Friday, April 4, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Those that know me and/or follow my blog know that I'm often pretty harsh on Marvel comic book films.  But let's be honest; They often deserve it, being formulaic and pandering to a wide audience appeal, thereby taking no risks at all.  The bottom line is that if a studio is spending $250M - $500M on a film including marketing and distribution costs, they can't afford to take on unnecessary risk by making it edgy in any way.  And that's the biggest problem with Hollywood tentpole pictures.  Of course, within the range of safe Hollywood blockbusters, there are obviously some that are better and some that are worse, and I'm happy to say I was fairly pleased with this one.  I wasn't a huge fan of the first one, 'Captain America: The First Avenger' in 2011, but I found this one to be a big step in the right direction, and in some ways reminiscent of (but not nearly as good as) 'The Dark Knight Rises'.  Rather than hit you over the head with super heroes, super villains, and mystical alien objects, this one is more of a crime drama steeped realism.  To be clear, it doesn't hold a candle to The Dark Knight trilogy, but it's a hell of a lot better than those terrible Thor films, the action scenes are pretty good, and the storyline is topical.  And adding Robert Redford to the mix adds some old Hollywood to class it up and balance out the fresh faced action heroes like Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson.  It held my attention for the entire 2 hours and 16 minutes and all in all was a pleasant surprise.  And that Lawrence Fishburne is always entertaining.  What?  It wasn't Lawrence Fishburne??  Samuel L. who???

Grade: A-

Who is this movie for?  Fans of the first Captain America and of Marvel comic films in general won't be disappointed.

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