Follow @Mr_McCrackelz

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Winter Soldier Review: Coup De Grâce.

I wish I could be contrarian about this. I wish my voice could stand out from the chorus. I also wish I had gotten this done a week and a half ago, but here it is. The Winter Soldier was fantastic. It was both a solid political thriller and super hero action set piece, as well as a damn decent character drama.

This should be the point where Marvel slips up. Where their shtick wears thin, their well of stories runs dry and the shadow of an absent Downy Jr. looms large. None of these are the case for Cap 2, though most were for Thor's second go around. I was scared about TWS precisely because Thor 2 was just so stunningly predictable.

Apparently, they had to go back and add more Loki to the mix. Seeing as he barely took up a 6th (far and away the best 6th) of the film, can you imagine how much more earth we would have had to take? I'm getting off topic, but The Dark World had me really frightened, guys. It wasn't "bad" in a "you couldn't pay me to see it again" kind of way. It was just disappointingly boiler plate. It even walked back it's solitary piece of character growth in the last second, seemingly just to salt my wound one more time.

Cap 2 made up for all of that and then some. I'd almost be fine with all marvel movies from here on out being tangentially related to Captain Rogers. Chis Evans isn't simply that good (he is), the plot isn't simply one of the strongest so far (it is), and the action sequences don't simply build on each other and become more impactful as they go (they do).

All of those things coupled with such breezy editing and a direction so confidant I'm convinced cocaine was involved, we have one the best super hero films ever. The fact it all seems to build to something greater is exciting instead of disappointing. I didn't throw my popcorn at the screen and hiss at the strings of obvious cliffhangers. I was more than satisfied at that point and I understood they had to leave me wanting more. And brother? I want MOAR.

Dude, what are you doing with 70 bookmarks? That's embarrassing.
We last left Steve in the hands of Shield, (a clandestine government agency laser focused on protecting the world from supers and aliens, can you believe I typed that with a straight face? ) after the events of the New York invasion and his struggle fitting in to society after 50 years on ice. He's more than happy to run errands for Director Fury, just as long as he can keep his nose to the grindstone and not get too close with anyone he doesn't already know.

 But something begins to stick in his craw about shield, Scarlet Johansson is constantly trying to set him up both romantically and professionally. It seems he hasn't been privy to all the parameters of his operations and has been responsible for padding Shield's bottom line at the expense of civil liberty.

This whole sequence here is just... I don't even... it's so great. It's beyond the expressive power of the English language.

Cap's not too happy about that, but Fury demands that he stow it, his pay grade isn't high enough for him to explain himself. But as one of the tensest and most balls out amazing car chases I've ever seen will soon prove... neither is Fury's. What comes next is hard to explain without spoilers, so I won't. The movie's called the "winter soldier" so what about him? That's a good question, and let me answer it by saying you'll forget about him, mostly. Right up until he pops out of nowhere and grabs the narrative by the throat. Sebastain Stan dosn't have a whole lot to do with what could be easily misconstrued as just anouther cybernetic ninja assasin (I know, I know, another one?) but he makes it work. In fact, I wouldn't call the "final battle" a battle at all. It's the most emotionally complex finale of any Marvel film to date.

Man, I haven't even name checked Robert Redford yet, and he's fantastic. Same goes for Anthony Mackie who turned in one hell of an interview for TWS. Seriously, I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt. If he doesn't do audio commentary I'm straight up not buying the dvd:

Will Smith should be absolutely terrified.

I'd just end up recapping the whole film if I got into those guys. Everyone has room to breathe here and nearly everyone arcs in a meaningful way. Except for Dani Pudi's cubical drone. But he has less than a minute of screen time so, I guess sacrifices must be made. It's so much fun and I'm in the process of nagging my friends into seeing it again. It's the most entertaining treatise on civil liberty you will ever see. You wouldn't expect a American multimillion dollar film to attack drone ware fare so explicitly and so viciously. But it does so with wit and finesse to spare.

Add that to an end credits sequence that's a monochrome homage to 70's paranoia thriller posters and The Winter Soldier has exhausted all the buttons I have left to be pushed. I haven't had this good of a time at the movies since The Lego Movie. But I haven't had this good a time at a super hero flick since The Avengers. That should be enough to get most of you out to see it, though most of the world already has. For a film that should smack of stone faced propaganda, that's incredible. But than again, so is The Winter Solider.

No comments :

Post a Comment