Fast-paced, action-packed and intense, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” continues the story of Steve Rogers as he faces new dangers and old threats.
The film opens as any superhero sequel should--Captain America shows off his combat skills taking down bad guys. Chris Evans returns to play the role of the “Star-Spangled Avenger.” The events occur after those of “The Avengers” movie, meaning Rogers has been recognized by the world and the fictional law-enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D. as a hero. Although he is accepting of his role, Captain America deals with moral issues of being a hero while attempting to locate and dispose of an inside threat.
The plot line is predictable and not hard to follow. It differs from the first Captain America movie as Rogers struggles to let go of the 1940’s era that he is from in order to adjust to the modern world.
The action, however, is not lacking. Hand-to-hand combat, car-chases, aerial pursuits and a plethora of advanced military/spy technology that would make Batman jealous, creates an exciting two hours and fifteen minutes.
Where the movie shines is through the reappearance of old characters and the introduction of new ones. Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson works alongside Captain America, bringing muscle and intelligence to their mission. The audience may either enjoy or roll their eyes at the two characters’ playful banter. Although the dialogue builds their relationship, the lines are cheesy. Samuel L. Jackson also returns as Nick Fury, whose character and backstory get explored in the film.
Marvel comics fans will geek-out with the introduction of characters Samuel Wilson, or Falcon, and Sharon Carter, or Agent 13. The most important character addition to the franchise is the Winter Soldier, a Soviet assassin with a bionic arm and the main antagonist of the film.
Other important characters include Alexander Pierce (played by Robert Redford), Brock Rumlow and “the twins.”
Although the variety of characters gives the story depth, those who are not up-to-date or familiar with the Marvel films may be confused with all the name-dropping.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have included a variety of “easter eggs” or references to previous Marvel films, characters and comics. Again, only those who are familiar with the Marvel universe will understand those references and will enjoy the film more because of them.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is an action-driven and cinematically-beautiful production. There is not time to get bored because the pace never slows down. Composer Henry Jackman creates a soundtrack that heightens the emotion of each scene.
The movie closes with loose ends and unresolved problems which may be foreshadowing another Captain America film or preluding the plot line for the next Avengers film, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” coming in 2015.
Even with a predictable plot, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will keep you entertained and engaged from beginning to end. As a part of the intertwining Marvel films, it plays an important part to the Avengers story and is not worth disregarding. Go see it and make sure to sit through the credits.