Robert Redford, as Nick Fury’s friend that is basically a politician for S.H.I.E.L.D., may be the most unlikely actor to co-star in a comic book blockbuster, but “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” demands attention for its very current, political subject: the dangers of waiving rights of privacy in an attempt to combat future dangers. “Winter Soldier” is equally a political statement as it is an action movie.
Still trying to find his place in a modern world, Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans), throws himself into work for S.H.I.E.L.D. but questions Director Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) plans due to his concealment of information. When Fury is attacked right before the planned launch of helicarriers designed to keep the peace, Steve doesn’t know who he can trust. Always cautious around spy Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Steve is forced to accept her help when faced with hidden secrets in S.H.I.E.L.D. Steve recruits outsider Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), a former soldier, to aid him and Natasha as they attempt to stop the helicarrier launch knowing their purpose has been compromised due to the presence of numerous HYDRA moles in S.H.I.E.L.D. All the while, HYDRA has sent an assassin, the unknown, formidable Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), to stop Captain America and Black Widow.
For those that may have missed the previous Captain America film and/or The Avengers film, “Winter Soldier” does remind the audience of previous events through flashbacks, but it might be helpful to check out “Captain America: The First Avenger” to get a fuller understanding of Steve Rogers’ history, specifically, his relationships.
As far as mindless action, “Winter Soldier” packs adrenaline in a rapid, charged pace; it’s a satisfying rush. Filled with explosions and gunfire, it has gadgets and gizmos aplenty, including fancy ball grenades and electrifying buttons. Also, a military tool called Falcon allows Sam to fly, creating another superhero. Besides the plot-point gadgets, though, there is plenty of awesome hand-to-hand combat to balance the special effects heavy action. There is no shortage of strength and punches as Captain America, Falcon, and Black Widow battle the Winter Soldier and HYDRA’s muscle team (including Frank Grillo and Callan Mulvey). Nick Fury gets his moment, too, with a powerful car chase.
“Winter Soldier” provides a much better opportunity to highlight the character of Black Widow. With trust issues galore, why not emphasize the side-changing spy? Her history taunts the audience, and she has about the same amount of fight scenes as the title character. Unfortunately, brother directors Anthony and Joe Russo still feel it is necessary to sell a female action star’s body (if you didn’t already see the awful poster) rather than her talents by using close-ups of her rear.
From traitorous friends to induced amnesia, “Winter Soldier” will not awe anyone with its plot. The story’s direction is obvious from a mile away. The final battle between Captain America and Winter Soldier is sadly laughable for its last minute fight when the world’s safety is down to the wire. It does not measure up the rest of the film’s action, a Hollywood cliché.
Stay through all of the end credits for two bonus scenes.
Rating for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier:” B
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is playing at almost every theatre in Columbus, including in 3D IMAX at AMC Lennox and Easton. For showtimes, click here.