‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ cements itself as spring must-see


Photo courtesty of Marvel Entertainment Inc./MCT

The Falcon first appeared in a green-and-orange ensemble in 1969, which he has since traded in for red-and-white togs. (Courtesy Marvel Entertainment Inc./MCT)

Steve Rogers has always fought for freedom, liberty and the American values, inside and outside of the military. As Captain America, he has always stood up against the bad guy to protect everyone else. However, when the lines are blurred and the decisions are no longer black and white, the Captain has to defend himself against America.

In “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” Steve Rogers is having a tough time embracing his past role as Captain America, the figurehead for the American armed forces during World War II, after being incased in ice and waking up 70 years later in modern day New York City. Following the events of “The Avengers,” Rogers is deciding who he can trust and who he can’t. With the rising threat of the secret assassin named The Winter Soldier, Rogers teams up with Natasha Romanoff, The Black Widow, to eradicate the assassin. However, when an old threat and an old friend arise from his past, Captain America no longer knows what he is fighting for.

This movie focuses more on how Rogers is coping with this new era than just as Captain America trying to save the world. Chris Evans portrays the distraught yet pure character of Rogers. Evans does an excellent job recreating the Captain. Hayley Atwell even makes a surprising and astounding appearance as her former romantic character, Peggy Carter. This dramatic and emotional encounter was heartbreaking.

This film also does an amazing job of shedding more light on the secrets of the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff. Scarlet Johansson does justice, once again, to her complex and key character. While Steve Rogers is fighting with someone from his past, Romanoff is fighting the secrecy of who she used to be.

This movie also introduces a new hero, Sam Wilson, nicknamed, The Falcon. Anthony Mackie is excellent in his role as the ex-military pararescue, trooper who is looking to help Rogers and Romanoff. Colbie Smulders made a surprising entrance when she surfaced as Maria Hill. However, she was in very few scenes, which was disappointing for an actress of her caliber.

The effects in this movie are phenomenal, as usual for Marvel Studios. The flying helicarriers in the film are incredibly life-like and realistic. However, unlike “The Avengers,” some of the best battle scenes are not purely destructive CGI. They are the brutish and often emotional hand-to-hand combat scenes.

This film also retains Marvel’s standard of great humor and great action. Jokes are woven throughout the film for comic relief, which does not take away from the plot at all, leaving a lighthearted feel to a darker side of superheroes. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, who are noted for the comedy “You, Me, and Depree” and the TV series “Community,” do an excellent job of mixing action with humor.

The Marvel cinematic universe is getting even more intricate as the production company weaves this film’s dramatic ending into its television series, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” However, the surprising twist in the storyline of the television show did not make much of an impact, as the series hit its lowest ratings that night.

While I don’t think this movie rivals Marvel’s “The Avengers,” it is definitely a close second. Personally, I would and probably will, pay to see it at least two more times. This film surpasses all expectations I had. Be sure to stay after all of the credits for two post-credit scenes. Two new characters will be revealed in the first post-credits scene and the very end of the film to reveal a truth the plot only hinted.