A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
With the Marvel Universe churning out film after film, sequel after sequel and more franchises than they know what to do with, it’s no surprise that the follow up to “Captain America: The First Avenger” was nothing particularly special or unique… or was it?
Taking place over 70 years after the first film set in Nazi Germany, “The Winter Soldier”, (now in present day America) seems to kick off where many of the other post-Avengers spin-off films conclude. The Human Tor… I mean, Captain America (Chris Evans) is the same old by product of bonafide American patriotism and seems to be focused solely on his duty to the nation and nothing else, a very ‘American’ attitude to say the least. He faces numerous threats from both foreign and local foes, and to the film’s credit, these villains have plausible, well developed backstories and actually seem to pose an ominous threat.
Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, the supposed ‘weak link’ amongst these superheroes, is gifted the screen presence and focus that allows her to dominate, humiliate and annihilate her opponents in stunning, seamless ‘badassery’. For a powerless human, Black Widow shows once again that she is more than capable of matching it with the most gifted and powerful heroes and villains.
This money-oriented juggernaut that is The Marvel Universe, has struck gold with the incomprehensibly successful franchise of “The Avengers” and its corresponding offshoot films, and it doesn’t look like stopping any time soon (see: “The Avengers” is NOT the 27th Best Film Ever Made).
There are several theories and questions regarding these films’ successes and relevance in modern society. Issues such as the ongoing threat of foreign invasion, national pride and terrorism of all sorts dominate these countless sequels and ‘sub-stories’, and they are completely topical and thus engaging to the mass audience; with Captain America alone, acting as a form of propaganda in many ways.
The film is not as rushed as it would seem by the countless Marvel releases of late; there are elements that show how time and effort have been incorporated heavily to produce a solid and thorough superhero film with potent characters and numerous tiebacks to the nucleus of it all, “The Avengers”. The heavy percussion-based score drives home the combative theme of the film and provides a strong military undertone.
There are fantastically choreographed fight scenes that are very impressive visually and dramatically, plus the Winter Soldier himself and the enigmatic nature clouding over him adds intrigue and suspense to the antagonist.
For a superhero film of this day and age, it’s hard to branch out and be different, especially when the formulaic structure of a typical Marvel film has been proven time and time again. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is yet another typical 120 minute distraction that is basically a preview for the forthcoming “Avengers” sequel. Having said that, it is quite entertaining and provides it’s audience with state of the art special effects to blow them away and keep them wanting more. With nearly all superhero films being more or less the same story, with similar styles, references and characters, it is refreshing to see “The Winter Soldier” delve deeper into issues like corruption and treachery. It must be mentioned though, that this is one of the better superhero films to come out in recent years.