Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89% (Critics) / 95% (Audience)
Directed By: Anthony & Joe Russo
Written By: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Synopsis: 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. – (Source)
This movie gets major props for instilling some much needed personality into Captain America and The Black Widow because these two were (along with Hawkeye) some of the least compelling characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now Black Widow is incredibly likable and I could really see a movie with her in the lead while Cap is finally more than just a vanilla boy scout. I also enjoyed the chemistry between the existing characters and the new addition to the group in the Falcon. Anthony Mackie fit in perfectly with Evans, Johansson and Jackson.
I also really liked the fight choreography…it was fast paced and dynamic but not so fast that any of the action was missed. The editing of the fight scenes were great too with none of the standard overuse of quick cuts that make the fighting almost impossible to follow like in other films.
And thankfully the mid-credits scene for this movie looked like something that was done with a purpose instead of slapped together in 20 minutes with extra sets and puppets leftover from FARSCAPE like in THOR: THE DARK WORLD. The mid-credits scene in this film was pretty damn cool and makes me excited for the upcoming AVENGERS sequel.
Maybe I missed something but I don’t recall anything being said in this movie as to why Alexander Pierce joined HYDRA…if something was said as I was opening the extremely loud plastic wrapper on my box of Goobers than forgive my tiny rant but as far as I am concerned Pierce had no real motivation for being a villain and as such ended up being quite a crappy one.
I also didn’t really give much of damn about the true identity of The Winter Soldier because none of the flashbacks that were shown made the character stand out as someone I should care about and even going back to his appearance in the first film he was never all that interesting. Couple a pretty bland character with zero personality as a brainwashed automaton and you have this movie being 2 for 2 in the crappy villain department.
The seeming lack of weight when it comes to deaths in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to irk me. If you are a bit player, a nameless face in a crowd or a villain then death is final and not really all that big of a deal. And there was quite a bit of casual death in this film yet these movies are still seen as light, playful fare which is a bit of a headscratcher.
Final Verdict: A fun thrill ride of an action movie that goes a long way towards finally giving personality to some of the less than scintillating members of The Avengers. The action scenes are well shot and the fight choreography is stellar. Sure the plot has some holes in it and the villain is lackluster but the movie as a whole is more than enjoyable.