Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the latest film from Marvel Studios. With so many installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our expectations have reached a certain level. While many have loved those movies, there seems to always be some complaints or criticisms over the plot (or a lack of certain elements) and too much humor. This movie goes above and beyond what we would expect or want in the next installment.
A minor thing you may have noticed within each movie is they don’t pick up immediately from where the previous movie left off. Time has passed since the first Captain America movie as well as The Avengers. Steve Rogers is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and there’s a great sense of him simply throwing himself into his new role. As a man out of time, his focus is on fighting the good fight. Despite Black Widow’s encouragement for Steve to try to go out and unwind, being Captain America is all he really knows and wants.
That being said, we see much more to these characters than the simple superhero persona. A huge element of the movie is an issue of trust. We know that with government agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D., there is always something going on. Despite being isolated in his role of a protector and hero, we do get to see who Steve Rogers is. The same goes for Black Widow as well as Falcon, who is introduced in this movie. This aspect makes the characters feel more alive instead of having a big action movie with less substance. The returning characters here have been allowed to grow since we've last seen them.
With a callback to 70s spy thrillers, directors Joe and Anthony Russo give us a movie that doesn’t really feel like just another Marvel Studios movie. The movie is very driven by the plot with nice twists and turns. Some of those twists will be obvious to readers of the comics. But there will still be enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.
If you’re looking for action, you will find plenty here. It may not be the destruction of New York City at the hands of the Chitauri and Loki, but you will be amazed at what the filmmakers accomplished. There is so much to see in a wide variety of fight scenes. We are talking about Captain America. He’s a guy with the Super Soldier Serum running through his veins. You should be happy to know that we’ll get to see what makes Cap so super along with Black Widow, Falcon, and even Nick Fury.
Of course Winter Soldier gives plenty of conflict for the characters. Too often the villains in the Marvel Studios films end up being a little two dimensional. We know the struggle that Winter Soldier will have to face along with the ferocity he’s capable of. You can also assume he will not be the only antagonist our heroes will have to deal with.
As I mentioned, this isn’t just another Marvel Studios film. It’s a movie that will have a big impact on the landscape of the Cinematic Universe. Don’t expect a simple campy Cap movie struggling to find his way in modern times. This is heavy at times with some rich character development that makes you immediately crave more. There is some humor but it’s not as extreme as in some of the other movies.
Thinking back to the first movie, I liked this movie so much more than the first, which I did enjoy. How often can it be said that a sequel is better than the first? This movie simply feels bigger and deeper with more going on. Marvel Studios is building up their reputation with each movie they release. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I now have a favorite Marvel Studios movie. This is the movie that makes me happy and proud that I've been a Cap fan for so long. I cannot wait to see it again.