Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Star-spangled shield hits the mark



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O Captain! My Captain!

Our star-spangled superhero returns to the big screen in a worthy sequel. Captain Steve Rogers (portrayed by the ever so gorgeous Chris Evans) embarks on an action-packed mission with spandex-clad – which guys will be thankful for – Natasha Romanoff-slash-Black Widow (played by the Scarlett Johansson) after certain events put the activities and influence of S.H.I.E.L.D. into question. It’s the typical we’ve-been-compromised-trust-nobody fiasco.

The fundamental plot structure is as uniform and standard-issued as befitting our military man and hero. There film is devoid of major twists and jaw-dropping moments. Audiences do not leave the cinema remembering any particular scene. But for all its worth, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an entertaining adventure. Its underlying theme of change and time and the film’s plot intelligently incorporate the very real issue of the impacts of social media and technology.

The one-liners are good, the humour is well-timed, and the chemistry between Captain America and Black Widow is great. No doubt, this couple would make hot babies. Emily VanCamp (of Revenge fame) joins the Marvel universe as Sharon Carter, and also has believable chemistry with Captain America that the audience warms up to, even if it is only for a brief moment. Without a doubt, this pairing would produce hot babies too.

Carter’s function in the film is virtually nonexistent, save for the fact that her appearance likely serves as an introduction before the character plays a bigger role in later films. This is highly likely to be the case, with Marvel lumping all of its films into a single universe where everything is connected.

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The familiar vigilante team is rounded up with the return of Samuel L. Jackson as the eye-patch-wearing  Nick Fury, How I Met Your Mother‘s Cobie Smulders reprising the role of agent Maria Hill and Anthony Mackie as the soaring Sam Wilson. (Trivia: Smulders was considered by Joss Whedon for the role of Wonder Woman, before Whedon instead directed The Avengers, in which he cast his potential leading lady as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent).

As expected, the action scenes are Marvel-worthy. But what really stands out is that Captain America’s full utilisation, in recognisable fashion, of his trademark adamantium shield (proudly brought to you by Stark Industries). Captain America fights almost primarily with the shield, tossing it like a boomerang when on the offense, and the audience sees plenty of that in this film. Bravo.

As mentioned earlier, the downside of the film is that it is a straightforward ride. No major twists or memorable moments provide the missing “wow” factor. The film is thoroughly entertaining, but viewers probably would not remember what the movie was about in a few months, à la Thor: The Dark World. Marvel has unmistakeably been able to pull off decent sequels lately, a rare feat in this franchise-heavy industry. But none of Marvel’s sequels have any reason to stay in our heads, and The Winter Soldier is no different.

The film is a regular great-Marvel-sequel-with-not-much-to-marvel film. In short, it is an awesome adventure that you will unfortunately forget.

Rating: 3.5/5 (TALK-o-meter: “Good, not great.”)
talkiewood stars 3.5bt

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