Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chris Evans – Captain America AKA Steve Rogers
Scarlett Johansson – Black Widow AKA Natasha Romanoff
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Anthony Mackie – The Falcon AKA Sam Wilson
Cobie Smulders – Agent Maria Hill
Sebastian Stan – The Winter Soldier AKA Bucky Barnes
Robert Redford – Alexander Pierce
When your lead character is arguably the least interesting member on the Avengers roster and you’re working with a plot straight of ABC’s low budget TV effort Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, it takes a hugely talented team to pull off a film like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but that’s exactly what Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writing duo who penned Captain America: The First Avenger, and directing brothers Anthony and Joe Russo have managed to do here.
A very different film to The First Avenger, which played out as a WWII period piece, The Winter Soldier sees Steve Rogers AKA Captain America (Evans) still trying to adjust to the modern world, with his “mom and apple pie” values in direct conflict with the corrupt modern politics of a global war on terror guided by a government security agency in which things are not at all what they seem bringing him to question his own moral compass as to which side he should really be fighting for.
We soon learn that from within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D the devious Big Brother-esque group H.Y.D.R.A has been growing its ranks and conspiring to commandeer the entire agency of S.H.I.E.L.D for its own nefarious purposes, acting as the puppeteers behind much of the world’s political happenings for generations with the aid of their super human weapon, the titular Winter Soldier, they aim to create chaos in order to have the worlds governments willingly turn over control of their security to them.
Something that fan boys may see as something of a problem (but I personally saw as the films saving grace) was that this didn’t quite feel like it was just Cap’s film, but rather in a strange (but certainly not unwelcome) way served as another team up and a vehicle to emphasise the need for Johansson to headline her own Black Widow standalone franchise (hint; she really, really, really does). For me, the chemistry and witty repertoire between Rogers and Romanoff is much of what makes Cap watchable or often times bearable.
The film does succeed to draw you in with its failings; sacrificed screen time for Rogers always gives way to much more interesting secondary characters, especially Nick Fury and Falcon who here makes his debut, and lengthy action sequences that serve as some of the most irresistible eye candy in Marvel’s films to date.
Overall, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a job to do and it does it well. It entertains you just enough for almost three hours until a very special post credit sequence in which we’re introduced to a certain pair of twins with a line that’ll get any Marvel fans spine tingling.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in cinemas now.