This ninth installment of the Marvel collection delivers an action-packed, suspense-filled thriller that rivals Stark Industries’ big-screen success in the original ‘Iron Man’ from 2008. The film’s accomplishments result from its combination of staying true to the faith of comic book readers using a diverse cast of characters, as well as, bringing in casual, first-time Avenger audiences with solid acting and twisting plot-lines. Great care was taken to keep the focus of the film on Captain America and those closest to him. This approach really sold the story. Viewers will appreciate the telling of the superhero’s tale on a personal level--which created a new, edgy and exciting Marvel comic book film adventure.
What makes “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” the best action adventure so far in 2014 are its characters and delivery. The budding relationships in Captain America’s personal and professional life get more pronounced with each snappy laugh line and effective espionage operation. At the same time, the evil doers wanting to destroy our freedoms and replace it with a security first doctrine appear to be genuinely bad souls; and the stakes are raised even higher when an epidemic of these decadents appear inside S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. Pleasantly absent from this blockbuster is the heavy-handedness and over-reliance on computer generated imagery (CGI) that directors often employ to hide weak scripts.
Although the Good vs. Evil playbook is used in almost every suspense thriller, it becomes more potent in this film after Captain America--and us viewers--are advised not to trust anyone. Thus, the face of evil becomes ambiguous, confusing, but also much more enjoyable and thrilling. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, must move forward cautiously, suspicious of all while trusting only a few. Chief amongst those to keep one eye on is the always loud and animated Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson returns as the spy chief Nick Fury and arguably gives his best performance to-date in the Marvel series; that is evidenced by Jackson’s ability to generate gasps, laughs and racing pulse rates during a surreal vehicle escape scene inside the Washington D.C. Beltway. Marvel veterans Chris Evans (Captain America) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff) also return. Robert Redford, on the other hand, makes his comic book series film debut as a well-informed senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official.
Watch out ‘Iron Man’ Tony Stark, the Marvel comic book film collection has a refreshing, new look and feel to it! After several stale, or at best, struggling, efforts by The Avengers batch in recent years, this series returns to its old form. For the first time since the Stark Industries’ leader emerged from his Afghan cave in 2008, audiences can enjoy a suspenseful plot with many twists, turns and laughter. The strong bond and easy banter between Tony Stark and his then-personal secretary Pepper Potts, shares a likeness to the current rapport Captain America has with his partner in Winter Soldier. This latest Marvel movie installment runs at a brisk enough pace to introduce superhero, Falcon, to viewers while “passing on the left”. To see where Marvel, and perhaps Falcon, may go in the future, be sure to stay until the final credits roll.