Plot: Captain America finds himself in modern time and must deal with how he fits in with this new world.
Review: Captain America was a lot of fun but also a victim of the Marvel Machine. But we can get back to that, let’s talk about all the good things first.
Chris Evans still manages to perfectly capture the charm and honesty that makes Steve Rodger so special. Really all the actors do a good job save one (which we will get to soon) and they help sell the movie. Scarlett Johansson and Anthony Mackie stand out as Cap’s side kicks and they bring a lot of fun especially with their different views of the world vs. Caps. That’s actually a major theme in the movie and it works really well. Cap is a man out of his time and he’s trying to fit in where everyone is telling him to instead of listening to himself. It’s very much a coming in age story and it works great. Also they manage to have Nick Fury and Shield in there without making it feel forced. It’s part of the story.
Now on to the bad. The story. Well that’s too harsh. When I say the film is a victim of the Marvel Machine I mean in terms of the story. First there are way too many characters. In addition to Widow and Falcon, we also have Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and whoever Emily Vancamp was playing (i want to say kate?) and a lot of time is spend with these people that for a long section in the middle Captain America kind of takes a back seat and that just the GOOD GUYS! There is also a bad guy for each of them and while it never feels convoluted, it does feel unnecessary. I think this was done to get all these fan favorites in the film but it feels over stuffed.
Another problem is the film wants it both ways, with no better example than The Winter Soldier himself. Comic book fans all know who he is, and the company hasn’t really hidden it that well which would be fine if the movie didn’t spend the first hour trying to hide his identity. This takes out the suspense and makes the wait till the reveal tedious. Plus Sebastian Stan did such a good job as Bucky I wish he had given more to do than mindless robot assassin. Which again would work if we didn’t know it was Bucky but when they don’t hide it, it just feels like a wasted opportunity.
Now on to the worst part, which is the most surprising: Robert Redford. Man Redford doesn’t even try in this. SPOILERS Redford is the bad guy. This might have been a great reveal if Redford wasn’t playing it as evil the whole time! I mean it was so bad at one point, I thought that this was intentional and he was the red skull or something but no, it’s just Redford not being great at acting anymore. It’s sad and it almost ruined the film.
Now I know it sounds like I’m hating on it but I really enjoyed it. The reason I haven’t talked about the great moments and surprises is because I feel those are best experienced without any kind of ruin. It’s better when you get to film them in the movie. So I would recommend this to any fan of the Marvel films and tell you that you are going to have a great, if not for a few points, time.
Trivia: Christ Evans and Scarlett Johansson wrote a lot of their own dialogue together.