The first Captain America film captured that sense of wonder I feel is the strength of a lot of these comic book movies. From Spider-Man swinging for the first time to the Avengers standing together for the first, that sense of wonder really grabs hold of your heart and carries you along. However, with the Winter Soldier, I found the film’s darker tone to be absent of that sense of wonder. Perhaps this film is the turning point of the franchise into darker and grittier tone? And you can see that it’s also being used as a level-set or maturation point for Steve Rogers who is still struggling with his place in the 21st century.
The level of violence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is stunning and don’t get me wrong there are a lot of great action sequences and shots, but every other scene had someone getting kicked or shot. I found it distracting and as a dad who wanted to take his kids, I’m glad I didn’t.
The storyline is straightforward enough with some great twists and turns. It has a great momentum and flow that builds up to the climax which I found to be a bit orchestrated and overly complex. The climactic moment centers around a plot device comparable to the exhaust ports on the Death Star!
With all that negativity aside, the film was quite enjoyable and the cast did an incredible job at portraying their characters and a lot of great screen time was invested to flesh out these heroes. Anthony Mack was a great addition as the Falcon as was the introduction of Emily VanCamp as Agent 13, who didn’t get enough screen time.
The two epilogues felt anti-climactic when you consider they normally tease some greater aspect of the movie franchise.