Today in our look back at the movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Da'Mon Guy revisits Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a multifaceted, action packed spectacle that is easily the best of Marvel Comics post Avenger films and quite possibly the best movie to come from Marvel Studios to date. It’s an engrossing continuance that re-establishes the dominance Marvel Comics has had in recent years in bringing their characters to the silver screen.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (TWS) is a multi-layered manifestation that is equal parts action, conspiracy theory, and suspense. TWS infuses one of the more recent stories from the comics as subplot to this intriguing extravaganza. It's story heavy and highly interconnected with the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet still maintains it's own identity in the process. Succeeding where Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World failed.
TWS is able to delve right into the main plot and not have to worry about retelling an origin story, which often hampers superhero movies, but at the same time it also offers a good connection to the first film by using a number of aspects and flashbacks that establish continuity to The First Avenger, as well as the other MCU films. The overriding theme is trust, and the issues that society has with itself and person to person. This movie really explores Steve Rodgers struggle to adjust to modern society.
The only detractor from TWS is that initially it is more of an Avengers flick than a Captain America movie. The effects of the Avengers movie are very prevalent, and nearly take too much of the focus off the film. It’s a little slow in its early stages but after it shakes off the Avengers heavy aspects the story begins to finally kick in. After the first hour it gets exponentially better as it ratchets up the intensity and we really get into what this movie is truly about.
The cast of TWS is phenomenal from top to bottom. Everyone is on their “A” game. Chris Evans leads the way; he has a better grasp on, and understanding of, the character, continuing to build on his already impressive depiction of Rodgers. His portrayal of Captain America is moving him into the class of actors who have come to be commonly associated with their hero, such as Christopher Reeve (Superman) and Bill Bixby (Bruce Banner). Evans may not have reached that plateau yet, but isn’t far off. The action of TWS is much better as it really shows the true fighting style of the Star Spangled hero, and has more use of Caps great weapon, the shield. The supporting cast is great. Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow/Romanoff) and Evans have great chemistry. Their witty exchanges and budding friendship is a great change of pace, providing an offset to the seriousness of the film. It gives TWS a grounding feel whilst adding a much needed human element to Captain America, and makes the overall feel of the movie much more realistic. You can see the characters as people and not just for the heroes that they are portraying. Anthony Mackie as The Falcon makes an impressive debut, and a great addition. Robert Redford and Sebastian Stan are both great as well in their respective roles.
When it was released Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the best film by Marvel Studios to date. Indeed, it probably still is. The reasons are simple; it’s the first complete standalone film, the first of Marvel’s films to have a great story that isn’t so heavily influenced by an origin story, or setting up an Avengers movie, or being forced to stay so true to the source material that it has no originality. It may not be the big budget over hyped spectacle that The Avengers was, but it’s a better overall movie, and possibly the best comic book movie since The Dark Knight. It is one of those films that has transcended beyond the label of a “great comic book” movie and is known as simply a great movie.
Da’Mon Guy is a
writer and artist. He’s a graduate of Coppin State
University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively
writing movie reviews since 2011, for a number of publications inc The
Baltimore Afro, Move, Raise Up, and Westside News. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews.
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