Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a blockbuster with as much brains as it has brawn. In as much as the first Captain America set itself apart from the other Marvel movies with it’s WW2 backdrop, The Winter Soldier manages to integrate itself back into the overall Marvel universe by combining some already established characters with some important new faces and some rip roaring action.
Steve Rogers AKA Captain America (Chris Evans) has managed to build a life for himself and settled into the modern world as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, we soon find out that things are not what they seem within the government agency, and the Security Council’s Alexander Pierce (Redford) has some sinister plans and wants to turn S.H.I.E.L.D. into a highly weaponized agency, keeping a watchful eye over the citizens of the country.
The patriotic Captain feels the government is acting to protect it’s own interests and not that of the people and soon finds himself being hunted down by S.H.I.E.L.D. as a rogue agent, with a mysterious Russian assassin, the Winter Soldier, also on his trail.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier manages, for the most part, to deliver an accomplished thriller in the guise of a superhero movie, and for the better part of it’s running time is more akin to the Bourne movies in it’s tone than something aimed solely at the comic book community. The story is at its strongest while the movie is a sleek and terrifically paced political thriller and while the idea of a big brother style government agency is hardly anything new, it is something that hasn’t really been done all that well in the superhero genre… before now that is.
We’re also treated to some nice backstory for Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury and Johansson’s Black Widow, but when all is said and done it’s Cap’s movie and his combat sequences with the titular assassin, who is every bit his match, prove to be some of the films highlights.
While the second half of the film ups the ante in terms of spectacle and set-pieces, it feels at times like the film loses it’s way and the story gets lost and convoluted amongst all the explosions. That isn’t to say its a disappointment – on the contrary, fans of Marvel’s more action packed fare won’t be disappointed as every penny of the budget is up there on the screen in the exhilarating and entertaining action.
The Russo brothers have come good on their promise to give the audience a polished and fast paced adventure; Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits the ground running and proves there’s still plenty of fight left in the war vet, which is a damn good thing too, because the Age of Ultron is almost upon us!
(Images courtesy IMDb, Collider, Tumblr, Empire)