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Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" REVIEW


The Review

So, you want a Marvel movie with a star studded cast, a promising story, but in a lazy-written script filled with impractical and out of placed comedy and grand, but dumb action? Well if you want Iron Man in it go check out Regular Man a.k.a. Iron Man 3. But if you're looking for those things in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, then you're looking at the wrong movie. Except for the first part though, this film has a star-studded cast, but we'll get into that latter.

The movie is a plot heavy joyride, filled with conspiracies, conflict within the organization S.H.I.E.L.D. and Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, stands in between the conflict. Steve Rogers, who still is trying to figure out his place in this world, must act on this war even when things get a little more personal on his side. The synopsis is a little complicated to tell, as there are many things that is happening in this film, and you surely don't want to miss any of those. The action in this movie... is PERFECT. It's not just any other superhero movie action sequences, they are more than that. It's like the action sequences is a love child of everything awesome and cool about the fight sequences from the 007 movies and Bourne movies. Its griity, grand, epic and over-the-top and everyone will love it. Just like the very movie itself, it doesn't entirely feel like a superhero flick, it also feels like a political thriller, which in some ways it is. 

As far as cast and acting, PERFECT as well. Chris Evans just out did his own performances from The First Avenger and The Avengers and has made his best performance as Steve Rogers/Captain America yet. When not in action, he's really nice, cool and very well mannered as well (kids, don't put your feet on top of the dash) and very sensitive and dramatic as well, as how one particular character puts it. But when he's on the action, he's ON the action. He is the Anti-Terminator in a star-spangled outfit, he is unstoppable with or without the shield. By the way, that shield, boy it is brutal. Have you played as Captain America in Marvel vs. Capcom games? yep, that kind of brutal. He's still THE star-spangled man with a plan, and he gets better in time (or as the movie progresses). No matter if he's on the field of battle or his on the field of his apartment, he's a very like-able and relate-able character. Because honestly, everyone is a little lost on the inside. Also, there is a lot of Easter eggs here, let's see how many did you catch. 

The other cast members did an excellent job as well. Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, who did a pretty good job as the senior head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Comic book fans and/or even ordinary movie goers might like where this movie is taking his character. Scarlett Johansson is still a fine Black Canary, it doesn't matter if you think someone could pull off the better than her before, what matters is that she owns as Black Widow. The latest addition, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon also did a great job in his role. He's the lesser Captain America, he's a hero, but he's no super soldier, and his bonding with Steve Rogers just makes both characters more human, especially when they both discuss about getting back into the world.  

So far, I only have VERY few gripes about this film. One is that I don't get to hear that score from The First Avenger by Alan Silvestri. Well, we get to hear a small portion of it at the beginning of the film, but it's pretty much understandable why they did a new score for this film because tonal wise, this movie is a little more aggressive and gritty and that cheesy 1940s influenced theme just won't fit. 

Before we move on to my other gripe, here's an aspect of the film that I couldn't find anywhere in it, the comedy. Yes, there is humor but surprisingly no dumb and out of place comedy in it. I am not sure if there is no joke, there is a joke only that it's not funny enough, or it is funny only that I'm just too focused on the bigger picture. I'm just sayin'. 

My other gripe is none other than the Winter Soldier himself. First, his character is a badass, he is the Terminator of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is just impossible to take down this dude. He didn't get you with a grenade launcher, he will just stab you instead. If you get in his way, don't bother running, you're already dead. But because of that, he feels more of a plot device than an actual character. It might be understandable for the kind of situation he's in, but there was very little time to establish him as still a human being with all of this shenanigans going on. Even then, the limited time span made the confrontations between him and Captain America restricted, even if it looks like they're just going to kill each other eventually, it feels like they could do more with some emotional gravitas as they go down the big revelation. It's not like you didn't see it coming anyway, thanks trailers (sarcasm).  

Final Verdict

So let me ask you again, do you still want a Marvel movie with  a promising story, but in a lazy-written script filled with impractical and out of placed comedy and grand, but dumb action? If you still do, then go see Iron Man 3, if you don't then good for you, 'cause now we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not only this movie surpasses its predecessor in every aspect, but also every other Disney/Marvel flick out there. Yes, I think this movie is better than The Avengers, there I said it. Why? Because this movie proves that you don't have to be a superhero ensemble flick to be the better Marvel film. You just got to have a really great source material, add in an original and superb story to it, fill it with the right characters and you will have an action packed superhero/political thriller film with a story and action that will blow your mind. This is definitely the Marvel solo flick that deserves a billion dollar mark and a recognition as one of the best Marvel movies or CBM ever. This is the game changer of MCU Phase 2 and the best of the series as well, let's see Guardians Of The Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron top that. 


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