Captain America: The Winter Soldier returns Chris Evans to the big screen in the title role for the first time since The Avengers in 2012.
Television directors Anthony and Joe Russo, best known for their comedic work, take over the director’s chair from Joe Johnston but they did as fine of a job as they could from a screenplay written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, both of which have cameos in the latest film from Marvel Studios.
The Russos used a vérité style for the sequel. It’s as if we are there with Rogers fighting the bad guys. It works, too, because the film is part adventure and thriller. It’s the third act, though, that makes this the Marvel film that it is. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In addition to Evans, the film also stars Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Mackie, Grillo, VanCamp, and Redford are the newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Sam Wilson (The Falcon), Brock Rumlow, Agent 13/Sharon Carter, and Alexander Pierce, respectively.
Set two years after the Battle of New York in the 2012 film, Steve Rogers is quietly living in Washington, D.C., as he continues to readjust to contemporary times. While running with military veteran Sam Wilson, Rogers is soon extracted by Agent Natasha Romanoff to rescue hostages in the Indian Ocean. After two years of missions, Rogers and Romanoff know each other and that really shows in the film.
Soon, SHIELD director Nick Fury comes under attack and tells Rogers to trust nobody after an assassination attempt on his life from a figure that we soon come to know as the Winter Soldier. Rogers soon finds himself in a dangerous web that is threatening to put the world at risk.
Rogers goes on the run with Agent Romanoff as they try to expose the widening conspiracy while fighting combatants at each and every turn.
It is discovered that H.Y.D.R.A. is still alive and well, thanks to SHIELD’s employment of Arnim Zola. His consciousness survives and Marvel fans will enjoy seeing this incarnation with his face on the monitor as it is in the comics. This undercover members of H.Y.D.R.A. will come as a surprise when we least expect it.
To beat the villains, Rogers and Romanoff turn to Sam Wilson, the Falcon, for his help.
It doesn’t end there. After taking a SHIELD agent into custody, Rogers battles the Winter Soldier only to discover that it is his good friend, Bucky Barnes. Barnes was brainwashed by HYDRA after falling off the train in the first film. It isn’t until later when he realizes that he knows Rogers.
As far as new cast members go, I felt that VanCamp was underused as Agent 13 in this movie but it wouldn’t surprise me to see her get more screentime in either one of the next two Avengers films–the next of which is set up with a mid-credits scene. There is a scene at the very end of the credits, too.
With its suspense and political references that are important now more than ever, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a hit in the Marvel canon and will thrill fans for sure.
Tags: Anthony Mackie Anthony Russo Captain America 2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Chris Evans Cobie Smulders Emily VanCamp Entertainment Frank Grillo Hayley Atwell Joe Russo Marvel Marvel Studios Movies Robert Redford Samuel L Jackson Scarlett Johansson Sebastian Stan