Captain America: The Winter Soldier

April 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Posted in 2014 | Leave a comment
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Superheroes are the new Sci-Fi.  They are now the summer blockbusters upon which studios are made, much as the “Star Wars,” “Aliens,” “Terminator” films were for my generation. And, just like with Sci-Fi, some of these films are “Bladerunner”s and some have Jar Jar Binks. The first “Captain America,” while clearly not the debacle that was “The Green Lantern” or the “Fantastic Four” movies, was only marginally better than either “Thor” film. This one, though, ranks alongside “Iron Man” as being fairly decent fun. Marvel appears to be perfecting a formula: plenty of action (but not Michael Bay levels of action), a fair amount of humor (particularly of the tongue-in-cheek and inside joke variety), actual character development (we love our ambivalent or flawed heroes) and some inner party conflict (we also love to see the good guys not always getting along until they pull it together to save the world). As I’ve said in previous reviews, DC is banking on making their heroes grittier, darker and less superhero-y (see “The Dark Knight” trilogy, the new “Superman,” and the tv series “Arrow” as recent examples). Marvel is taking a different approach, trying to find ways to stay as true as possible to the larger-than-life cartoon nature of the characters while still making them relatable and not silly. Lately, they have been getting closer and closer to this goal and “Captain America: The Winter Solider” is another recent success in this category. The plot line is absolutely ridiculous and overly convoluted; why do comic villains always find the most complicated and drawn-out ways to do evil?  And, why does bringing them down always have to cause the deaths of soooo many innocent civilians?  But, don’t go to a comic book movie if that sort of nonsense drives you crazy. This is a genre with built in absurdities and, given how wrong it can go, this movie goes pretty right most of the time.

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