The 9th movie in the new Marvel franchise, Captain America: The Winter Soldier continues the adventures of Steve Rodgers – the First Avenger. Helmed by TV Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the film details a take-over of SHIELD by its enemies as Captain America must take down Hydra once and for all… without much back-up. Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Toby Jones, and Scarlett Johansson reprise their roles, along with the addition of Robert Redford, Frank Grillo, and Anthony Mackie.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier flourishes during the fighting sequences, particularly in the first 2/3 of the film. While it is difficult to maintain an emotional connection to the characters, as many of them are seemingly invincible, the battle scenes create a level of campy fun that the movie thrives off of. The climactic sequence may have grown a bit lengthy and melodramatic, but the action is undeniably the strongest part of the film.
However, the movie’s pace withers away at times when the filmmakers attempt to create some dimension for Captain America. Not only is Captain America attempting to catch up on new technology and pop culture, but he must deal with new threats and moral dilemmas. While this idea may seem interesting in theory, the film never fully commits to it and it comes across as almost an after-thought.
With a new setting for the superhero, there are plenty of interesting possibilities for a villain, but Captain America: The Winter Soldier chooses to just incarnate Nazi’s again. There is a weak attempt to connect the villain organization to modern times, but for the most part the film just seems to be saying “Nazis bad. America good. Freedom good.” There is also a lack of a strong singular villain in the film. While there are several supporting antagonists throughout, none of them stand out as being particularly threatening on their own, leaving you feeling somewhat unsatisfied.
With all of this said, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is still one of the better Marvel films created in recent years. Its sense of fun is enough to keep you entertained throughout, despite its mediocre script. If you’ve been a fan of the franchise thus far, you’ll probably love this one. If not, you probably won’t hate it as much as Iron Man 3 (2013). 6/10.