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With the amount of superhero movies that are released in a given year, it is a challenge for each to remain original and relevant. Even the first Captain America film felt like the typical superhero origin story. However, Captain America: The Winter Soldier doesn’t lack in originality or momentum.
The film stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America. Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson costar as Nick Fury and Black Widow, respectively. Winter Soldier takes place after the events of Avengers, but is still clearly a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger, as it focuses on Steve’s character while dealing with the larger conflict resulting from The Avengers.
What makes Winter Soldier unique is that the conflict draws on today’s controversial political policies. Winter Soldier’s plot focuses on S.H.I.E.L.D, a top-secret defense agency t, building large, drone-like airships that and collecting information in a way that rings familiar after the recent NSA scandal. If these things weren’t bad enough, it turns out that even S.H.I.E.L.D is not what it seems.
There is never a dull moment in Winter Soldier. From the moment S.H.I.E.L.D is infiltrated chaos breaks out and it is clear that anyone can die, no matter what their powers. When Nick Fury gives Steve Rogers the advice to trust no one it is not just Captain America and Black Widow who are launched into paranoia but the audience as well.
The team of Captain America (Chris Evans) Black Widow (Scarlet Johanson) and, the new-to-the-screen hero, Falcon, (Anthony Mackie) are a homier group of superheroes than the avengers. There is definitely a sense that without the leadership of S.H.I.E.L.D, they are slightly lost and confused, almost like a group of kids taking on world evil. This dynamic not only makes the stakes higher, but it makes for a lovable group of heroes.
Like any superhero film, Winter Soldier is packed with action. From Steve Rogers getting jumped in an elevator by a group of rebel S.H.I.E.L.D agents to Nick Fury speeding through the streets of Washington trying to escape assassination, the action creative and exciting. Yet like most superhero movies, a lot of the action is unnecessary and superficial. It sometimes feels as though the action is preventing the movie from going more in depth about the meatier themes and ideas.
Marvel is famous for it’s post-credit scenes that give hints as to what is to come in the Marvel-verse. But even if you think it’s safe to leave after seeing the post-credit scene you’ll want to stick around because yes there is more. And for those who watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, marvel’s ABC TV show, there is the added fun of spotting where the movie and TV show crossover.