In Cap We Trust: a review of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
- Runtime: 136 minutes
- Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout
– – –
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.
You walk into an ice cream parlor and you see the infinite choices of flavors expanding from vanilla to the most foreign and exotic ice creams from across the globe layered alphabetically on a 20 foot wall. You approach the cash register and ask for 5 different flavors, but are abruptly interrupted by the cashier saying that you are limited to only 1 flavor, and he picks it for you giving you the most disgusting flavor known to the ice cream world. Now picture a country as this ice cream parlor where you don’t have the freedom to choose and you are controlled by a force that limits or even completely cuts off your source of decisions.
But what if a biologically enhanced ice cream is discovered from the Atlantic Ocean, frozen and thawed to taste like any ice cream you want? This would cripple the system, breaking the bonds of restriction to choose any flavors of ice cream. What is this ice cream called? The Cap … sicle (patent pending) and it could probably be the best ice cream flavor that America could ever have.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” turned out to be a very well rounded film; consisting of a complex dynamic plot, characters whose individuality is expressed through their rich backgrounds, musical scores that work towards the telling of the movie, and a conflict that pushes the hero towards the edge. What really propels this film on the topic of storytelling, (and to what I personally enjoyed) is the interaction between the audience and the story. One example of this are the action sequences. Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) is a soldier from the 1940s, making his skill sets parallel to that period of history as you saw in Captain America: The first Avenger. However, what this movie does to Steve is that it modernizes him, equipping him with today’s fighting styles including Martial arts, Krav Maga, Boxing, parkour and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As director Anthony Russo put it, “We thought what would happen if you took a guy who was ten times as strong and the best special ops soldier in the world and put him in today’s world?”
Also on the topic of interaction and storytelling, the movie not only uses choreography to express what is happening, but wants the viewer to ‘feel’ as if he/she were there watching the Cap bash his shield on a Nazi’s face. The way the movie does this was by using a technique called ‘vérité’ where instead of using a stable camera, the producers held the camera to film the sequences, giving it a shaky, first hand, authentic look to the scenes.
The movie’s plot, on the other hand, came to be the standout feature that’s in this movie. The action, the style it was filmed in, and the other elements are merely sprinkles on top of the “ice cream center” of the story. Steve is faced with the internal conflict when he realizes that he is alone in the world, considering that the world he used to know is now gone. Like anyone in this situation, he becomes very skeptical with the people he meets along the way, and even questions his trust for Natasha Romanoff aka Black widow (played by Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (played by Samuel L Jackson), the government he serves, and its ethics of freedom.
This ‘lack of trust’ Steve Rogers seems to have for his government and his friends is what I think brings out the originality of what Captain America is, even from his comic book history: justice, and freedom. Given the fact that he was frozen for 70 years in a block of ice, he did not change though the environment around him did. Now he brings back the American ideology that people seemed to have forgotten over time. So if you, I, and the rest of America are looking for the best ice cream flavor, movie, or ideal society out there, then be sure to try the “Cap-sicle” and watch what probably is the most versatile, creative, and action-packed movie that Marvel has created (so far).
…oh and trust us when we say you should stay through ALL the credits, too.
This review was written by Lance Cruzado, Walt Disney Studios writer for DisneyExaminer.com. All reviews are personal opinions and may not reflect the attitudes of other writers for DisneyExaminer.com unless stated otherwise.
These films have been screened prior to the release date for review purposes and therefore are viewed without charge by The Walt Disney Studios.