats up when Fury has a inkling that all is not how it appears, not trusting his boss Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and other members of S.H.I.E.L.D, in addition to Nazi science squad Hydra making a return, Rodgers is left not knowing who he can trust.
Add in to the mix a Soviet assassin who looks like a cross between a gothic Batman of sorts, fused with an unkempt, malnourished Terminator in the form of The Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) to ramp up those good old Cold War tensions, and things get interesting.
However, despite being in the title of the film and an interesting character with a limited back story, The Winter Soldier is never the main threat to the Captain. He instead takes on the role of a comparatively minor irritant to Rogers, in contrast to the ominous implications of corruption within the previously squeaky clean S.H.I.E.L.D.
It is refreshing to see Scarlett Johansson, as Black Widow, take on a more complex role than merely being the Avengers eye candy, flouncing around while Iron Man, The Hulk et all saved the world in 2012’s outing. Bringing in Johansson, along with of Anthony Mackle as ex-military pilot Falcon, to make up for Evans’ distinct lack of oomph was a masterstroke from directors Anthony and Joe Russo
The Winter Soldier functions well as a standalone title that will appeal both to mainstream action fans and Marvel fan boys alike, simultaneously tying in subtle references to other parts of the Avengers franchise, like a half second glimpse of Stark Tower, while setting the scene for next year’s Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron.
Captain America The Winter Soldier is on general release at cinemas across the region