October 23, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Anthony & Joe Russo, 2014
The Russo brothers (who are more known for a variety of comedic television work) add to the installment of Marvel comic book-adapted action films, making this one the 37th - counting all of them going back to a 1944 version of Captain America when Marvel Comics was called Timely Comics. Fortunately for modern-moviegoers, you are treated to seamless big-budget special effects that blend in so well to the scene that you never really raise an eyebrow. Just like the Iron Man films, the technology shown in the films now clearly exceeds that of the real world with things like hologram technology or advanced weaponry and it's just sort of become something that is now embedded in the Marvel franchise and you just accept it because it's all become a part of the franchise. When the elevator descends to the annals of the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters and you see hundreds of advanced machines, you once again accept it because in this universe we have a guy like Tony Stark who can invent lots of amazing things for the military or even a chest repulsor transmitter for his own body. And while a lot of the other Marvel films involve some cross-pollination of the many characters, this one for the most part focuses on Steve Rogers and his Captain America character.

The film examines Captain America's struggles to adapt to the modern society after being frozen for decades. It also explores the patriotic elements associated with the whole Captain America image. Regret, lost love, loyalty, trust, dedication. It's an elaborate film, employing multiple antagonists such as covert-assassin The Winter Soldier, HYDRA front-man Alexander Pierce, as well as the other loyal HYDRA members helping to initiate a genocidal Helicarrier that will wipe out millions of people. The two hour plus running time allows enough time to balance the multiple story threads with the chaotic urban destruction. The Avengers franchise should be quite good for some time as long as the same cast stays committed to their respective roles.

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