By Christa Speranza
Assistant Copy Editor
The character of Captain America has been an icon of patriotism, heroic stoicism, and naturally, Marvel Comics for nearly 73 years. The first big screen debut of “Captain America: The First Avenger” raked $65 million on its 2011 opening weekend in North America alone, according to Imdb.com.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” was released on Friday, April 4, and was the second installment of the Marvel series. It grossed $37 million in North America on opening day, according to Forbes.com. If that doesn’t scream American nationalism in movie culture, consider yourself a propagator of HYDRA. However, what brought audiences together for the first “Captain” movie, might be the reason why other fans shy away from “Winter Soldier.”
Reprising his role as Steve “Captain” Rodgers, Chris Evans
(“Not Another Teen Movie”) once again captivates the audience with his performance as the leader of the Avengers. This time, the story follows Cap, as he and the Black Widow, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson (“Her”), investigate a hostage situation involving S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives and a secret satellite operation, which threatens humanity itself. Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction”), also returns as a more prominent character, unlike previous films where he was more or less a figurehead.
While the reoccurring actors do their best, and are successful in their roles, it is newcomer Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker”), as Sam “Falcon” Wilson, who steals the show.
His quick and witty banter, along with being a rather useful sidekick, make him and Evans a winning combination. Sadly, this humor is not dispersed evenly throughout the film, which makes dialogue between the characters seem dry – even forced at times.
Along with the lack of jokes throughout the film – making a two-hour long movie seem even longer – “Winter Soldier” is a much darker picture than its predecessor. One of the villains of the movie, the obvious Winter Soldier, does not read comical; unlike Red Skull from “First Avenger.” The character seems all too realistic, making for one of the most threatening villains in Marvel movie history thus far. Not only does the movie give off darker undertones, the atmosphere of the movie is hard to read at times. This may be due to the lack of lighting around certain characters and scenes, which alludes to an ulterior motive of that character. Nevertheless, if you have trouble seeing the film, you surely will not have trouble hearing it. “Winter Soldier” is jam-packed with explosions, guns, and hard-hitting punches that will rattle your eardrums.
If you decide to see “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” go for the characters – stay for the action. However, here is a fair warning: The plot does become a tad convoluted, and with a dull script, it can be hard to pay attention. “Winter Soldier” attempts something outside of the normal, family-oriented films Marvel Studios puts out, while also trying to appeal to the hard-core fans.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is in theaters now.