Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes with the same enjoyable ingredients that elevated the Avengers and an interesting political subtext about modern warfare.
It has entertaining character dynamics, engaging superhero action, and a well-executed script that lays the seed for future sequels without taking its narrative for granted.
At the same time, the sequel gets the post 911 treatment as Steve Rogers faces the political realities of maintaining national security. He is still adjusting to modern life and must face the fact that today, “fighting the good fight” is now “eliminating all potential and imminent threats by any means necessary”.
The film doesn’t get too drab as banters keep it light when needed. The new players – Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan – aren’t fully developed (yet) but add something new to the film. Nick Fury gets something more to do other than barking orders and looking badass. Natasha is becoming a well-developed female character and stood out. Chris Evans has more material to work with and delivers.
Finally, he puts Captain America’s super-soldier powers to good use other than knocking down easy targets. The Winter Soldier adds some emotional element and a good challenge. There’s plenty of action to enjoy here including good old fashion hand to hand combat and dogfights other than Marvel’s signature big-budget big scale CGI destruction.
All of this makes for a surprisingly smart and action-packed movie, which also adds depth to a straight-laced character. Steve Rogers’ black-and-white values are a good juxtaposition against modern warfare. During his time, he can easily draw the line in the sand between what is good and what is bad. In today’s Orwellian world, however, it’s blurred, and maybe, it’s always been blurred all this time, he was just too naive to see it.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier manages to strike a balanced mix of popcorn action, a grounded story, and engaging characters. It can stand on its own while being another introduction to another installment.
Captain America: Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier has the best of what MCU offers and a smart subversive commentary about modern warfare.