In perhaps the most stand alone Marvel film since 2008’s Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier might be the best Marvel film in the Avengers world. Worlds better than the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger, it almost seems like the two films are black and white in the action hero movie universe.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up shortly after where 2012’s The Avengers left off. Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) is struggling to adapt to his modern world surroundings, while S.H.I.E.L.D. Leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) continues to assign both he and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) S.H.I.E.L.D. missions. When a new villain known as the Winter Soldier comes to town, Captain America risks everything to fight for his country and ultimately find himself testing his humanity in the process.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (2006’s You, Me and Dupree) (that is not a typo) added an incredible intensity and fluid storytelling element that its predecessor failed to do. It’s pretty amazing that these television directors came on to a major Marvel film franchise and not only succeeded, but set the bar high for future Marvel films to come.
Chris Evans is the ultimate choice to play Steve Rogers/Captain America. After he starred in the origin film in 2011, then later brought the character back to life in The Avengers, its clear Evans is very comfortable in the role and he certainly has the physicality and good-hearted nature of America’s superhero. His Captain America is the heart of the Avengers team in this particular streak of Marvel films.
And thank you to the screenwriters for allowing more time for the amazing character of Black Widow played by Scar Jo! As much as I liked The Avengers, her character felt wasted in that film, and as the only female superhero, I was dying to see her fleshed out and we get that in Winter Soldier. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow is given a lot to do in this film and Johnasson holds her own against Evans’ headstrong Captain America.
The IMAX 3D conversion does nothing for the film and in fact, it actually hurts it a little bit. After seeing it in 3D, the conversion only darkens the picture and when you have action scenes that are so quickly paced like the ones in Captain America, the 3D is totally unnecessary. Stick to the regular 2D format in this case.
And Avengers fans, make sure to stay all the way through the end credits because we get not one but two end credit scenes and they are both well worth it! Joss Whedon fans holla! The first end credits scene was filmed by The Avengers director himself and previews the sequel coming out next year Avengers: Age of Ultron. The final end credits scene was reportedly the original final scene of the movie, but the directors decided to use it as an end credits scene, so stay around for that one as well.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is every Marvel fans dream come true. Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their roles perfectly, while the Russo Brothers add a whole other level to the Marvel film franchise.