Film Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Directed by…does it really matter? I certainly don’t care.

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I enjoyed this more than most super-hero movies, mainly because the fight sequences and choreographies were actually exciting at points, rather than a series of wasted opportunities marred by cramped framing and dull shot set-ups, as they are in most American action movies. That’s coming from a martial-arts movie and Hong Kong movie fan. The US film industry just hasn’t caught up, but this was pretty good for the most part. Cap’s shield is more important in terms of character and identity even than the swords of ninjas so I enjoyed its perpetual careening through the frame as well. Incorporating Cap’s old uniform for the final fight was a nice touch, and gave Stan Lee another chance at a cameo.

I can also see why Robert Redford chose to be in this movie, given the overall (if hollow) message of disarmament and Cap’s counter-intuitive distrust in centralized military authority.

I always enjoyed the Falcon in the comics but the CGI in his flying sequences was the least convincing in the film. And why did that Hydra agent find it so easy to kick his ass?

Still, the problems I have with most of these big-budget super-hero movies are that 1) My eyes glaze over at all the physical destruction and spectacular deaths of anonymous bad guys, and 2) I never can precisely figure out why the bad guys are so bad. What are their motives? It’s especially hard here to understand why all these low-level but very powerful and talented Hydra members would fight so hard and well to protect a plan to murder 20 million people. It makes no sense.

But that’s a generic problem with comic-book adaptations, I guess, and why these movies will never move me and why I’d really rather read a comic book if I want to indulge the 15-year-old boy inside me.

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