Review – “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is Marvel’s best film to date, turning a superhero film into a spy thriller

in Disney, Marvel, Movies, Reviews

“Captain America: The First Avenger” was released 3 years ago in the summer of 2011. At the time, it was the fifth film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The sequel and 9th film in the MCU releases in just a few week.

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk.

Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever- widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series first published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” feels less like a big “dumb” superhero movie and more like a spy film in the vein of “Three Days of the Condor.” Of course it has all the action and heroic moments we come to expect from these kinds of films but Marvel has definitely stepped up their game and taken the genre further than we’ve seen in their other films.

A recent press conference promoting the film featured its primary cast as well as the directors, Anthony and Joe Russo. And of course, the “captain” of the Marvel team, producer Kevin Feige, was there as well.

Highlights from the press conference can be seen in the video below.


Video – Captain America: The Winter Soldier press conference


Without giving away any spoilers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier changes things up dramatically for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige said “the key to making these movies different and unique is to subvert expectations.” He said the big event that happens “was part of the plan for quite a while to mix things up… for the world to be very different for the beginning of Avengers 2.” I’m curious to see how this “event” reverberates throughout the other Marvel properties in the theaters and on TV.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, famous for directing episodes of “Arrested Development” and “Community,” had lofty ambitions. They wanted to do “the best car chase of any Marvel movie, and maybe the best car chase ever.” They definitely achieved the former. The brothers were swinging for the fences in every aspect of this film and it shows. Nothing was phoned in.

Kevin Fiege was asked how much involvement he has in the other Marvel films produced under Fox and Sony referring to the Spiderman films and X-Men films. Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon, was quick to point out that Fiege didn’t have time to work on the Sony and Fox films because he was busy “making better f*cking movies.” I’m inclined to agree with him.

As much as I loved “Captain America: The First Avenger,” it wasn’t perfect. The origin of Cap was beautifully done but the film lost steam toward the end. The sequel on the other hand is close to perfect. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” satisfies on all levels: interesting characters, intriguing plot, and jaw-dropping action scenes. I highly recommend everyone see what many consider to be the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. I know I do. And I’ll be seeing it again on opening day.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opens in theaters on Friday, April 4th, 2014.

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