Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 11, 2014

‘CA: Winter Soldier’ a salute above the average sequel

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — It’s become pretty ridiculous how good Marvel is getting at making hero movies some of the best released flicks for nearly two decades. More recently when it comes to the “Avengers” gang, there is solid proof that no matter how little exposure they had outside of their comic book roots and despite the rise in ticket prices, it seems they find a way to convince movie goers to keep their wallets open.

Appearances suggest that at least with today’s film of discussion, they are not done putting together stories with pop. As with the prequel released a few years ago, I cannot get enough of the featured hero and after viewing can confidently say this is at least as good if not better than the first chapter. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” not only finds a way to make a classic character fresh with familiar story elements, but presents a commentary that hits close to home in modernly relevant terms.

Set a couple years after events in Avengers, Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is doing a decent job adjusting to life after cold storage. However, what he continues to struggle with is a world that is not as black and white as he remembers, and he still butts heads over pre-emptive measures of punishment like military/surveillance gunships preferred by SHIELD Director, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his regular partner Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

However, all must put aside their ideological differences when the very foundation of freedom is threatened (one that seems to not be given up with force, but willingly for sacrificed comfort of mind’s sake) with the emergence of a new foe called the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and the force that created him. We find out how strong the Captain’s morals are in this new test and what he might have to do to ensure there is a future not embroiled in a super villain worthy nightmare. The best thing is that you don’t have to feel like something is sacrificed as we get more emotionally invested in every character and get enough action to satisfy even the heaviest junkie.

The only thing that did not seem to hold up quite as well is the soundtrack, which changes the pop of the first film orchestrated by Alan Silvestri to a less noticeable job by Henry Jackman. Even more, I love the paranoid espionage feel thrown in by other characters like SHIELD senior leader Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and how we get to revisit some of the integral cogs of the first movie reincorporated cleverly (and if you want even more, the TV show “Agents of Shield” does a brilliant job of showing similar events happening to those not with super powers).

I’ll also give a tip of the hat to new character Sam Wilson/The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) for introducing a compatriot that helps our hero hold to those core values and gives proof that they can work even now. Like the first film, I’ll have no problem watching it repeatedly and highly recommend it. In the end, it’s worth four and a half out of five shields for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.