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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 27, 2014

Captain America 2: Winter Soldier Movie Review- One Of The Best Superhero Movies We've Seen

‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER’ is one sequel that is even better than the original. This is the fourth appearance of Chris Evans in this superhero role after “Captain America: The First Avenger” which told of Captain America’s origins, then “The Avengers”, and his surprise cameo appearance in “Thor: The Dark World”.

“The Winter Soldier” is not only an action-packed sequel to “The Avengers” but also lays the ground work for the next “Avengers” flick, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” to be shown next year. Don’t leave right away when the end credits are shown because there are two additional scenes. The first will introduce you to “Age of Ultron” and the second shows what to expect in the next “Captain America” sequel (said to be meant for 2016).

We now see Steve Rogers or Cap (Chris Evans) working with the protection agency called SHIELD as a team leader, still adjusting to the modern world after he was kept frozen in ice in World War II. He works with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and teammates Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo). His relationships with them are put into a test when their latest mission shows that Fury and Natasha have a hidden motive that they kept secret from Cap, so he starts to suspect something fishy.

A hair-raising assassination attempt on Fury in the streets of Washington DC brings Cap to a confrontation with SHIELD senior boss Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and the Winter Soldier, a shadowy killer with a metal arm who is somehow connected to Cap’s distant past. Cap suddenly finds himself on the run and he seeks the help of Natasha and an Army veteran, Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie). It seems that he has stumbled on a big and frightening kind of conspiracy.

The story takes many interesting twists and turns as Cap and friends try to stop a villainous organization called Hydra who wants to dominate the world. Many side elements in the movie should be familiar to avid fans of Marvel comics. They help tie up various strands of all the other Marvel movies.

“The Winter Soldier” offers first rate action entertainment. Fury and Natasha’s characters are better fleshed out and it’s obvious Jackson and ScarJo are having a great time playing them on screen. Scarjo is just so stunningly sexy and so good! Sebastian Stan is impressively effective as the mysterious Winter Soldier and Redford provides his great presence in a very vital role that reminds us of the conspiracy movies he did when he was younger. Also giving great support is the ravishing Emily Van Camp (of the hit series “Revenge”) as Cap’s neighbour who turns out to be a secret agent. Will she be a future romantic interest? Who knows?

But the one who really towers above everyone is Chris Evans as Cap, the patriot who dares questions his government’s leaders. He’s definitely now more ripped, more confident and more at home with the role in the way that Robert Downey has become so relaxed with Iron Man. His sheer physical presence makes him a very effective screen superhero.

Expertly directing the movie are brothers Anthony and Joe Russo who started with TV sitcoms like “Arrested Development” and who are lucky they got a smartly written script. They certainly deliver big time. The energy level of the film is very intense and there’s this sense of danger that pervades it from the first action sequence on a ship to rescue hostages (where Cap battles French mercenary Batroc the Leaper) to the show-stopping assassination scene and the bombastic climax where he allows the Winter Soldier to beat him up while helicarriers threaten to blast millions of people into smithereens.

This is certainly one of the best superhero movies we’ve seen. For one thing, the hero is not fighting in an intergalactic world or the nine realms of Asgard but in our own real world. The action set pieces are all truly well staged with the use of top notch special visual effects best seen in IMAX 3-D.