Friday, April 4th, 2014 marked the return of America’s super-Boy Scout, Captain America. The Winter Soldier is part of Marvel’s round two of movies. This sequel manages to incorporate many characters and plot-lines from the comics while still remaining relevant to modern day.
There is a noticeable lack of a costumed super-villain in The Winter Soldier. Even the titular Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) does not fit the role of arch-nemesis because little is known about who he is, and less is known about for whom he is working. The ambiguity of the enemy speaks to the modern state of US warfare. Also, the main plot was a clear allegory for the controversy surrounding the NSA. Captain America, and Marvel comics, comes down clearly against the NSA. Despite its 95-year-old protagonist, the movie feels current.
That being said, the movie also keeps many of the comic book characters. Chief among them is the Falcon /Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). For those who don’t know, the Falcon was so popular, that for a while the comic series was known as “Captain America and the Falcon.” Mackie is great, and his character is incorporated well into the plot. It does not feel as if the writers threw him in haphazardly to appease comic book fans.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johanson) also appears in The Winter Soldier. She works well with Captain America (Chris Evans). One of the strengths of these Marvel movies is this potential for crossover, which so far has worked well.
However, the new movie is not quite as good as The First Avenger. One of the most enjoyable things about the first Captain America movie was that it took place in the 1940s. It set Captain America apart from the other Avengers and gave him an identity of his own. Now that he is incorporated into modern society, his movie looks just like the Iron Man movies.
The fight scenes are amazing. The way they shot the fight scenes was confusing at first, but once I got used to it, it was great. It captures the speed of fights. The hand-to-hand, or hand-to-shield, scenes are good, but once the guns come out, it goes straight into comic-book hyperbole. The word to bullet ratio was low, at least 1:100, but probably closer to 1:1000. This was not because of a lack of dialogue, which was good, but because there were so many bullets.
Overall, this movie is well worth watching. Marvel once again strikes the perfect balance between action, comedy, and drama. It is heavy on the action side, but that is fine because it is a superhero movie.
By: Emma Morrison