REVIEW: Captain America – The Winter Soldier (2014)

captainamericathewintersoldier

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2014, Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios

Directors:
Joe Russo
Anthony Russo
Producer:
Kevin Feige
Writers:
Christopher Markus (screenplay)
Stephen McFeely (screenplay)
Joe Simon (original character)
Jack Kirby (original character)
Cinematography:
Trent Opaloch
Editing:
Matthew Schmidt
Jeffrey Ford

Cast:
Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America)
Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)
Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow)
Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce)
Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier)
Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon)
Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill)
FranK Grillo (Brock Rumlow)
Mazimiliano Hernandez (Jasper Sitwell)
Emily VanCamp (Kate/Agent 13)
Toby Jones (Dr. Arnim Zola)
Georges St. Pierre (Georges Batroc)
Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter)

After being frozen for seven decades, Captain America is back and this time, he is about to face an enemy he never imagined ever having to take on.

Steve Rogers has awakened in 2014 after saving the world from destruction during World War II. Working for the Avengers initiative and its founding company of S.H.I.E.L.D., as Captain America, Rogers has joined forces with Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, to stop a hijacking of a ship from a pirate named Batroc. While Cap successfully stops Batroc, Romanoff is revealed to have some pertinent information uploaded onto a flash drive. Rogers learns of a new project involving three satellites to link up and eliminate threats. However, when the data is unable to be decrypted, Nick Fury feels something is amiss and learns he was right when he is ambushed by a band of assassins en route to meet Agent Hill.

That night, Fury hands Rogers the flash drive, a mysterious masked man arrives and puts Fury in the hospital. Rogers is unable to stop him and to make matters worse, a verbal confrontation with senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce makes Rogers a fugitive. With the help of Romanoff, they discover a secret hideout and learn that an old enemy has returned in the form of H.Y.D.R.A., who have now infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. To make matters worse, Steve is horrified to learn that the mysterious masked assassin is someone that Steve would have never imagined, his old best friend Bucky. Will Steve be able to stop both the new H.Y.D.R.A. and the mysterious assassin known as the Winter Soldier?

Captain America is back and in the movie world, sequels usually tend to be inferior to their originals. However, with some exceptions, some sequels can be said to be on the same level or even superior to the original. Here, this 2014 sequel falls in the latter as this is truly a far superior sequel with its connection to the original Avengers film and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Chris Evans once again shines as Steve Rogers, who since awakening in 2014, feels somewhat out of place yet still is loyal to the ones who helped him. Scarlet Johansson, who made her Black Widow debut in Iron Man 3, takes top co-star billing as someone who may know what it is like to feel out of place and feels connected to Steve as a sign of respect and not what one would imagine. Add to the mix new member Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, a former paramilitary trooper who becomes known as Falcon and he is a welcome addition to the mix. It seems like this is a dream team of sorts for this adventure.

The film brings in some shock value in terms of both action and as a matter of fact, the villain. Those who have followed the comics know who the Winter Soldier is and it is great to see Sebastian Stan return to a new capacity but the real shocker comes in the appearance of Hollywood legend Robert Redford. Redford’s role of Alexander Pierce is not only surprising but brings a bit of shock value as well as we learn there might be more to Pierce than we think.

The action is a major step up from the original film. While the World War II-set piece had a lot of grounded style action set for its time, the modern day setting allows a style more akin to using martial arts, tricking, and some amazing knife fighting. The opening action sequence, in which we see Cap face off against one of his most well-known comic rivals, Batroc the Leaper, played by mixed martial arts legend Georges St. Pierre, is just amazing to watch. A confrontation between Cap and some of the S.T.R.I.K.E. members in an elevator is also nicely done. The fisticuffs between Cap and Winter Soldier are also well shot and nicely executed as they rarely suffer from the close-ups and quick cuts and allows the user to actually see what’s being executed.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a major step up from the original in terms of plot and action. Chris Evans and cast do a heck of a job making a sequel that is truly superior with excellent direction by the Russo Brothers.

WFG RATING: A+

DVD/BLU-RAY

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