FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
EVANS AND JOHANSSON SAVE THE DAY!
I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Captain America: The Winter Solider…
Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) join forces to uncover a conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. while facing a mysterious assassin known as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
Chris Evans suits up once more as the Captain America in the ninth Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster. The wholesome superhero is second nature to Evans by now but the actor does not take his character for granted. Neither do scriptwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who not only appear to have put more thought and effort into their work compared to 2013’s Thor: The Dark World but also allow the First Avenger space for depth and complexity. It is a trademark that has made Captain America one of the more interesting figures in this extensive film franchise, and directors Anthony and Joe Russo treat the source and adapted material respectfully.
Even though Captain America: The Winter Soldier runs for a questionable two hours and sixteen minutes, it is paced relatively well and you don’t really feel the time. This is primarily due to the inclusion of the underrated Scarlett Johansson’s performance as Black Widow. Both actor and character are a marvel here and, despite the absence of her usual sidekick (Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye), the former Soviet spy not only holds her own but often steals the show. So, it is of little surprise that her moments with the equally excellent Evans are the strongest here. However, it must be said that the remarkably aged Hayley Atwell delivers a lovely performance in a touching scene with Evans. Emily VanCamp and screen veteran Robert Redford also deliver notable performances.
There are also a number of interesting characters littered throughout the film, including the introduction of Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and the fun comes from not really knowing who is trustworthy. Of course, the action does not disappoint and, unlike some other sequences in the franchise, never feels over-the-top; Captain America taking on a group of armed men in an elevator is both exciting and exceptionally choreographed.
Aesthetically appealing and quite entertaining without being exceptional, Captain America: The Winter Soldier may not be as good as The First Avenger (2011), but will win favour amongst the franchise’s fans. 4 / 5
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Toby Jones, Maximiliano Hernández, Garry Shandling, Georges St-Pierre, Callan Mulvey, Chin Han, Jenny Agutter, Alan Dale, Bernard White, Danny Pudi, DC Pierson, Gary Sinise [voice], Stan Lee [cameo], Ed Brubaker [cameo], Joe Russo [cameo], Christopher Markus [cameo], Stephen McFeely [cameo], Thomas Kretschmann, Henry Goodman, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Producer: Kevin Feige | Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (based on Captain America by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby) | Music: Henry Jackman | Cinematographer: Trent Opaloch | Editors: Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt
Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!
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