This is one of my favourite of the Marvel films. It may not be as complex or intelligent as it verges on being, but this thriller delivers some great performances and an actual sense of peril within the action which makes it stand out.
There is some great work going on here with characters and performance. The characters such as Nick Fury, Black Widow and even the Captain himself have some nice depth applied here and it’s lovely to see Samuel L. Jackson having a little more to him here than just barking orders for a few seconds. The casting of Robert Redford is excellent; he brings the exact right subdued approach to his role, and Chris Evans is reliable as the Captain as always. Although everybody does a good job here, Scarlett Johansson is the stand out. She excels both as an action star and when firing off oneliners and playing around with Evans. I came away wanting to see more of her and I hope her role is increased in size within The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
As for the Winter Soldier himself, he has a great presence on screen when he is there, but he is a little underused. I found myself wanting to see more of him and I felt that the film skimmed over his character arc a little. However he is a real force to be reckoned with in the action scenes. The action may not always feel that perilous, we have the standard large fight scenes that you would expect in a Marvel superhero movie, but occasionally though I did actually worry for our heroes – and that’s a rare thing. It seems to me that there is a really great movie buried here, which if the studios had been a little braver, could have emerged. Instead we have a very serviceable and enjoyable blockbuster where a huge threat faces us all and naturally that demands an enormous CGI loaded fight to break out. It’s just a shame they couldn’t have gone small in scale with this one, but as they didn’t this is a very fun end result.
What is the film’s greatest strength? It may just be Scarlett Johansson – she is really great here!
Its greatest weakness? Just how big it goes, it could have benefited from being smaller in scope.
Would I see it again? Yes I would. It was a solid, entertaining blockbuster.
Type out your thoughts in the comment box below!