April 21, 2014

Captain America Rocks the Screen

The last time I looked forward to a movie as much as this, an "event film", it was The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. (Well, yeah, we all know how that turned out.) After seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I left the theater thinking the series may just replace the Indiana Jones series as one of my favorites. Maybe.

This jury may be out until the next in the series, but Chris Evans' take on the Marvel hero strikes all the right notes. What is it that makes the character so compelling?

Innocence and optimism. Perseverance. A strong belief in right and wrong. Justice. Self-sacrifice for the sake of others. A belief that good things- in this case, freedom- are worth fighting for. Democracy. And last but not least, humility. In the first film Steve Rogers was picked for the experiment for reasons fairly rare in the world of the movies. It wasn't because of his physical abilities. He was chosen because of his good character, passion to do the right thing, and caring for others above himself. True superhero qualities.

The film sets our Captain in the perfect storm of intrigue. There's no spoilers here, but I will say the twists keep you guessing while the action keeps your pulse racing. In the midst of it all, Evans grounds the film with his good humor, unwavering integrity, and determination. 

As much as I thought Scarlett Johansson was miscast as Black Widow, I will admit she is growing on me. There's some subtlety and complexity to her story here, a refreshing change. 

One of the most pleasant surprises in the film is actor Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka Falcon. Sure, it adds the buddy film angle to the story, but his partnership with our hero fits perfectly. Here's hoping his role becomes a recurring one.

We all know Disney suits are watching the Marvel series closely. It's a hot franchise for teens, men, and young boys. Should the Imagineers decide to build an elaborate Marvel based third Disney park in California, I'd be happy. If it's as good as the movie I saw last night, I'll be first in line.

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