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article imageReview: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ goes above the call of duty Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Apr 3, 2014 in Entertainment
In ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ Steve Rogers’ struggle to find his place in the modern world is interrupted by the re-emergence of the legendary Soviet super-agent known as Winter Soldier.
The first Marvel movies were mostly expository, introducing the heroes to the uninitiated so when they assembled for The Avengers none of that would be necessary. They generally acted alone in their own epic battle of good vs. evil, packed with action and monumental destruction. Now that the personalities are established and everyone is familiar, their individual vehicles have the ability and leeway to delve deeper into their narratives as well as expand their worlds to include other major players and more complex background stories. As in several of the other comic book pictures, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier Steve Rogers is confronted by ghosts from his past and asked to put sentimentality aside in favour of the future of the world.
With the remaining connections to his past fading away, Steve (Chris Evans) is beginning to lose his connection to the world – and being regarded as a museum artifact isn't helping matters. But if you're only going to have one ambition in life, keeping the world safe isn't a bad one on which to focus. With the world's greatest weapon about to go online, everyone is on high alert. But a hijacking and the appearance of the formidable Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) makes a lot of trigger fingers itchy. When further investigation points to a traitor within S.H.I.E.L.D., caution is thrown to the wind and the global security council plays right into the hands of a terrorist group. Only Captain America, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and newly introduced ally Falcon (Anthony Mackie) can stop the superhuman Soldier and prevent the annihilation of millions.
Most of the supposed surprises in this picture aren't particularly unpredictable, but they're presented so well that knowing they're coming doesn't at all diminish their contributions to the overall narrative. This is an incredibly solid storyline that effortlessly weaves together numerous elements to create a consistently captivating film. While the first movie presented Captain America's origin story, this one reveals the skeletons in its closet. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) plays the most significant role he's had in any of the solo Marvel films, really giving Jackson the opportunity to give the character more depth and infuse him with more of the actor's signature badass attitude. Similarly, Johansson has a more significant part as the Captain's partner and almost friend. The additions of Mackie, Stan and Robert Redford are also excellent choices, fitting right into their roles and the film.
Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans in  Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'
Marvel Entertainment
Everyone gets in on the action for this picture, which has definitely been stepped up for the sequel. A night mission on a large ocean carrier sets the mood with Captain America taking out most of the guards single-handedly in a matter of minutes, displaying his fitness and agility as he runs around the ship targeting bad guys. A spontaneous car chase through the streets of Washington, an unbelievably choreographed fight sequence in an enclosed space, and high-flying manoeuvres generally reserved for the Iron Man films combine to create one of the most thrilling additions to the franchise. In addition, the Captain's parkour (or freerunning) skills make each chase scene that much more impressive and exciting.
The one thing Marvel is sure to instil in each of its films is a sense of humour – two things if you include a cameo by Stan Lee. Steve is still grappling with the modern world so his interactions with the Internet and current fashion are easy sources of comedy. But the jokes are so well built-in to the script that it delivers the laugh or quick smile without any effort or disruption to the flow. At least some of this success can likely be credited to directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the sibling team also tied to the hit TV series, Community.
This is everything fans could want in a Captain America movie without it ever feeling long, recycled or boring. And of course the credits include a setup for the next Avengers film. Conversely, the extra scene at the very end of the reel is informative but anti-climactic.
Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson
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