Captain America: The First Avenger directed by Joe Johnston; Captain America: The Winter Soldier directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
With Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War releasing tomorrow in North America and India, here is my last promised Marvel review (listed on the left; except for the last one, of course) before I review the movie itself. Obviously, it had to be these two movies.
Captain America: The First Avenger was released in 2011 and was the last of the Marvel Phase 1 movies leading into The Avengers. That being said, the post-credits scene is an actual trailer for The Avengers, which is a little disappointing in hindsight. Anyway, the movie.
Set in the 1940’s, the story follows Steve Rogers, and you all know the story. It’s been in popular culture for over half a century. The focus of this is the setting, and the movie did such a great job of establishing that it was the 1940’s, and it felt like an old American movie, which was absolutely the best way to go. The tone of this movie is completely different from any other Marvel film, and it needed to be. From the beginning to the end, it was classic action movie material.
I loved the performances as well. Chris Evans is simply perfect, and Marvel’s casting has to be praised. Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull was also a great choice, and he did a great job. Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones and the rest are fine as well. The action sequences are great too. One thing this movie gets slammed on is its pacing and structure, but I’m actually a fan of it. It was different and it had a really good arc to it.
However, there are gaping issues with this movie, and the most important one is the characters. Other than Steve Rogers, and perhaps to an extent, the villain, every character is very one-dimensional. The important people in the army are only army people, the bad guy, even though I loved the way the character was, was just a bad guy. James Barnes is nothing more than a friend. The characters in this movie are weak.
Even though I mentioned many more positives than negatives, that one downside takes a lot of points off the movie.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:
Captain America: The First Avenger: MIHIR
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was Marvel’s third Phase 2 film, and completely changed the game for Marvel. After The Avengers, two mediocre films in Iron man 3 and Thor: The Dark World lowered the bar for Marvel, but this movie pushed it way back up. The Russo Brothers (also directed Civil War, confirmed to take on Infinity Wars) completely revitalised Captain America and made arguably the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.
Taking a twist on the superhero genre, The Winter Soldier is a political thriller that changes SHIELD and the wider Marvel universe along with it, and makes for a movie that is more serious than anything seen before, more mature, and more deep. Unlike its predecessor, it features characters that truly have motives, and backgrounds, and depth. The story is something unique and twisting, and the visuals are breathtaking.
I really have no faults with it.
Even the post-credits scenes are two of my favourites.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: MIHIR