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The Movie Review: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”


Friday, April 11th, 2014
Issue 15, Volume 18.
Robert T. Nickerson
Special to the Valley News
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Freedom is something that we all want: the freedom to work, freedom to play and freedom to live life. But now that the NSA has been exposed to having been tracking your social media pages, email, and phone, there has been a split debate over whether we still have personal immunity.

Some say that they don’t mind the extra eyes as long as they are being used to catch potential bad guys. But a lot claim that if we’re being spied all the time, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having private lives? How can we sleep knowing that the government could be looking at you or me as a threat to the country?

I’ve always felt fine with the extra security as I have nothing to hide, but I can understand why others could feel compromised by their computer trails being tracked. They could hit the wrong link and that web history would forever be imprinted on you, maybe not on a computer, but in some possible super computer hidden in a military/government building. It’s only conspiracy theory, but it’s a reasonable theory.

The Marvel studios decided to take a stab at the government surveillance controversy in its latest superhero story, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Like the previous sequels of Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, we see where Steve Rogers’ Captain America (played by Chris Evans) has been after the events of The Avengers. He’s currently residing in Washington D.C. where he works for S.H.I.E.L.D. as he struggles to adapt to a modern society. His latest mission has him, agent Natasha Romanoff /The Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson), and other S.H.I.E.L.D. representatives to save one of their ships from Algerian pirates.

The assignment proves successful, though the Captain finds Romanoff extracting information from a computer. He was not reminded of this objective and he starts to question the purpose of the mission.

Top agent and leader of the avengers Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is ambushed by assailants as led by the mysterious Winter Soldier. Fury’s seamless death leads the Captain to be questioned by senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce (played by Robert Redford). This causes the Captain to become a fugitive target from the agency he swore to help. He escapes from the headquarters to meet with Romanoff. They use information from a USB drive given to the Captain from Fury to lead them to an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D facility that reveals that Hydra, the evil organization from the first Captain America movie is alive within S.H.I.E.L.D., secretly operating within the ranks to take over the world.

When you really look at Captain America compared to the other heroes, all he really does is lead the others that have real super powers. The Captain only has enhanced strength, which made me question whether his films could work on their own.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier crushed those doubts by proving that the Captain just may be the most interesting Avenger of all. He may be a strong fighter, but he’s still scared and out of place within the modern world.

Chris Evans proves again that he is the Captain, patriotic but never over-the-top and conservative, open to letting people making an impression on him. Scarlet Johansson and Samuel Jackson deliver their promised performances with fun and chemistry.

Redford takes a great turn in character that I can’t give away. Unlike the first movie that was a nostalgia trip of WWII movies, here we have more of a modern espionage thriller turned blockbuster with a hint of political commentary.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier took more chances with its scenarios than the previous film, making this one much superior. It also delivers on the action, giving incredible fighting sequences that are more than shield throwing; it’s good old-fashioned blunt fighting and martial arts. It goes with what it knows and finds ways to make them better. Get ready for two amazing sequences that are on par with The Avengers.

I’ll give this five Winter Soldiers out of five. Marvel and Disney continue to prove that they know their comic movies and I’ll be ready to watch the next one, Guardians of the Galaxy, on opening night.

Robert T. Nickerson is a film critic. His work can be seen at mastermindfilmproductions.com.


 

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