Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Robert Redford, Cobie Smulders, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, and George St-Pierre.
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.
Ever since Iron Man kicked off Marvel’s Cinematic Universe back in 2008, there has been one phrase that crops up again and again from press notes, critics and fans – “this is the best Marvel movie yet”. So it seems quite cliche and pointless to highlight in this opening paragraph, but Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the best solo movie in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe yet.
And while the movie doesn’t offer up anything truly new for the genre, it does have a drastic change of pace from what we’re used to seeing. Not only is it refreshing, but it shows us what makes the idea of the shared Universe so enthralling.
And while the movie is plot driven and is mostly about the espionage part of its story, it’s the action scenes where the movie really catches fire. Everyone gets their moment to shine and Anthony and Joe Russo direct with such flair that every time an action beat ends you’ll want to leap out your seat and pump your fist. Just like the film they’re in, the action in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (for the most part) is unlike any other Marvel movie. The Russo Brothers do tend to rely on Bourne style shakey-cam to hide the breaks in their choreography and it can get a touch confusing at times, but they have crafted some spectacular set pieces that serve as good buffers between story beats.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a movie where everything gels. It’s not perfect and it isn’t a game changer like The Dark Knight for example, but it really stands above the movies that have come before it. The performances are great, the story is good and the action is pulse-racingly brilliant. It also might be the most important movie within the Marvel Universe as it is bound to play a huge part in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So, while it may feel like a cliche to give it the label, Captain America: The Winter Soldier really is the best solo Marvel movie to date.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★