Superhero spy-jinks | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Superhero spy-jinks 

One question persists throughout CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Why doesn't somebody call The Hulk?

When a covert threat emerges to both the super-spies of S.H.I.E.L.D. and 20 million average people, you'd hope the future of mankind wouldn't rest only on a shield-flinging super soldier, an ex-KGB agent and a guy wearing a pair of metallic wings.

After all, the hallmark of Marvel superhero movies is how their minders have woven them together, like the comics they're based on, in an interconnected universe of characters and storylines. There are offhanded references to Hulk alter-ego Bruce Banner, Iron Man's Stark Industries, the events of The Avengers and yet-to-be-introduced characters such as Dr. Strange.

In this sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, World War II Army officer Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) remains a stranger in a strange time—ours. He's an anachronism literally wrapped in the flag, coping with a dividing line between good and evil that's less clear than it was in his era.

It's notable that throughout the Marvel films, few heroes or villains hide their actual identities. In one surreal scene, Rogers visits a Smithsonian exhibit devoted to Captain America. The characters' names are open books; it's their motives that can prove murky. This provocative notion propels the movie's plot.

Instead of wresting away freedom at the point of a spear, the power-mad have laid the groundwork for good people to willingly hand it over out of a desire for security. In our world, it's the specter of shoe bombs and illegal immigration; in Marvel's, it's mutant villains and aliens spilling through an inter-dimensional wormhole.

But there's also a spear-tip in Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the Winter Soldier of the title. Rogers' wartime buddy has been the muscle behind the remnants of HYDRA, a Nazi-era terrorist organization. The most daunting part of Rogers' mission is discerning friend from foe, trying to divine the intentions of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford).

The CGI action sequences are energetic yet hyper-edited, and directors Anthony and Joe Russo know when to diffuse weighty metaphors with self-aware one-liners. Most come from Rogers' repartee with Fury, Black Widow and newcomer The Falcon (Anthony Mackie). My favorite is near the end, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment that answers a 20-year-old cinematic riddle.

Apparently, Jules Winnfield was the righteous man.

Film Details

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Rated PG-13 · 135 min. · 2014
Official Site: marvel.com/captainamerica
Director: Joe Russo and Anthony Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley
Producer: Kevin Feige
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

I am indeed very happy for my life; My name is Vargas Cynthia I never thought that I will live …

by Vargas Cynthia on Axis of Cinema (Film Review)

The lobster is arbitrarily asinine, disjointed, and gratuitously violent towards both humans and former humans that "didn't make it." If …

by Marco_Polo on The Lobster Surreally Skewers Society’s Fear of Single People (Film Review)

The only peeople who murdered those boys were let off by an inexperienced prosecutor and hoodwinked judge. The facts are …

by Greg 1 on The West Memphis Three are free ... what about the real killer? (Film Review)

"Miles Ahead"... "opening Friday".... where? I'm having a tough time finding film times/locations on www.indyweek.com now. The …

by Tbone on Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis Film, Miles Ahead, Isn’t a Real Biopic—It’s Something Better (Film Review)

Comments

I am indeed very happy for my life; My name is Vargas Cynthia I never thought that I will live …

by Vargas Cynthia on Axis of Cinema (Film Review)

The lobster is arbitrarily asinine, disjointed, and gratuitously violent towards both humans and former humans that "didn't make it." If …

by Marco_Polo on The Lobster Surreally Skewers Society’s Fear of Single People (Film Review)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation