Film Review: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Film RollCaptain America: The Winter Soldier

Directed by Anthony Russo

Distributed by Walt Disney

It’s been three years since 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, and its sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is well worth the long wait.

The Winter Soldier picks up two years after the events of 2012’s The Avengers, as both movies are set in Marvel’s cinematic universe.

The acting is very strong with Chris Evans returning as Steve Rogers/Captain America,  Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon.

The film begins with Rogers befriending Wilson, a war veteran and post traumatic stress disorder counsellor. He’s then summoned to lead Romanoff and a few others on a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D., a government agency.

As the events of the movie progress, secrets and corruption within S.H.I.E.L.D. are revealed and Rogers and Romanoff end up fugitives, battling with Wilson’s help to save not only the 20 million lives at stake, but also to stop the Winter Soldier.

The Winter Soldier is an exceptionally strong movie, not only in the Marvel franchise, but in the whole superhero/action genre. Its pacing is on point, and it balances action and character development perfectly.

The visual elements of the film are well-crafted. The explosions and action scenes aren’t overwhelming or too over the top, which is a problem that often plagues action movies. Every action scene has a purpose in propelling the plot forward, rather than explosions happening just for the sake of explosions.

The writing and pacing were also well done. The plot moved forward at a healthy pace, and characters were developed excellently. The dialogue was realistic, and emotionally poignant.

Rogers, who previously had seemed a little naïve and even bland at times, truly grew and came to grips with the modern world without losing any of the ideals that endeared him to audiences.

Romanoff, who has appeared in other films but has no film of her own, also truly shined as her own character.

This film is one of the franchise’s darker, more serious ones, and many of the events that took place had impacts that changed the whole universe of the franchise. They were handled well but many of their effects are lasting, and it’s interesting to see how they will play out in future films.

The only real flaw is the lack of the Winter Soldier. If they had revealed his identity earlier in the film, there would have been more time for the emotional impact of it to really hit audiences.

Altogether, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an incredibly fulfilling movie to watch, no matter if you’re a casual viewer or a comic book diehard.