‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Accepts Its Restrictions with Grace – By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
Right now it’s hard to argue against someone making a superhero movie. After all, they are the fad – like 3D (and often times, in 3D). And why shouldn’t they? The masala combination of super-heroic pathos and pop-corn action that don’t exceed PG-13 censor certification is nary a bad thing for business.
So, when things run according to these pre-planned elements in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, does one applaud, criticize or roll’s eye at some of the creative fatigue that’s wiggled into the formula.
As far I am concerned, it depends on the “take” of the execution, which when looking into the restrictions of Marvel Entertainment’s already mapped-out movie planning, can be challenging.
Within this when Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds means to be fetching, it gives this critic little reason to contemplate inanities. After all, after seeing men in sophisticated armory, angry green gamma radiated monsters, mythical gods and invading aliens, seeing one indestructible brainwashed soldier duke it out with a super soldier seems mild.
The brainwashed soldier, by the way, is the guy from the title, and his identity isn’t a secret to anyone who reads Captain America’s comic (or is just good at Googling).
The Winter Soldier, regardless of his star billing along Captain America in the title, is just window dressing. The real plot here is about S.H.I.E.L.D – the espionage agency headed by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) – the terrorist outfit Hydra, and how Steve Rogers (aka Captain America played by Chris Evans) becomes a fugitive of the government when he learns about an intelligent, and quite deadly, piece of weaponry.
He has some friends in the mix too: Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and ex-Pararescueman Sam Wilson (a very charismatic Anthony Mackie), with a brief supporting bit by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). And, for those wise enough to guess his role from the trailer, Winter Soldier also casts Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, a senior S.H.I.E.L.D. leader who is one-fifth part of the World Security Council.
The action in Winter Soldier doesn’t skim on the big bucks, as buildings and cars topple whenever Steve and company are targeted by enemies. The screenplay, by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, is unapologetic about public damage – or the overbearing, custom-fitted espionage subplot. And anyways co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo seem to have a knack for sustaining level-headedness when actors talk.
When they speak – which is one-third of the movie – Steve, Natasha and Sam, are engaging. And they should be too, because we’ve seen them (not counting Mr. Mackie) on-screen too many times in different movies to not care. This would also explain why there’s very little character development in the movie, or why the actor’s aren’t pushing their performances.
The Final Word
Despite little originality in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there’s not much going against it. Being an obligatory sequel in a much bigger thread of Marvel movies, the movie is made with the intention of being likeable, undemanding and acceptable of its place as one small part of a bigger picture.
Released by Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is rated PG-13 featuring usual super-heroics.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo; Produced by Kevin Feige; Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely; Cinematography by Trent Opaloch; Edited by Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt; Music by Henry Jackman.
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson.