|Image from: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com|
The latest installment in Marvel’s set of “Phase 2” films, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, finds Steve Rogers struggling to deal with modern society, and even more so finding someone he completely trusts. When S.H.I.E.L.D comes under attack from the mysterious Winter Soldier, Rogers joins forces with Black Widow to stop this new threat; and in doing so discovers an ever-widening conspiracy.
I don’t have a lot of love for the first Captain America film; I’ve only seen it once. I found it too corny and disappointing considering the comparisons to Raiders of The Lost Ark that were made on its release.
So with this in mind it’s a great surprise to tell you that not only did I love The Winter Soldier, but I found it to be Marvel’s most satisfying film to date, Avengers excluded.
Strangely enough, the idea of focusing on Captain America in the modern day as opposed to World War II proves to be a lot more fascinating than I was expecting; the film feels like it has something to say about the current political climate we live in too, dealing with drones and privacy and adding an interesting slant that’s missing from other Marvel films.
In this sense the film plays like a thriller; brimming with paranoia, and at times taking a more restrained approach to the action. The set pieces themselves are huge, well put together and truly nail biting; the scene in an elevator is particularly inspired.
What’s more is that there’s none of the smart-arse humour which has so often irritated me in these films. The comedic moments are actually witty and don’t come across as trying too hard, and whilst there are still a few cringeworthy moments, at no point in the film was I annoyed as I have been before.
Returning cast members, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson put in comfortable performances but it’s Jackson who once again steals the show in his scenery-chewing, shouty way. The addition of Robert Redford is very welcome too and he classes things up considerably.
As the lights went up in the cinema, the film and its post credit sequence was given a massive round of applause by everybody in the screening and I would say deservedly so.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier isn’t a game changer and doesn’t re-invent the wheel in anyway but it is pure popcorn fodder. It’s big, it’s loud, flies along at a nice pace and has enough action to please even the most jaded cinema goer.