For those wondering why it has taken so long for this review, it’s simple – I didn’t see it during the summer and just got it on Netflix, and I thought that it was worth reviewing. Expecting a more interesting answer than that? Sorry, can’t help you there. There’s another summer blockbuster that I will also be reviewing with that being the reason that I never saw it when it came out. I’ll give you a hint – it’s the one with the X-Men. But I did finally get around to seeing this movie, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a very good movie. Considering that this is a Captain America film, that is the most surprising thing of all. I make no secret of what a joke I think Captain America is, but this movie was quite a fun ride. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The plot of this film picks up where Avengers leaves off, with Captain Steve Rogers still a fish out of water, trying to find his place in the world. He’s still working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but doesn’t feel the calling the way he used to. He quickly realizes that the world he lives in may not be made for him, but corruption within the clandestine organization leads him to be back in the fight. Especially when a ghostly enemy, called the Winter Soldier, enters the fray. Now, Rogers must team up with Natasha Romanov and a new friend named Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon, to figure it all out.
The first thing to know about this film is that it is a LOT darker than I thought that a film about this character could be. Steve Rogers confronting the fact that the entire life that he knew was gone was actually pretty hard. It wasn’t just literal, either. It was thematic. So much of the values that he had been taught to believe in had changed and he was stuck with the realization that he might not have a place in this world. This film doesn’t shy away from its darkness and it is made better for that.
But that’s just the heavy stuff. The other stuff is great. The action scenes are awesome. As a villain, the Winter Soldier is a boss, and he knows it. The fight choreography with the fights between him and the Captain are just great, with both of them being evenly matched and able to dish it out with the best of them. I could watch this movie just for those fights and be thoroughly entertained.
Every character in the film is fun to watch. The introduction of a character as silly as Falcon could have been a total disaster, but he made a nice addition, with them giving him some background as a soldier who served in the Middle East and became disillusioned with war, trying to find a way to live a normal life. The titular Winter Soldier is a VERY cool bad guy, with his identity being shrouded in mystery until just the right moment. It adds another level of bittersweet to the film when Rogers has to face the reality that he may end up having to kill his oldest friend and last remaining link to his former life. They even manage to give Romanov some more identity. There is also a character from the first movie who comes back in a really cool way.
Of course, as expected, the big action scenes are awesome. I’m not telling anybody anything new there. The third act of the film was freakin’ awesome! It had it all and it never let up.
All-in-all, this was a far better movie than I anticipated. I thought that I was going to have to suffer through a by-the-numbers superhero film, and this film surprised me. Is it a great film? It came closer than a thought, but no. Still, it’s awesome to watch and I hope you all enjoyed it too.
8 out of 10