Captain America: The Winter Solider is a film that I have been waiting to see for quite a long time, since it was first announced that there was to be a follow up film after the success of the Captain America: The First Avenger. I can not express how much total “fanboy” excitement and sheer enthusiasm I had when I watched the first primary trailer for the Winter Solider. It looked to have all of the elements of a film that are to my way of thinking what makes a film truly great. After seeing the film, I can say without any hesitation or reserve that not only did the film meet my expectations, but that it far, far expedited them.
The Russo brothers who directed the film and the writing team of Ed Brubaker, Christopher Markus and Setphen McFeely have put together a film that not only encapsulates the very essence of a superhero film, but even more compellingly manage to do so by way of having to place it within the context of both a political thriller and a contemporary scenario that addresses the very essence of what we as a nation and a wold are facing with the rise of the invasive, overreaching powers of governmental surveillance into every aspect of our everyday life. The film rightly balances the topical issues that are so prevalent now in our contemporary political and societal realities of the very genuine threat of personal liberties being withdrawn due impart to autocratic response to terrorism and the supposed threat that it posies. With such acts of governmental legislation including the NNDA and the Patriot Act in effect, the primary theme of the film addressing fear verses appropriate response and freedom vs governmental Orwellian control make much more than just a mere fun and action packed superhero film. What I found so refreshing about the way in which the film addressed these overarching subjects was so expertly woven within the very nature of the storyline and how the events unfolded within the film as a direct result with what has been taking place within the Marvel universe, in relation to our contemporary societal realities.
One aspect of the Steve Rogers character that I so desperately wanted to see was his enhanced fighting abilities and hand to hand combat, along with the effortlessly manner and instinctive use of his Vibranium shield. While we see Cap fighting prowess within the first Captain American film, as well as in Avengers, none of his particular fighting sequences fired me up and be excited to watch Cap in action, which on some level was disappointing, for I know just how epically awesome he is in terms of his fighting skills. In Marvel lore, he is regarded as one of the best in hand to hand combat expertise. That is what I want to witness and experience on the screen. Much like when I first watched Jackie Chan in Drunken Master II, I wanted to be absolutely amazed and roused by the action taking place. Watching Cap take out the bad guys onboard the ship, within the elevator and the skillfulness, mastery and natural fluidity with which he did so was so epic to watch. This film truly showcases the inherent abilities that Steve Rogers posses as a result of the Super Serum. The fight sequences and coordinated stunt sequences are truly exhilarating and amazed in every sense of the word to watch. This is the Cap that I want so desperately to see in action and the filmmakers delivered it! Bravo!
Besides the physical abilities that Steve Rogers possesses, it is the altruistic, genuine goodness and self sacrificing nature that draws me to this particular character. He is one who is refreshingly non compromising in the face of evil. These are the qualities that we need within our society now more than ever and which are so sadly lacking within this day and age of narcissism and self-serving egoism. Throughout the film, even though Steve Rogers is trying to come to terms with what we have become as a country and society, which is so contrary to the beliefs, norms and code of conduct which were held within his era of World War II, he remains steadfast to those ideas and standards. Captain America stands for truth, goodness and an America that once was, a time when gentility, civility and graciousness were the norm, not the exception.
In terms of the actors, I was equally impressed by the whole cast and what they did with their particular character. I probably am sounding very much like a “fanboy” which I admit I am, but I will defiantly and without any reserve call a spade when needed (The last three Star War films come to mind). Chris Evans is the embodiment of Steve Rogers/Captain America. I hope that we see more of him with this character well after the Avengers films and the next sequel to Winter Soldier. While I can understand that he does not want to be one to be pigeonholed, from one who really greatly appreciates his acting and what he brings to this character, I hope for all our sakes that he decides to continue with it. Just as an aside, if you have not seen the Losers, stop reading this and go rent it now! Chris Evans rocks in that film, it goes without saying I sure hope there is a sequel to the Losers as well!
I have already seen Winter Soldier twice so far and will go see it a third time, which is something I very rarely do these day, unless I really loved and enjoyed what I saw up on the big screen. This is a film that truly captured my heart and my intellect. It not only is a fantastically fun super hero movie, it really is a thoughtful, well executed and beautifully shot film. Trent Opaloch was the director of photography for the film, his other notable works being District 9 and Elysium, which I thought were visually beautifully and stunning to take in. I am really excited that he will be back working on the next Captain American film, along with the writers and Russo brothers directing.
I wish it were May 6th, 2016 now!