Took some time to head out to the theater for the first time in a long time last night, but with a movie like Captain America 2 out–and getting such good buzz–how could I pass it up? I saw the first one in theaters back in the day, and while I liked it, I didn’t think it was at the top of Marvel’s offerings. It was another origin tale, and I felt like superheroes were ready to go beyond those origin tales.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes the series in the exact direction I hoped it would go.
It’s a layered movie–as layered as superhero movies get, at least. There are questions about what is “good” and what is “evil,” and they relate quite clearly to current trends in the world. At the same time, it managed to do all that without becoming overbearing and symbolic–a kiss of death for superhero movies, in my opinion. Captain America himself is a perfect character for this kind of conflict: a man who came from an earlier time, when the difference between good and evil was much clearer. (Then again, I wonder if it was ever that way. Looking back on history, it’s easy for us to see what was “right” and “wrong.” But that’s with years of hindsight. I imagine there are quite a few huge blunders society is making today that will one day be looked back on as ultimately misguided.)
In any case, this is a fun movie from start to finish. It’s got the trademark flairs of Marvel movies: outstanding effects and great action, peppered with solid humor throughout. It’s a recipe for a good time, and the movie uses it to full effect.
8.5/10 for me on this one. Definitely worth checking out while it’s still in theaters.
And can I just state for the record how lucky we are to live in a day and age where superhero movies are done this well? I might have said it on the blog before, but it bears repeating. These movies are finally being treated with the respect and care they deserve. They’re being made by people who “get” comic books, and while we still get some films now and then that are just cash grabs, the ones Marvel puts out are almost universally decent, if not downright excellent.
When you compare a movie like Captain America to earlier movies, the difference is obvious. Fantastic Four? Daredevil? Batman and Robin? It’s been a long time coming, but I think studios have finally recognized the sort of moneymakers they have on their hands with these movies.
Took ’em long enough.