Captain America: The Winter Soldier
"Trust no one," preaches the badass Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) just before the remnant Nazi-German terrorist group HYDRA infiltrates S.H.I.E.L.D., ousting Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
The two must now work together to combat HYRDA and their newly acquired S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry and equipment, as well as a formidable opponent in the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). But there's a familiar glint in the Winter Soldier’s eye… can Cap put his finger on it in time, before S.H.I.E.L.D. is fully compromised?
It’s the perfect setup to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Disney-Marvel’s latest entry in the Marvel cinematic universe. And it is easily one of its best.
That being said, it’s no surprise the movie has shattered the record for a domestic release in April, garnering $96 million as of this writing and a jaw-dropping $300 million globally in just one weekend.
The movie weaves in Marvel’s most patriotic superhero into a solid action movie, with a story focused on deceit, deception, and infiltration that makes political thrillers and spy movies jealous. If hype was the sole reason for the movie’s success this weekend, it’s quality action movie–making that will keep it in the #1 spot for the foreseeable future. Believe the hype.
Granted, Captain America doesn't have the most interesting origin story, and "Captain America: The First Avenger" had no choice but to explain Steve Rogers’ backstory. From there, the movie was excellent. “The Winter Soldier” is the same deal without the beginning exposition, so we jump right in to over two hours of non-stop action, thrills, and high-flying combat. The entire movie is excellent.
Interestingly, the movie is not just all about Cap, but devotes equal time to Black Widow, since the two must work together against the HYDRA-infested S.H.I.E.L.D. Especially at the beginning of the movie, who’s to say she isn’t a part of this infiltration? “Do you trust me?” she asks. “I trust you now,” he replies. Good answer, Cap.
And there is absolutely no shortage of action. The movie contains some of the most exciting and visually impressive action sequences ever seen in a Marvel movie, with Captain America’s flying shield, Black Widow’s martial arts, and even Nicky Fury’s explosive car chase through downtown Washington D.C. Every scene gets better and better, leading up to a riveting climax in the skies of D.C.
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a welcome entry into the Marvel canon, and will undoubtedly cement itself as one of its greatest. Finishing this absolutely awesome movie fills the viewer with an existential dread that can only be cured by “Avengers: Age of Ultron” which is due in summer 2015. Or just see this movie again. It’s totally worth it.
This article originally appeared in Neon Tommy on April 6, 2014.