HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Near-Perfect ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Defies Common Sequel Disappointment

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (3 votes)

CHICAGO – If the original is anything to applaud, the sequel usually isn’t. And even more rarely is the sequel actually better.

While it’s aggressive to market “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as one of the “best superhero movies of all time” and more realistic to pitch it as “better than ‘The Avengers,’” it most certainly is 2014’s best action flick yet and it definitely defies common sequel disappointment.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

When I think back on “Captain America: The First Avenger” three years ago, I recall it being just fine. I snoozed through a bit of it, I was somewhat underwhelmed by a lot of it and I remember leaving thinking I just got more of the same Hollywood blockbuster formula.

I wasn’t surprised, blown away or boldly thrown off guard by twists and turns I couldn’t have expected. A scrawny nobody gets a high-tech government serum and it’s just like Popeye eating his spinach. Fine. We got it.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

But three years later, it drops its initial director Joe Johnston. He has a dartboard of directorial credits including “Hidalgo,” “Jurassic Park III,” “Jumanji,” “The Rocketeer” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”.

Instead, it brings on an even more surprising choice: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. These guys are known for directing TV comedies including “Community” and “Arrested Development” along with lighthearted films such as “You, Me and Dupree”.

They’ve certainly never taken on a comic-book blockbuster. But with the same two screenwriters inking the sequel (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) from the same two comic-book guys (Joe Simon and Jack Kirby) and the addition of Ed Brubaker’s concept and story, the Russo boys are in good hands.

Their mission? Drop our frozen-in-time Captain America into the modern world to battle a new threat from old history. The final product? They mold their well-formed clay with all of the fun, drama, story, action and special effects you can ask for from Marvel and a Hollywood blockbuster.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” stars Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, Cobie Smulders, Hayley Atwel, Frank Grillo and the typical cameo by Stan Lee. It is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo with the screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker and comic book by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. The 136-minute film, which is rated “PG-13” for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout, opened on April 4, 2014.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker