Friday, April 4, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Movie Review

Chris Evans stars in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Duty Calls

Captain America (the always engaging Chris Evans) asks, 'Before we get started... Does anyone want to get out?' And miss all the fun in the Russo brothers' high-octane sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier? No way, Cap. Everyone's favorite WWII hero settles into the 21st century with style, adding yet another medal to the already highly decorated Marvel Studios empire. Let the 2014 movie season begin!

IMDb Plot: Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan.)

What’s Best: You want action? The Winter Soldier has tons of it, beginning with an impressive Indian Ocean hostage rescue aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. "Love Boat." If you remember Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you'll feel right at home. It doesn't stop there, as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) does his best The Getaway impersonation through the streets of DC, in the film's most entertaining sequence. You could build an entire movie around Sam Jackson and his OnStar agent in a tricked-out SUV: I love when Sam asks, 'What is working?' and his car replies, 'Air conditioning is fully operational.' Who doesn't love humor-infused mayhem? Hint, hint: Everybody.

Then there's Scarlett Johansson, who's actually found a way to look hotter. She divvies up her time busting chops, kicking ass, and matchmaking (as if any woman could match ScarJo.) Talk about a welcome addition. Bob Redford adds instant class, as does Anthony Mackie... at least until he dons metal wings towards the end of the movie. Mackie = Good. Falcon = Not so much. Jackson is (and always will be) one bad mother fu**er, and Evans is a joy to watch (literally for most of the ladies at our screening... I heard more than one "Oh my!" during the film's 136 minute runtime.)

What’s Not: What makes a superhero movie super? The villain, and sadly the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) fails to impress as Cap's nemesis. His first appearance (vs. Fury's SUV) is admittedly cool, but the more we see of him... the less I liked him (zero personality.) Put it this way, he's no Red Skull.

Tie-ins to the first film, especially flashbacks of a "still relevant" Toby Jones (really?) and a "made-up" Hayley Atwell seem to miss as well; although some transition is necessary, I guess.

Best Line: There's a noticeable uptick of humor in The Winter Soldier... most of it via Johansson. After describing her first run-in with TWS, she shows off a scar, 'Bye-bye bikinis.' Cap sarcastically replies, 'Yeah, I bet you look terrible in them.' I don't know about you; but I was already hanging on every word out of her mouth. In fact, ScarJo's 'I'm sorry. Did I step on your moment?' is bound to be 'trending' any minute now.

Overall: Old jokes aside ('Hey fellas. Any of you know where the Smithsonian is? I'm here to pick up a fossil' and 'I'm 95, not dead.') Captain America shows no signs of slowing down. TWS is different than The First Avenger, but in a good (more modern) way. I still prefer the original, but the sequel is no less entertaining. Sarcasm replaces charm, and the toys are way cooler. Bring on #3! (FYI: May 6, 2016)