Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Critc’s Corner: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

    Since “Iron Man,” Marvel films have chosen to explore the tension between security and freedom. The movies all bring the morals of their heroes up against systems increasingly interested in building the biggest and best guns.

    It should be no surprise, then, that the newest film, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” takes up this issue as well. The conflict’s relevance gives the movie a feeling of poignancy lost in superhero films like “Spider-Man.” Like the other films in “The Avengers” series, the new movie doesn’t treat the problems with much complexity or subtlety, but it’s a pretty funride regardless.

    “The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), questioning his work within S.H.I.E.L.D. as the organization grows ever more morally ambiguous. Here, the need for security takes the form of “Project Insight,” which aims to put the world at the mercy of a fleet of flying aircraft capable of killing a thousand combatants per minute.

    Things quickly unhinge, with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) accused of subverting S.H.I.E.L.D from the inside and the Captain—along with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)—fleeing from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s forces. Alongside this conspiracy, our heroes have to cope with The Winter Soldier, a bionic warrior with mysterious origins.

    Marvel films have all been more or less enjoyable as far as superhero films go and “The Winter Soldier” relies on the same blend of massive spectacle and quick, witty dialogue to deliver 136 minutes of gleeful destruction. Though diluted by the film’s half-baked moralizing, the overall experience is a positive one.

    Captain America is my least favorite Avenger, so I couldn’t help but feel a bit of bias in being continually bored with Evans’ treatment of the already-cheesy patriot. For fans, it is obvious that Evans is finally settling in his portrayal this time around, but he still comes off as statically moral and bland.

    Thankfully, Black Widow gets more screen time compared to previous films, and she does a lot to lighten the experience of watching the Captain furrow his brow and talk about how clear morality used to be. She’s also treated like the badass she deserves to be, and I only counted one time when director Anthony Russo let the camera linger on her backside (which was becoming an increasingly unacceptable aspect of these movies). The same could be said for Fury, who gets one of the cooler action scenes in the film, and whose character receives some much-needed development.

    Let’s be honest, though. Most folks—both casual viewer and comic aficionado alike—go to these films for the effects and the film has some really good ones. The Winter Soldier is a formidable and intimidating enemy, and his confrontations with the Captain are vicious. These fight scenes alone make the movie a worthy ride for those seeking some action.

    “The Winter Soldier” is two hours of sound and fury, with some straightforward moralizing from its costumed protagonists. Whether you’re just looking for some explosions, or you have a long-standing love of its hero, the movie is an admirable addition to the canon.

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    Sheldon Costa, Author

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