Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

Just saw the Captain America 2 – Winter Soldier the other day. Man, I heard that this movie is good and I entered the cinema with expectation. Well, I was very satisfied! For most of the Marvel movies that I saw in the last couple of years, except Thor 2 which I couldn’t make it to see in spite of the presence of the beloved Natalie Portman, I love most of them. Certainly, some are better than the others. The first Captain America movie was actually a surprise to me. I thought it would be quite boring giving the background of the movie was back in WWII, it was actually a better one than Thor. This sequel is just amazing!...

The acting by most characters is fine. Robert Redford as a villain is a given, but his presence in most scenes are still commanding. Sam Jackson the Nick Fury is still the Sam Jackson, more than enough for this character. Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow hide her physique in most of the movie, but the bigger part in the movie make her character more interesting and we even root for some romance between her and Captain America. Anyway, she is still eye candy to the viewers. Falcon and Winter Soldier characters are smaller but optimal to screen time, and they were great in action/fight scenes. Chris Evan as Captain America is nice, though his acting is still a bit wooden, but we don’t really expect too much from Captain America. However, his fight scenes are really well, particularly those against Winter Soldier. The car chase and explosions are great as well.

The good thing is that this movie is really fine to be a stand-alone movie for people who are not following the rest of Marvel movies. As the heroes and villains of these movies don’t have too much super-power, it is more ground and realistic than Avengers. Also, the story itself with the spy plot that describe the supposed to be ‘good’ agency - SHIELD into a puppet of the” Nazi” Hydra add a nice depth to the story than would be a vanilla script for simply linking showing actions to actions. I think the subtext of technology of preemptive strikes, government’s seize of personal info to making the so-called ‘New World Order’ really resonate with viewers who are sensitive to the Edward Snowden vs. NSA saga, and other conspiracy theories.

Of course, there are always ‘holes’ that we can spot on in every movie, this one is no different. E.g. why would Black Widow, Falcon and Captain America after being caught, would be put in the same vehicle which would be easily hijacked by a good SHIELD agent easily? How would Black Widow know where Nick Fury’s USB drive be put in the lending machine? How could Black Widow and Captain America would be able to reach Falcon’s home so easy when the whole country are looking for them, etc. Those are minor things that I spot, but they wouldn’t really affect my enjoyment of the movie.

 I don’t know how to rank this movie against other Marvels, but for a sequel, it is definitely one of the few that is better than the first one, even for outside the superhero genre. I would give a B+ easily.

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