Mind you, I’m still on a high from seeing the movie, but folks I feel that even a day from now (or even years from now) I’m going to feel the same way about CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER. Excuse my hyperbole, but it is one of the best Marvel films, if not comic book films, that I have seen. 

Playing more like a suped up BOURNE film, it is darker and grittier than any of the other Marvel films that have come before and more in line with what we’ve come to expect from the DARK KNIGHT Trilogy. 

I don’t want to go too much into the plot but SHIELD has become compromised and soon Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) is on their hit list. Teaming up with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and new-comer Falcon (Anthony Mackie), he attempts to take down the rogue elements of SHIELD while saving the world from an even darker menace. 

Making matters worse is that someone from Roger’s past has resurfaced with a mission of his own that comes head to head with the beleaguered hero. 

Much more adult in tone and plotting, it reminded me of a 70’s paranoid thriller like THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (1973) or THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974). It’s no accident that Robert Redford was cast as the duplicitous Agent Pierce as during his heyday the actor was known for such films. 

The action in the film for the most part is more grounded than the other Marvel films relying on some truly impressive and astonishing practical effects. Even the hand the hand fights are well conceived and extremely visceral. It’s not until the end do we really get into the full tilt CGI extravaganza, but even that was remarkable to behold. 

I don’t really have anything bad to say about the film. I was fully engaged from start to finish and enjoyed all the twists and turns. What I particularly liked is that they’ve managed to mix things up quite a bit for the Marvel Universe and shown that the studio can continue to make quality films that aren’t cookie-cutter retreads of their previous efforts. 

Well done, Marvel. Well done!

APRIL 5, 2014