Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I can’t say too much about this movie, because everything is a spoiler. So, spoiler-free review, but shorter as a consequence.

Verdict: This has to be the best superhero movie I’ve seen since The Avengers. I’d missed going to the theater to watch a superhero movie and actually getting a good one.

But before we get into the fantastic job that was Captain America 2, let’s talk about that awful poster. What’s instantly striking is that, while the rest of it looks professional and serious, Black Widow looks absolutely ridiculous. It completely subverts the atmosphere of the poster, and it isn’t even subtle. How is it possible that anyone took this seriously enough to allow it to see the light of day? Is this really not as obvious or immediately striking to other people?

Borrowed from comicbookresources.com

As for the movie itself, I wasn’t expecting anything this good after seeing Captain America: The First Avenger, only rivaled by The Wolverine for sheer boring. But not only did it surpass the (admittedly not very high) bar set by its predecessor, it beat most of the other recent superhero movies, too.

This was very action-heavy. And in turn, the action was acrobatics-heavy. It had some quiet moments and it had a few funny moments, but it was mostly about the action and driving the plot forward. Never did I feel like it was overreaching, and it was entertaining throughout.

This wasn’t a character heavy work, but it certainly did enough to make me care about everyone’s problems and what they were going through. In some ways, I even appreciated how the characters controlled how much of what they were feeling they let out. They’re all professionals, and they’re in the middle of a crisis. It works that the plot and the action is the main focus, because in this situation, what the characters accomplish is what matters.

I also really like how the action was distributed. Multiple characters had their chance to do something, and while Steve Rogers naturally wins the contest of who sees the most action, there was a little bit more of a team feel to the movie.

This is also the first movie that really felt, to me, like it was part of a larger whole. This is where I’m starting to feel like I’m seeing something close what happens in the comics, when one event impacts a wide range of stories at the same time. Maybe that’s because I’m also watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or maybe it’s because the repercussions of this movie must be felt in other works in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Whatever it is, this is the point where I’m getting a real sense of continuity–not during the Avengers movie, even though it was a culmination of several stories coming together. Here, where I fully expect to see this event echo in the stories Marvel puts to screen from now on.

And also, Iron Man 3 should be taking notes, because this is how you take a character that doesn’t accomplish anything real over the course of the movie–that can’t accomplish it, because of the plot, unlike in Iron Man–and make that character matter anyway, make that character stand for something that needs to be pointed out. Ultimately, there is a purpose for this person other than looking pretty. There’s a reason she’s in the movie, much like there’s a reason the man from Avengers who refused to kneel for Loki was in the movie.

This is a perfect contrast to how Iron Man 3 included a character with no point, who never accomplished anything, and I just couldn’t resist pointing that out. Sorry, rant over.

The Captain America movie was great! I recommend it. Anyone else see it?

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