By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0″: @CaptainAmerica 2 is like a Tom Clancy political thriller w/ sophisticated action and solid acting. It’s one of the best Marvel movies yet.
The Gist: The theme in the new Captain America sequel is trust no one. There is an evil plan to kill 20 million Americans to save 7 billion people around the world. But who’s behind this twisted, macabre vision? Everyone is a frenemy and Caps has to not only watch his back, he has to also confront his most powerful foe yet, and trust me, that is not a cliché. This villain takes our hero to the limit!
The Highlights: The story is perhaps the most visible improvement to the franchise. Screenwriting duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Pain & Gain, Thor, Narnia) have transformed this sequel into a mature and wise narrative, very much in contrast to the original film, which was campy and infantile. This new premise is full of conspiracy and intrigue, dialogue that blends absorbing dramatic details with fun witty humor, situations filled with compelling mystery like a John Huston detective movie and a true villain one can be intimidated by. The secret to a good story is when scenes with dialogue-only, sans action, are satisfying and this sequel achieves it. The action also felt different. Instead of lame action sequences, the action was sophisticated, intense, large scale and suspenseful. It almost had a ‘The Dark Knight’ quality to it. Finally, the acting was solid on all fronts. Anytime you have Robert Redford in the mix, your movie is improved. Also Scarlett Johansson is become legit. Her Tony win on Broadway, plus recent films such as Don Jon, Her, Under the Skin, and now Lucy, are cementing her as a bona fide actress and leading lady. Everyone, including Chris Evans has improved their game and we cinephiles are all better for it.
The Lowlights: What lowlights? I don’t think a better Captain America movie can ever be made. Good luck Marvel in trying. Bottomline, if you go see it, you’ll experience one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Pay or Nay?: SuperPay! I seriously don’t know how any director, producer or screenwriter can come up with a better story or film narrative for Captain America. This was such a major improvement from the first one, that it almost feels like they rebooted the franchise. For my money, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen and one of the best sequels done, period. Comic book fans and superhero geeks are going to love this film! Is it good to take kids 9 or less? No. It possesses a mature theme that will go OVER their heads. Before ending, please stay until the VERY END of the credits for two hidden movie scenes that propel Captain America and The Avenger films forward. The first hidden clip, which has much substance and introduces new characters, comes in about 2-3 minutes after the end of the film. The second one comes in when all the credits have ended, 7-8 minutes after, with a minor revelation that needed to be brought up and sets up the third Captain America film. Get ready to have fun!
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout.
Release Date: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Director(s): Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Toby Jones, Cobie Smulders, Emily VanCamp, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Frank Grillo, Hayley Atwell, Georges St-Pierre, Maximiliano Hernández, Pat Healy, Stan Lee, Callan Mulvey
Distributor: Marvel Studios
Film Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi