‘Captain America’ returns in the first big Marvel adaptation of this “Superhero Summer,” and where it succeeds is also its downfall.
Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers, the titular hero and “man out of time” struggling to adapt to his decades-long slumber and the post-Avengers world in this often-exciting action sequel.
More espionage thriller than straight comic book actioner, this is a more serious and mature offering from the Marvel Machine and the Russo brothers who directed the film.
World domination by nefarious individuals is pretty standard stuff with hero flix, but the political intrigue and relevance to current political climates makes ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ a unique entry into the comic hero films canon.
Gone is the jingoistic tone and “Aw, shucks” purity of our hero Steve Rogers as the events from ‘The Avengers’ and an adjustment to the modern world have changed the man from the first film. And, that’s part of my criticism of this film.
Thrilling action sequences aside, this new ‘Captain America’ lacks the warmth that made the first film so special.
What works? Redford is charmingly villainous as Alexander Pierce, whose own agenda compromises the very essence of S.H.I.E.L.D. And Sebastian Stan, as ‘The Winter Soldier,’ proves to be a worthy adversary to Captain America with ties to Rogers’ past.
And did I mention some truly incredible action sequences? There are several. What’s so cool is that the Russos have taken some of the standard espionage thriller staples, car chases and fisticuffs, and inserted them into the Marvelverse’s tech-friendly world of gadgets and weapons in a way that is both fresh and exciting.
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is a terrific entry into the post-Avengers (or Phase Two) filmography. Where ‘Iron Man 3’ aimed for and hit the lighter comic tone, and ‘Thor: The Dark World’ succeeded in deepening its own hero’s mythology, ‘Captain’ has given us a paranoid conspiracy thriller where no one should be trusted and duplicity is the order of the day.
It works beautifully. The Head Nerd is just a sucker for a heartfelt hero origin story. Guess I’ll have to stream the original ‘Captain America’ to get my fix.
Flixnerd Rating: ★★★★☆