Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Of all the properties to get multiple films since Marvel Studios was launched, I think Captain America has been the most consistently impressive. Make no mistake: I've enjoyed many of the other offerings from Marvel. But they've either only had one entry to date (Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy), or there's been some uneven patches (Iron Man 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron). Cap's delivered a winner three times out of three so far.
A big part of these movies' success must be laid at the feet of Chris Evans, as he has consistently owned the role of Steve Rogers. However, one can't overlook the excellent support he's got in each film: Hayley Atwell and Sebastian Stan in the first film; Scarlett Johansson and Anthony Mackie in this one; and a whole bunch of people in the third (in fact, arguably the third film is an ensemble piece, given how many other characters have significant roles).
This second Captain America film shows Steve Rogers slowly adjusting to life in the 21st Century, while continuing to work with international law enforcement agency SHIELD to combat terrorists and other threats to the world's liberty and safety. However, some of SHIELD's own operations are troubling to Rogers. In particular, there's the plan for a trio of what amount to flying battleships, able to stay aloft indefinitely and dominate the globe thanks to a network of satellites providing them with pinpoint accurate bombardment capabilities.
And naturally he's right to be worried: not everyone in SHIELD has benevolent intentions for these new weapons, and if Captain America tries to stop them, well, they'll just have to get him out of the way.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a solid central plot-line, great performances from the whole cast, some nice moments of humour, and plenty of inventive and impressive action sequences. I could find a few things to complain about if I really tried. For instance there's one new character introduced who I didn't think got enough to do in the film. But overall, this is a top-notch Marvel Studios film, and there are few things more entertaining being made these days than a top-notch Marvel Studios film.