Captain America : Winter Soldier (2014) Movie Review: Action Less, Sensible Fun

Language : English | Running Time : 136 Minutes | Directors : Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-PosterThe first Captain America movie pit Steve Rodgers(Chris Evans) against the power hungry Nazi group HYDRA and a serum transformed him from a 45kg “kid” into a man whose alter ego jumped, ran and punched with more power than known to man. He came to be known the world’s greatest soldier. The second one puts him in a world he is not yet fully aware of, he is still learning about the internet and his first kiss after 1945 is one while undercover. First off, this is the first Marvel comics film which places its superhero square in the present world. Even though we have Iron Man and Hulk among the Avengers who are working their way in this age, they are not placed in a position where political grappling is of issue. With both the Iron Man and Hulk, the fight is within themselves or their enterprise and for themselves more than the world. With Captain America, the fight is for the people, for the country and to salvage mankind. He’s the Cap’ and Chris Evans is the kind of Cap who is a throwback to everything HYDRA wanted for itself.

The Russos – Anthony and Joe with their writers – Christopher Markus,Stephen McFeely keep Steve Rodgers and Captain America not only by placing him in today’s world by embroiling him in today’s politics; the Wikileaks, the American military industry but also by allowing Steve Rodgers have lists of pop culture he has to catch up on. The social media control is evident when Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) mentions he wants to know even if someone tweets about Captain America. The directors and the writers allow for characters to grow in this environment and so we have Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, the man controlling the security of America, representing it in the World Council, perfect an oily controller than just be a gimmick who orders the attacks. The writers have put up a world where the basic question of every military operation is brought out in the open. Is it fear or freedom that we are offering people? With this premise in mind, they’ve drawn a commendable paranoia thriller for a superhero movie.

The movie starts picking pace once Nick Fury(Samuel L. Jackson) is embroiled in a wonderfully filmed car chase, the best part coming when we have The Winter Soldier make his first appearance. Once he is found in the wrong end of things, we have a thriller ensue and here Captain Rodgers starts working to find out the reasons behind the attack on Fury. And he sets out with the words “Don’t trust anyone” ringing in his ears. The movie introduces us to Falcon, the winged wingman of Captain America. Sam(Anthony Mackie), like Steve Rodgers has lost his wingman and has dropped out of the army seeing things go nowhere in the industry driven machine. He gets back in to help set things right. Supporting them is Natasha Romanoff(Scarlett Johansson) a.k.a Black Widow. The three find themselves in a fight to save the world with Winter Soldier fast behind their back, preparing road blocks at every turn.

Black-Widow-and-Captain-AmericaFor action, this is the weakest superhero film. Even the James Mangold Wolverine reboot had better action montages. Apart from the Nick Fury car chase,which in itself is not entirely brilliant but just a few parts when the scenes are more seen through Fury’s eyes, there’s no real standout action sequence to keep the pulse racing. If it was the action that you are here for, this is not the film. The Avengers can be watched anytime for that. Here, it is the people who take it up to save the world, who can sacrifice for the greater good who the picture is made of and among all the superheroes, only Captain America can come off with it because of the discipline and general “gentleman” persona that he is made up of.

Chris Evans is again very sound as Steve Rodgers. There’s no shy, unhealthy patriot kid here to make us feel for him but his persona and catching up with life are enough to make us like him. In the age of psychotic or megalomaniac superheroes, he is a welcome change and Chris Evans understands that change and plays him with a charm reserved for the different. I never thought it would be possible to make Scarlett Johansson look anything less than astonishingly beautiful on screen. Initially, she is her usual wistful self – happy, hot and secretive. As she gets embroiled in the action, she becomes vulnerable, uncomfortable and tired. And every time, the camera seems to have found the two angles where she looks vulnerable, uncomfortable and tired.  It is understandable considering what her character is going through but it came as a real surprise to see her look so tired with just the lighting and the camera in place. There’s some really good camera work here. Trent Opaloch‘s camera captures the actors in angles that bring their characters out.The most fun is reserved for Anthony Mackie. He walks away from this having us in his side.

Like most 3-D movies, we have another movie that really doesn’t make use of the extra dimension but reduces good images to darker treatment, nullifying any possible chance at beauty. Sometimes, the edges of the screen are indecipherable. Even Fury’s encryption is more easily broken.

Captain America : Winter Soldier is a movie that is more about the people than the action and in that way it is anti-superhero movie. If it is the action that’s drawing you, then this isn’t the movie. If it isn’t, then it ranks among the better superhero movies that Marvel has come out with. I liked the way it has developed Black Widow, Nick Fury and Captain Steve Rodgers with this movie. Before the next Avenger, this is a very good development. And it has Marvin Gaye‘s “Trouble Man” to offer.

Advertisements

One thought on “Captain America : Winter Soldier (2014) Movie Review: Action Less, Sensible Fun

Leave a Reply to Aditya Savnal Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.