Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

After Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, it was up to Captain America to make another appearance in anticipation of Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 2015). You have to admit it's pretty impressive how fast Walt Disney Studios is churning out these Marvel superhero movies, neatly positioning the Marvel Universe as the third-highest grossing move franchise of all time, trailing only Harry Potter and James Bond, and leaving behind, among others, Tolkien's Middle-earth, Star Wars, and Pirates of the Carribean.. Mickey Mouse sure is serious about getting his cheese.

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is living in Washington, D.C. and doing work for S.H.I.E.L.D. two years after the Battle of new York. During one of his missions, he discovers fellow Avenger Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson) helping herself to some mysterious data, finding out later that the secretive Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson starring as himself with an eye patch) tasked her with that mission. Fed up with all the secrecy, Rogers demands honest answers and transparency. Fury consents, introducing him to Project Insight, a helicarrier system designed to preemptively eliminate possible threats.

The Marvel formula is basically a public secret by now: a hassled hero (Evans), a lesser-known sidekick or two (Johansson and the always-enjoyable Anthony Mackie), massive CGI'd vessels, back-breaking action scenes, and of course a badass villain up to no good in the neighborhood. Pepper all this with some easter eggs, humor, and some great guest performances (Jackson, Robert Redford, and Sebastian Stan), and you have a blockbuster on your hands. The Russo brothers even strayed from the path a little bit by adding a suspenseful Minority Report-type layer to the plot, providing a serious and even dark undertone to their 136-minute Avengers intermezzo.

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