Setting out to prove you’re different from, but just as worthy as, your peers can be a challenge for many people, even if you’re a praised and beloved super-hero who’s admired for protecting and saving innocent people around the world. Trying to figure out where you fit into society as you seemingly have worn out your usefulness is one of the more note-worthy conflicts in the new action sci-fi adventure film, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ which opens tomorrow in Long Island theaters. Directed by new series helmers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, the sequel to 2011’s ‘Captain America: The First Adventure’ is the rare follow-up film that not only proves it’s just as worthy as its peers, but also smartly outshines its predecessor, with the help of its intelligent character arcs and captivating stunts.
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ follows the title superhero (Chris Evans) as he’s quietly living under his pseudo-name, Steve Rogers, as he struggles to cope to modern-day society in Washington, D.C. As Steve is trying to adjust to his new life, after being frozen for almost 70 years since the ending of War World II, which leads society to believe he’s no longer alive, S.H.I.E.L.D. head Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson), believes something is amiss with the agency’s latest project. A trio of helicarriers has been created to kill criminals even before they commit their crime.
Since Nick has doubts about the project, he has become a hunted man within the agency, which leaves Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), one of the directors of S.H.I.E.L.D., to set out to find who is targeting his old friend. This leaves Captain America to examine the helicarries with only a few trustworthy friends. Among those willing to help him are former KGB agent Natasha Romanoff, whose work under the guise of the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Steve’s new neighbor, Sam Wilson, who has adapted the identity of the Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Captain America, Black Widow and the Falcon are determined to stop the helicarries, they must also contend with a new enemy-the film’s second title character, the Winter Soldier (Sebestian Stan), a Soviet supersoldier who comes from Steve’s past.
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the screenwriters of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’ who returned for the new sequel, rightfully and powerfully modernized the physical and emotional struggles the title superhero faces as he insightfully contemplates where he fits into contemporary society. While in the original film Steve somewhat blandly tries to cope with his fellow officers and villains, such as Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), who tried to suppress his will to live and fight, the intensely gripping follow-up truly explores the rising bravado in his confidence he feels in his abilities to protect lives around the world.
Evans passionately infused Markus and McFeely’s stunning and ever-evolving title super hero with a poise and self-assuredness in the sequel that wasn’t always present in the first film. Whether Captain America is tracking down the reasons why Nick doubts the usefulness of the helicarries, or trying to determine how Alexander is influencing the project, he isn’t afraid to risk his own life to protect innocent people, even if it means fighting to the death on his own, or asking for the help from his cohorts, who are just as honestly striving for security and safety in the world.
While Evans brilliantly portrayed Captain America and Steve as being morally-driven to rid the world of evil, whether they’re corrupt agents in S.H.I.E.L.D., or soldiers programed to fight to the death, the story unfortunately lacked the satisfying explanation of who the Winter Soldier really is, or what horrific acts he has planned for the superhero and the world. Considering the Soviet soldier has a close personal past with Steve, and is determined to rid the world of Captain America’s influence, the story should have more fully accentuated their rival with each other, and how the two plan to neutralize the other’s plans.
The action sci-fi adventure sequel did feature extreme, visually stunning and intense stunts that powerfully emphasized the courage Captain America, Black Widow and the Falcon had in hunting down the Winter Soldier and the other villains who threatened the safety and future of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the world. From jumping off building and bridges in death-defying shoot-out sequences throughout the streets of the nation’s capital as Captain America and his allies battle the Winter Soldier and his army, to Nick daringly leading the enemies of S.H.I.E.L.D. in dangerously bold car chases, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe smartly and cleverly utilized the emotional tensions between the protagonists and antagonists to create striking stunts.
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is a smart, intriguing and powerful sequel that captivatingly surpassed its predecessor, in terms of its characters struggling with their inner peace, effectiveness and worthiness, as well as its impressive stunts. Evans powerfully infused Markus and McFeely’s second depiction of Captain America with finesse and dignity. As he self-deprecatingly questions whether he’s truly helping the world rid of evil while he fights his enemies, the action adventure film utilized intriguing stunts to prove how resourceful and needed the Avengers really are. The sequel isn’t just an action film filled with impressive visual effects; it also powerfully highlights that no matter how much self-doubt a person faces, if they truly believe in their cause and want to help other people, the more of a powerful impact they’ll leave in shaping the world’s future.