Movie Review #881
THIS ONE’S A WEAKER STAR IN THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.
By Alexander Diminiano
|Premiered March 13, 2014 (Hollywood, California)|
|Premiered March 17, 2014 (Paris)|
|Released April 4, 2014 (nationwide)|
|Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi|
|Rated PG-13 (contains frequent sci-fi violence)|
Captain America (Chris Evans) wants to retire. He wants to retire so badly that he even moves from New York to Washington, D.C. to live in isolation. That way, he’ll have no need to save the world. Right? Wrong. It’s not very long after he’s retired that he’s entrusted with a hard drive containing classified information. He discovers that a past member of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the CIA-type organization that Cap works for) has become involved in a plan to possibly destroy the world, with aid from a dangerous, but otherwise unknown villain who identifies as the Winter Soldier. With the help of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Cap digs deeper into this conspiracy, in an effort to, you know, save the world.
The plot practices a formula for superhero movie sequels that we’ve seen before in “Spider-Man 2”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Iron Man 3”, and more. But that formula is made complete by the patriotic, politically fueled eye of the story. Granted, a lot happens in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. Patriotism, isolationism, conspiracy, and xenophobia are all presented here. It’s rather difficult not to appreciate a story that refreshes political themes and cold war messages, but at times, these themes seem to overpopulate “The Winter Soldier”. The story becomes, at times, rather complicated.
I’ve complained time and again about movies having more style than substance. I expected to do this yet again for “The Winter Soldier”. The issue is different here. There’s a little too much substance, and at the same time, a little too much style. That’s not to say that I didn’t love the action here. “The Winter Soldier” spends as much as a combined half hour treating its audience to footage of Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, and Samuel L. Jackson kicking ass. And yet I still complain about such scenes, because as exciting as they are, they are sometimes nearly bereft of logic. It’s a glaring instance of brawn over brains. Unless these characters are invulnerable, in which case “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a perfectly logical movie.