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Monday, April 7, 2014

Movie Review - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier  $$$ 1/2

136 Minutes
Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Redford.
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. 

            The Cap is back.
            With the horde of space-aliens defeated, the all-American hero can return to his normal routine. Catching-up on fifty years of pop culture. Riding his motorcycle. Visiting the girl of his dreams who is now more like the great-grandmother of his dreams. This first third of the movie is the part I liked best about the film.
            Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a super-hero movie if Hydra wasn’t plotting to rule the world and destroy SHIELD at the same time. To that end, we introduce the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). With his heightened strength and reflexes and a mechanical/bionic arm, he turns out to be a match for the Captain.
            I don’t know that I can say too much more about it without giving away plot elements that are better discovered by you, in the theater. I enjoyed the movie and would gladly watch it again, but wonder if Winter Soldier should have actually had more to do with the plot since the movie is named for him. 

            This is how I rated Captain America: The Winter Soldier: 

1. Fun – Lots of fun. Good interplay between Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Plenty of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) being furious about just about everything. I especially enjoyed watching Cap try to come to terms with his status as a man out of his time.
I gave Captain America a full MB for excellent super-hero fun.  

2. Story – I felt that the movie started off strongly in this area and then weakened as it went along. There was less focus on character and more reliance on fighting, explosions, and general mayhem as the film progressed. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch the destruction of high-tech facilities as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of the story. The lack of a strong villain didn’t help.
            A weaker story than what we could have had rates only a half MB.  

3. Technical – Plenty of explosions, flying aircraft carriers, and creepy computers to go around. Costumes, sets, and special effects were all top-notch, earning a full MB.  

            4. Acting – Good. There were no weak points here. Chris Evans does a wonderful job as Captain America. Samuel L. Jackson is a joy to watch as he chews his way through all of his scenes. Anthony Mackie turned me into a Falcon fan with his performance. I give this portion of the film a full MB.  

            Add all of it up and Captain America: The Winter Soldier earns a rating of 3 1/2 Movie Bucks. This is a film that definitely should be seen in the theaters. I recommend a matinee or other discount showing, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you paid full price. 

* I have made an adjustment to the score I gave to this film. The ratings are the same, but they added up to 3 1/2 and not the original 3 that I claimed it earned. My bad.

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.

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