Captain America returns to our screens in his third appearance with Chris Evans as the titular hero. This time around with the help of Black Widow, can they fend off and discover who is the menace known only as the winter soldier.
Captain America, for those of you who haven’t seen the original, is Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a young man from New York City who wanted to enlist into the army during World War 2. Unfortunately his weak body almost got him thrown out but he managed to become part of a secret program where upon he was injected with a super serum.
The serum gave him an amazing athletic body with the powers to match. He was given a shield constructed from a rare metal ore known as vibranium. This amazing defensive piece of armour can absorb and reflect energy from various types of weapons and can even take a direct hit from Thor’s Mjolnir.
The first film, Captain America: The First Avenger, started the origin story which led into the tale of Captain America’s attack against the evil Nazi officer known as the Red Skull who had come into possession of the Tesseract. A cube of unlimited power.
Unfortunately, despite defeating the Red Skull, his scientists and army, known as Hydra, Captain America became frozen in the ice and wasn’t discovered until the modern day. He was recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. where he fought alongside the other Avengers against Loki in the hit film, The Avengers.
Captain America:The Winter Soldier opens some two years later with Captain now working as a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative. With Black Widow (AKA Natahsa Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)) and a team of armed men, they launch a stealth attack against a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel that has been captured by Algerian pirates.
During the attack, Steve becomes angry because Natasha is busy backing up the vessels hard drives onto a portable memory stick rather than helping with his plan to rescue the crew who are being held hostage.
Upon their return to the United States, Steve confronts S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top man, agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Fury simply responds that Natasha had a different set of objectives to fulfil and it was none of his business. Fury then takes Steve on a tour of Project Insight which includes a fleet of three brand new helicarriers linked together by satellite. This enables them to eliminate any threat before it happens.
Steve is unhappy believing that people should be considered guilty after the fact and not before. Fury replies that in this modern day world, that is something that they cannot allow to happen.
Fury then tries to access the memory stick from the mission once Steve leaves but finds the data unreadable discovering it contains heavily encrypted Project Insight data. When he finds out who gave the order to encrypt the data, he is surprised to find out it’s himself.
Realising that something is wrong, Fury leaves to meet up with agent Hill when he is attacked by soldiers disguised as policemen. He tries to make his escape until a masked man with a bionic arm launches a magnetic device which attaches itself to Fury’s vehicle and explodes.
Steve is called into the office of Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) a high ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officer. Because Steve withholds information about his meeting with Fury, he is branded a fugitive and all of S.H.I.E.L.D. is now out to get him…
This film marks the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and third film of “Phase Two”.
Chris Evans shines once again as Steve Rogers / Captain America and doesn’t disappoint. He’s the all American hero who just wants to do the right thing, even if that means opposing his superiors.
Scarlett Johansson is back as Natasha Romanoff and she gets to flesh out her character with the most screen time that Black Widow has had so far within the Marvel films. She makes a great partner to Captain America and the two of them end up in some great action set pieces together.
And what action set pieces this film has. Apart from the S.H.I.E.L.D. jets and helicarriers and the explosive finale, this film feels very grounded in reality with little or no CGI in obvious use.
There are a couple of great action sequences involving vehicles and some brutal hand to hand combat including a brilliant fight battle between Captain America and a lift full of S.H.I.E.L.D.s toughest operatives.
I must commend the directors Anthony and Joe Russo for creating a brilliant solid action film and actually allowing us to see that action. In recent years, the action in films has been so tightly edited that is has been almost impossible to see what was actually happening, but not here.
But its not all serious, the film still manages to retain Marvel’s sense of humour with jokes peppered throughout the film. My favourite being a reference to a certain Matthew Broderick film from the 1980’s that gained my biggest laugh. Also don’t forget the cameo from Stan Lee himself.
As expected there’s the usual reference to other characters and situations within the Marvel universe which further add to the films fun.
Finally what would a Marvel film be without it’s stingers, short clips in-between the credits that hint towards further films heading our way. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has two so don’t forget to stay until the very end after the credits to make sure you catch them both.
This is another brilliant film from Marvel which I think easily surpasses last years Thor: The Dark World which although still great left me a little disappointed in some ways.
This review has been purposefully vague as there’s so much to tell you but I really don’t want to let on any more than I have and spoil your first time viewing. Captain America: The Winter Soldier contains a great story, great action and comes highly recommended and I personally can’t wait to see it again.