Marvel’s latest entry is the second Captain America film, The Winter Soldier. It stars Chris Evans as Cap, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie as The Falcon, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Robert Redford as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Alexander Pierce.
The synopsis from Marvel.com is as follows:
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in theaters April 4, finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy–the Winter Soldier.
Outside of what’s in the synopsis, it’s hard to do a review without giving too much away, so I will give you an overall feel for the film instead of getting into specifics about the plot. Cap connects with some people who were important to him in his past, while he tries to acclimate himself to the present. There are a lot of action sequences, which are very well done, and some tension-relieving humor. Some things (and people) are not what they seem, making it hard for Cap and Black Widow to know what or whom to trust.
I really liked this film, more than I thought I would, actually, and if I have a critique at all it’s that at a little over 2 1/2 hours it was a tad long, especially since you know you’ll have to sit through the credits as well.
Film previews included the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Spiderman, Maleficent, X-Men, and finished up with the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer we’ve seen. Unfortunately, no new Guardians trailer, which I was really hoping for. Bummer.
And yes, it’s a Marvel film so there are two extra scenes in the credits, one of which concerns events to come in The Avengers: The Age of Ultron and the other is probably setting up the third Captain America. There are no other scenes in the credits, so unless you just dig watching all the names roll by you can exit after those two. If you’re not averse to spoilers, or you’ve already seen the film, Hypable.com has here a list of 16 Easter eggs/mentions of past or future Marvel films and characters. CinemaBlend has an explanation here of what’s going on in the two mid-credit scenes. Beware of spoilers in both of those!
This film has been said to be part action film and part political thriller, which is echoed in the black-and-white very James Bond-ish end credit art. I was half-expecting 007 to show up.
I have to say that Chris Evans, who looks like he was perfectly sculpted and then zapped into life to play Cap, took mixed martial arts lessons for the role, and it has paid off. The first fight scene in the film is my favorite, but there are many, with Scarlett Johannson and Anthony Mackie getting in some good ass-kicking as well. Evans has apparently backed off some from the report that he is planning a retirement from acting; but in any case he has some more Marvel appearances to go before his contract ends.
Here’s the bottom line: if you liked the first Captain America (or virtually any other Marvel film) you’ll like this one. Worth a full-price ticket if you’re already a Marvel fan or if you just like a good action flick. If you’re on the fence I’d say go even if you’re only willing to fork over enough for a matinee. I saw this in 2D, but it also comes in 3D and IMAX 3D flavors.
The second CA: TWS trailer is below: