The first Captain America was a hit but not as appreciated in my opinion as much as it should be when placed against the other Marvel movies. It was unashamedly pro-American and showed a deeper love for our soldiers than many movies before or after it. So when I saw the first trailer for Winter Soldier and heard some of the lines coming out of Captain America’s mouth, I was very hesitant. I was hesitant because the extremely talented Joss Whedon tried to put in liberal talking points in The Avengers in the form of a monologue coming from the Captain. It looked like, to me at least, that maybe similar liberal nonsense found its way into this new movie. That comes from years of having movies preach to us stupid diatribes full of so much fantasy that Peter Jackson would be proud. Then I read the early reviews, that the movie mocks Obama and I got excited again. Not so much that it mocked our girlie president but that for once I didn’t have to get preached to some moronic stance that made fun of me and half of America. Knowing that, how did the movie end up?
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is still struggling to find how he fits into a world he barely knows. To keep himself preoccupied, he dives into his new role as one of the head tactical soldiers for S.H.I.E.L.D. and continues to do numerous missions. He finds himself on a boat for one particular mission and finds out that his partner, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has been given other orders that he is unaware of. This rubs him the wrong way and as he begins to know more and more about the organization he works for, he becomes unsure of his role in it. A new enemy, once thought just a myth, known as the Winter Soldier begins to thwart S.H.I.E.L.D. at almost every turn. The Captain, Widow and a volunteer to the team, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), try to figure out who the mystery villain is while protecting the organization they are not sure they trust anymore.
Wow, what an incredible movie that is two plus hours that flies by with practically no down time or off beat scenes. Chris Evans continues to show that he was a brilliant choice for the role, continuing to bring depth, innocence and bravery to a role that means a lot to comic book fans. Johansson, in one of the only roles she hasn’t bugged me in, keeps up with Evans in not only the comedy but the action as well. Robert Redford may be a hypocritical lib, but man can he command a scene. He’s smooth confident and a constant welcome presence in this universe. While I thought Sam Jackson as Nick Fury initially seemed great, his presence has become stale and they need to bring something to the character that seems fresh. They tried it here and it worked a little, but not enough. Mackie was a great addition and keeps up with Evans and Johansson. Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, while great as Bucky, is nowhere near as menacing as the Winter Soldier as I would have liked. He was too fresh faced and not scary enough, especially when he doesn’t have the mask on. The action is top notch, and some of the best edited action in years. The world is back to feeling accessible again after the so-so Thor 2. Everything from the production value to the story is pulled together extremely well that even the little missteps are forgiven because the surrounding awesomeness is just great.
The story is not only one that is overdue from Hollywood, but is also gripping and plays up the promised political thriller given by the directors last year almost masterfully. There’s tension throughout the film, even though you can guess what the outcome will be from the start. Once again, Captain America is given a hero’s heart and is willing to sacrifice all for the protection of not only his country but even his enemies. The basic story of information overload and the ease of someone to snatch that info, secret, private or public and use it against people is scary enough in the Marvel world let alone what is going on in the real world. A speech the Captain gives about what true sacrifice is about near the ending of the movie is not only touching but inspiring. Thank God there are real heroes like this in the world today and The Winter Soldier pays tribute to those people, America’s military, once again throughout the film. The themes of hope, courage, manliness and sacrifice are very powerful, even today and this film gives them all their due. The film grabs you from the very beginning and only let’s go when the credits roll. There’s well paced tension that pays off in the end and gives the audience heroes to cheer for.
This movie is an enjoyable two plus hours that has hints of current relevancy to what is going on around us. What is happening in this movie and in our time, you know, the things liberals said George W. Bush was doing, is actually being done under the Obama administration. How refreshing that Hollywood finally had the courage to say so in a movie. It must be pointed out when it happens, because it is so rare and I hope that the money that flows into their coffers encourages more.
3 and ½ stars out of 4