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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) good movie
USA, 136 min, Rated PG (ON) G (QC)
Reviewed 04/14, © Stephen Bourne, moviequips.ca
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

Anthony Russo and Joe Russo - Directors
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely - Screenplay
Trent Opaloch - Cinematography


"Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy - the Winter Soldier." - marvel.com/captainamerica


Chris Evans returns as former WWII American super soldier turned contemporary counter-terrorism agent Captain America in directors Anthony and Joe Russo's flawed but over-all enjoyable action-packed sequel of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), where an unexpected ghost from the past emerges as a formidable weapon while a shadowy enemy resurfaces to conquer the world by unleashing death from above. Captain America: The Winter Soldier co-stars Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan, as ex-KGB assassin turned field operative of America's Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (aka S.H.I.E.L.D.) Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff, hands-on S.H.I.E.L.D. director Colonel Nick Fury, ex-U.S. Air Force veteran and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder counsellor Sam Wilson, and the deadly Winter Soldier, respectively.

Captain America is a pre-Marvel Comics wartime Golden Age superhero created by writer/editor Joe Simon (1913-2011) and legendary artist Jack Kirby (1917-1994) who Captain America Comics debuted in 1941 as patriotic American army recruit Steve Rogers, given super human Axis-smashin' strength from secret U.S. military testing of its experimental super soldier serum. That first issue's cover actually featured Captain America punching Adolf Hitler in the face. The adventures of shield-slinging Captain America predominantly continued with his teenaged sidekick "Bucky" Barnes until Cap's days in print ended in the mid-1950s, before his 1964 Silver Age comics revival from North Atlantic ice in The Avengers #4, subsequently joining Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man and The Wasp as part of that original group of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Sort of like in the movies, but different.

Here's a fun fact: Captain America (1990), this comic book character's first most recognizably faithful feature film, starred renowned American writer J.D. Salinger's son, Matt Salinger. I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier marks the ninth live action feature in Marvel Studios' on-going, crossover Avengers movie saga, following Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Marvel's The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Iron Man 3 (2013). It also introduces film fans to two fairly famous Captain America comic book characters, The Falcon and Winter Soldier, and revisits the Third Reich-linked evil organization HYDRA, cited heavily in the movie Captain America: The First Avenger but (of course) originating from a very different comic book series.

The Falcon was created by writer/editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan (1926-2011) as Marvel Comics' first American-born black superhero, debuting in 1969 as criminal falconer Sam "Snap" Wilson who eventually becomes Captain America's re-occurring, artificially winged partner in crime-fighting. A brain child of four-time Eisner Award-winning writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting, Bucky re-emerged as the ruthless Soviet-made assassin cyborg Winter Soldier in Marvel's 2005 relaunch of its Captain America title, and is arguably considered an historic continuity revision of Cap's decades-old canon. HYDRA's far-reaching terrorist syndicate created by Lee and Kirby began its rise to infamy in 1965, as the arch enemy of U.S. super spy Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Formerly a cigar-chomping battleground soldier, Fury premiered in Marvel Comics' combat series, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos (1963-1981), and was re-imagined to resemble actor Samuel L. Jackson's likeness in writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch's acclaimed Avengers-starring series, The Ultimates (2002-2004). The Ultimates comic book was reportedly an inspiration for Marvel's The Avengers movie.

All of that being said, I don't want to write about that anymore.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is almost as enjoyable as its big screen predecessor, throwing boy scout-like Steve Rogers deeper into the murky, unfamiliar workings of espionage and homeland security in the 21st century. It's definitely another comic book movie, full of hyper-stylized fight sequences and astounding visual effects all pushed along at a steady enough pace by its star spangled hero. However, as with most of Marvel Studios' recent features, this effort also manages to bring a tangible sense of humanity to these less than normal characters. This time around, nothing goes right for Cap or Nick Fury as they're both forced to individually improvise their ways closer to an unimaginable truth that destroys everything. (Read more)

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