In the past I've been accused of being too Pro-DC. Whilst I readily admit that this is true, let's get something straight... it doesn't mean that I’m Anti-Marvel.
Do I believe that their films are inferior to those of rival comic house? Yes, but I did enjoy some of them nonetheless. I was a big fan and still am of the X-Men franchise. My faith was restored in one of my childhood faves Spiderman with Marc Webb’s iteration. Ironman 1 and 2 were good, 3 not so much. The Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton, was amazing and although I was skeptical about the 2nd change of actor as Bruce Banner, I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal in the Avengers. And of course, thank you Joss Whedon for the Avengers.
On that note, anyone who has seen [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973) could really count themselves as a fan of the character has a lot to be thankful for to the creators of this film. Capturing exactly the way the Captain’s adventures should be chronicled. Anyone who has not seen this film need not turn away since there aren't a lot of spoilers in this article.
After the travesty that was the first film, this instalment takes leaps and bounds into becoming one of Marvel’s best films to date. But then again, it would take an extra kind of incompetent to be any worse than the first of the series.
Chris Evans does a great job as Marvel’s father of heroes, Captain Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America. But let’s be fair, he was never really bad at the role in the first place, he was just given a really crap plot line, script, supporting actors (sans Sebastian Stan), etc.. you name it. It was bad!
Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter does a better job at playing **[SPOILER]** an Alzheimer’s stricken vet than she ever did as someone her own age. In fact I actually had to double guess whether that was her under all that make up or if they actually hired a 95ish year old actor.
Whilst I never was a big fan of Scarlett Johansson and her portrayal of Black Widow. I was surprised as to how I was actually warming up to her character as well as her back and forth banter with both Capt and Nick Fury.
Speaking of, I feel like anything that Samuel L. Jackson does now is very Nick Fury-esqe. As in, he can do anything like sneeze, and it would be in character. So I guess he did a good job in doing whatever he wanted?! And then there is the brilliance that is Robert Redford. Great job Marvel getting this guy on board. For one, what a step up it was already having his name on the billing, that people might actually think this is a film that matters, and then step up for that performance as S.H.I.E.L.D. senior agent Alexander Pierce, and then step up for that story line. Winning!
Brief appearances from Emily Thorne... I mean Vancamp and Colbie Smulders, as the new Agent Carter and Agent Hill respectively were, to some extent, good enough. They were, however, too short for my liking.
The clear winner here is Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier. This film gives you just enough to be interested in where they are taking that story and leave you wanting more. In that vein, Stan gives enough villainy to make you want a showdown between the two soldiers but enough heart to make you feel a tinge of compassion. Great setup to redemption, especially if the rumours are true and they are pushing forward with Bucky as the new Captain America post 2017.
Oh yeah. There was that Falcon guy aye! Did he do much in the film... meh, not really!
Overall this film seemed more like a spy/secret agent film than a superhero film which is a welcome change to the overwhelming amount of films done in the same style in this genre. Much like Man of Steel and its’ change in tone to previous films in the franchise, [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973) was a breath of fresh air to Marvel’s cinematic line-up. Also, the conflict covert enough that it need not invoke a few of those "where were the other superheroes in this universe and why didn't they help" comments, yet at the same time big enough to deem worthy of cinematic proportions.
VERDICT – 4 out of 5 stars.
Pretty generous for a non-DC film huh!