Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Ever since they showed the big boys how it was done with 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel Studios has consistently set an impossibly high standard for itself, which it even more impossibly continues to meet.

This creates a situation where it is easy to be blasé about a film that could be considered mind-blowingly good in any other context. This is the case with me and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is very well-made, consistently eye-popping and features many cool ideas. It meets the ridiculous standard set by its movie brethren, but yet doesn’t push the boundaries of the form in the ways it perhaps could’ve. Thor: The Dark World suffered from similar issues – there was nothing wrong with it, yet felt a bit too much like more of the same.

I’m probably being a bit harsh because Captain America: The First Avenger is my absolute favourite of all the Marvel movies, and I was hoping for something special here.

All that said, there is a lot of great stuff in the film, most notably the way super soldier hand-to-hand combat is portrayed – Cap kicks butt here like nobody ever has in a superhero movie before, and it’s a joy to watch. The new characters are fun, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow provides a nice counterpoint to Chris Evans’ titular boy scout.

However, the stated influence of ’70s political thrillers like The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor never translates into anything remotely subtle, and the plot plays out slowly and obviously with no surprises.

As a comics fan who grew up revering Cap’s status in the Marvel Universe, I loved seeing the scenarios in this film play out. As a true believer in the post-Avengers creative expansion of Marvel’s cinematic universe, I wanted a little more.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Movie Times (also in 3D)