It’s been 3 years since Captain America had his own stand alone film, but 2 years since we last saw him at full flight action in New York. Still trying to adjust to the modern day lifestyle (he’s getting there) He’s back for another round of thrilling fight sequences with his metal boomerang-like/Frisbee of death. Teaming up with Nick Fury, Black Widow, and newbie the Falcon, Steve Rogers is indirectly signed up for another mission to save the world. The only question is who can he trust?
The First Avenger was more of a WWII flick, being based around the serge of Hydra, Red Skull and a sort of Nazi cult. This time around, The Winter Soldier lies more in the political thriller genre. Captain America is on a mission to find the ins and outs of a corrupted S.H.I.E.L.D and to get to the core of what’s going on with this secretive and shadowy organisation. On the other hand, a new villain has popped out of no where that seems to have a grudge with the Capt. and is determined to destroy each of the targets set for him. This guy goes by the name of The Winter Soldier.
The Winter Soldier is one to enjoy. He’s like the Terminator combined with the T-1000, a very interesting character. He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s everything Steve Rogers is except his determination to kill is outrageous and he won’t stop coming for you. Nothing can get in his way. Adding insult to injury and by injury it’s more like destruction, his bionic arm is unstoppable. This is where one could say that Captain America has met his match. There’s just no one on the planet (at this moment in time) like him.
Unlike the first, Captain America gets a right beating in this one. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo really threw him in the deep end with this more mature feature. What’s great about it is that we get to see the Capt. fight without the shield constantly being there. Even though his shield is awesome yet deadly (and there’s a lot of scenes where it comes in very handy) Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Sebastian Stan plus the stunt men, give us very entertaining, edge of your seat, nail biting hand to hand combat sequences where the punches are felt and the ground shakes when their bodies connect with the ground (or a vehicle). It’s fantastic! They’re quick yet lengthy and will give you the feeling that you want to duck and dodge with them, especially in 3D.
Still charming, with his old school mannerisms, Chris Evans has definitely put his mark on Captain America, the same sort of way Robert Downey Jr did with Iron Man. He may be the dreamy, hunky, blonde-hair-blue-eyed super soldier (his physique and physical fitness is outstanding), but under it all, he’s still the little guy with a huge heart. There’s always that constant reminder that he’s not just the guy with a shield prancing around with stars and stripes. He’s still Steve Rogers from Brooklyn that got beat up in that alley. If you didn’t fall in love with him in The First Avenger, there’s no doubt you will this time around, oh yes.
As a perfect partner-in-crime and “bud”, The Falcon plays a great helping hand. Anthony Mackie was the perfect selection for this very likable character. He’s strong, smart, witty, stealing most of the funny lines and sarcasm is one of the first things to leave his lips. Speaking of sarcasm, Black Widow is awesome. Scarlett Johansson brings the feisty Natasha Romanoff that we all love back to our screens, with more screen time. Her relationship with Rogers is brilliant. At times you may want it to get romantic but really they work better as a brother and sister combo (as Evans and Johansson kind of are). There’s also that little itch that this could be the time to give Widow her own film, possibly. Both the Falcon and Black Widow do work well in harmony with the captain, which makes it even better!
Other than the suit, this film does connect very well with The First Avenger. So it’s perfectly fine to watch The First Avenger, then Avengers Assemble and now The Winter Soldier. Against the other films from phase 1 and 2, this holds its ground, firmly. The story is amazing, the fight scenes are steady, and everything pitched in together has made a brilliant film. The only question raised is, bearing in mind this is the Marvel universe, and all of this happens in Washington D.C, didn’t Tony Stark hear anything about this? Stark Industries plays quite a big part in the plot, so… where’s Tony? The most you get out of it is a glimpse of the Stark Tower.
To end this awesome film off, the post credit scene is definitely one to look out for (and the other post credit scene literally after ALL of the credits) setting up the fire for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Captain America is easily one of the most intriguing characters from the Avengers, but if you weren’t sold from The First Avenger, I kid you not; this will make you want to be his sidekick.
4.5 Stars out of 5