If it's too much to ask for a Marvel Studios film to possess a distinct visual style, then we can at least hope their superhero output continues to be as strong as "Winter Soldier." During its best moments, the film feels like a Ed Brubaker storyarc come to life, with snappy banter and larger than life heroics lifted straight from the comics. But not quite enough goodwill is generated to overlook the tired third act.
Captain America steps up his game and becomes a likeable and capable superhero... in fact he's badass. Scarlett Johanson as Black Widow is as likeable as ever, and even Sam Jackson gets a memorable scene. I actually enjoyed the plot and felt it took a more original approach, and all in all this is one of my favourite Marvel films now. Saw it twice in the cinema.
If you strip down the nice, clean imagery and the undeniably well constructed action sequences, and stop to think about the plot you'll realize how ridiculous everything actually is. It's a shame that Redford decided to be a part of a project such as this.
If The Dark Knight was a crime drama masquerading as a comic book movie, this Captain America movie is disguising itself as a 70s political espionage thriller doing the same thing. Plenty of the signature Marvel humor to go around and the cinematic translations of the new characters were well done. The performances were pretty great and the ending did a great job of getting me fired up for the next one.
Possibly the best franchise in the Marvel universe is very well represented with this action packed entry where story is not sacrificed for cheap thrills. Blending the superhero genre with themes of government corruption, loyalty and identity works in the film's favour. Evans has grown into the part well and the film has several memorable turns by its supporting cast as well. Effects eye candy is at full throttle.
Possibly the best of the recent rash of superhero films that I've seen. The noir fanatic in me makes the Dark Knight Trilogy appealing to me, but the Captain American trilogy is, at a minimum, the best of the Marvel tranches, IMO. It feels less cartoonish to me, so as a non-comic book person, that's a plus, but its still full throttle and full of not too over-the-top thrills.
I understand that they can't get Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and the gang to appear in every Avengers movie from here on out, but I feel like when a crisis as big as this comes up, Iron Man and the others should show up for some support.
5/10. Underwhelming, all things considered. I liked the spy-thriller elements, but I found myself getting bored of the Marvel formula by the end of the film. I'm beginning to wonder how much closer they can bring these characters to death and it still be compelling. Didn't live up to the hype, IMHO.