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Talking Movies: Captain America is back with his best adventure yet


Captain America: The Winter Warrior
In Marvel’s newest film, Captain America is back and at ’em. — image via of Marvel

Captain America returns for an engaging, tense and action-packed thriller of a sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The opening of Marvel’s newest film finds Captain America (Chris Evans) becoming more comfortable with life after his seven-decade stint as a human ice cube. He has an apartment, he’s thinking about asking his neighbor (Emily VanCamp) out on a date and he’s made a new friend—fellow soldier and para-rescue veteran Sam (Anthony Mackie). Meanwhile, he’s growing increasingly uneasy working for espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. with fellow agent Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

His unease only grows when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) shows him Project Insight: A program that will supposedly save billions of lives by employing three new weapon-equipped helicarriers that can track and eliminate security threats preemptively. This doesn’t sit well with the Captain, who begins to question his place and his role at S.H.I.E.L.D., as things like privacy and freedom are increasingly threatened by those whom he once considered ‘the good guys.’

When Nick Fury is attacked by a mysterious masked assassin with a metal arm named Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), the Captain’s unease seems prescient: Even as the Secretary of S.H.I.E.L.D., Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), moves to initiate Project Insight, he finds himself on the run with Black Widow and his friend Sam (equipped with a pair of mechanical wings to become The Falcon), trying to find out the secret of Winter Soldier and to root out enemies within SHIELD itself. Captain America soon finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past — both enemies and friends alike — as he fights to save S.H.I.E.L.D. and prevent the destruction of everything he holds dear.

Marvel continues to set the standard for ‘comic book movies,’ and Captain America is no exception. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo bring their experience in television to the film, and the result is a pulse-pounding, two and a half hour movie that moves at a breakneck pace, never feels slow and keeps the viewer rooted in their seat.

Black Widow
Black Widow’s character continues to develop in Captain America. — image via Marvel

Most notably, the directors take advantage of being free from the constraints of telling an origin story and give the characters room to grow and change- especially Scarlett Johansson’s character, Black Widow. Black Widow has been floating in the background of various Marvel movies dating back to Iron Man 2 (2010). With The Avengers (2012), she took on a more prominent role, and here we see her moving into the lead. While Black Widow’s back story had been hinted at throughout her previous appearances in a frustrating, maddening way that left viewers wanting to know more about her, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, she comes into her own, and we can only hope that it’s a matter of time before she gets the starring role.

It is a concern that some viewers may be lost to the back-stories established in previous Marvel movies; however, the Russo conveniently include a scene where Captain America visits an exhibit on himself at the Smithsonian, filling new viewers in on the events of the first Captain America and integrating it seamlessly into the movie’s theme of self re-discovery.

Overall, if actors with the pedigree of Robert Redford can show up in comic book movies, maybe it’s time to start taking them seriously. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has opened the summer movie season with a bang, and one you won’t want to miss.


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