With a compelling story, entertaining character interplay, and engaging super powered action scenes, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is so far the best addition to the Marvel Franchise next to the Avengers.

Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes with the same enjoyable ingredients that elevated the Avengers – entertaining character dynamics, engaging superhero action and a well executed script that lays the seed for future sequels without taking its own narrative for granted.

The sequel gets the post 911 treatment as Steve Rogers faces the political realities of maintaining national security. This results to a more compelling and topical story than the first movie. This also adds some depth to the straight-laced Captain America. He is still adjusting to modern life and must face the fact that today, “fighting the good fight” is now “eliminating all potential and imminent threats by any means necessary”.

The film doesn’t get too drab as banters keep it light when needed. The new players – Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan – aren’t fully developed (yet) but adds something new to the film. Nick Fury gets something more to do other than barking orders and looking bad ass. For the first time in the longest time of heroine’s in film history, Natasha is becoming a well developed female character and stood out. Chris Evans has more material to work with and delivers.

Finally, he puts Captain America’s super soldier powers to good use other than knocking down easy targets. The Winter Soldier adds some emotional element and a good challenge. There’s plenty to enjoy here from good old fashion hand to hand combat to dogfights other than the complementary big scale destructive prowess of CGI.

When debris finally stops falling this sequel wraps up like any typical blockbuster. It’s easily digestible narrative of human fallibility is predictable. You can sense when the obvious exposition is going to be dumped. But at least the sequel makes an effort to be more nuanced.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier manages to strike a balanced mix of popcorn action, a grounded story and engaging characters. It can stand on its own while being another introduction to another installment.

My Rating: 8/10

Movie Art Poster by Paolo Rivera

Advertisements