It's a trooper of a film...
2011's Captain America: The First Avenger was a good introduction for the hero but as efficient as it may have been, it was underwhelming and lacked that Marvel spark that Iron Man and even Thor possess. It wasn't quite the treatment the first avenger deserved as it didn't let him shine and with his role in The Avengers, the Cap has kind of come off as one of the more boring heroes in the Marvel-verse but that is most definitely not the case and The Winter Soldier backs that up.


Evans' second outing as the star-spangled hero sees him working with S.H.I.E.L.D whilst he tries to acclimate to the modern day world, Post-Avengers Assemble. But things go awry for the super soldier when the organisation turns against him and conspiracy is detected so Rogers goes solo and, with the help of Scarlett Johannson's Black Widow and Anthony Mackie's Falcon, he fights to uncover corruption and save the day, a mission that is made a lot more strenuous when an old friend is brought into the picture as a formidable assassin by the name of The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
There is something very dark but pleasing, and no doubt deliberate, that Marvel have done with this film which really gets the audience pondering about the world today because the one thing that writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus have done is they've portrayed our civilization and our world, today, very well. As Cap says to Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, "You're holding a gun to everyone on Earth and calling it protection." It raises the thought of everything is not always what it seems? We can also quite clearly see the 1940's Steve Rogers emerging with his love for equality and freedom, it's the key to Captain America's real appeal which also links strongly to what he says later, "The price of freedom is high and it's a price I'm willing to pay." I do think that what Anthony and Joe Russo have done here is intriguing and clever and something they clearly relish getting their teeth sunk into on a massive blockbuster scale. Consider this sequel as a 'political thriller' because that is what it's ironing out to be, it's not like any comic book movie we've seen before and that's for sure.

The opening scene is masterfully composed and sees Evans and Johannson with a bunch of other S.H.I.E.L.D warriors taking on a group of French/Algerian pirates and with the use of his trademark shield - a more effective weapon here than ever before, Cap sends goons flying all over the place. The fight is great and surprising considering the Russo's have always been on the comedy side of filmography. Rogers is a bit of a pain though as we have the typical this is not what he signed up for line and that this is not what America should be doing, continuing the dark political trend that I mentioned earlier. The writing and plot are very beautifully written and portrayed as we still get the whole feel of a superhero blockbuster but if you dwell deeper into the complexity of the film then you discover a whole lot more and the film is something else. It's very bold in its foundations.
The movie has a star-studded cast on board and every actor brings a top notch performance to the table in The Winter Soldier.
In my opinion, Scarlett Johnnson was the star of the film. She excels once again with her magnificent acting as Natasha Romanoff. She delivers a very convincing agent and she really does steal the show from Evans at times. We can definitely see why she is regarded as one of the world's finest agents. Johannson has shone recently as an actress with some great performances in a handful of varied roles, Her, Don Jon and now The Winter Soldier. She really is a great addition to the cast because the film wouldn't be what it is without her and let's not forget, she looks as stunning as ever.

Chris Evans is also a real trooper in this film as we see he has now become a lot more comfortable with his role as the titular hero. His performance in The Winter Soldier is utterly compelling and he boosts the Cap's appeal and with a precise charm, always reminding us that there is more to who he is than just muscles and a solid chest. Evans delivers his character and lines earnestly and he makes the Cap work. A lot of his screen time is shared with Scarlett and they have a great on-screen chemistry, making the perfect little duo that you become slightly too aficionado of. 

Let's not forget Anthony Mackie as Wilson, who brings lots of laughs and enjoyment and his easy and simple back story makes his character easy to follow and his performance very creditable and very striking.
There is definitely some very efficient and very stunning acting going on in this film.
The film is just obtuse of 2 hours yet not a moment is wasted and the film doesn't drag on either. There is always something that will keep you antsy and considering that Anthony and Joe are not necessarily from the action side of directing, they do one hell of a good job making this film.

The Winter Soldier is utterly intriguing and the story combined with the action sequences is quite captivating and even if you know some of the film's big spoilers it is still enjoyable. There is lots of conspiratorial antics with regards to the film and take it whatever way you want, the film is still thoroughly enjoyable with and without these theories. It is a Marvel film and it feels like a Marvel film, a lot of the time, and it will be very interesting to see how Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and now, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will come together to see our heroes assembles once again in Joss Whedon's upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Just remember to stay until the end because there is a pretty awesome post-credits scene. Captain's orders. 
Also, watch my cast interviews from the UK premiere of the sequel here.

Verdict:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is definitely one of Marvel's best standalone films to date and all the glorious acting locks well with an utterly compelling plot to produce a film that is wildly entertaining, unique and sticks out from it's heroic chums.







About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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