I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Published March 25th 2014
Marvel's Super Soldier Faces The Enemy Within
New Marvel movies are as eagerly anticipated by fans as the arrival of the monthly comics from which they take their inspiration. Iron Man, Spiderman, The Avengers, Thor, X-Men and the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy... it's a feast for loyal followers of Stan Lee's superheroes.
The latest film in the Marvel Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, does not disappoint in the action stakes but there's also a thoughtful plot reminiscent of '70s conspiracy films like Three Days of the Condor for those that like something a touch more cerebral.
Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, (Chris Evans) is still trying to adapt to life in the 21st century after being kept in ice since World War II. He becomes suspicious of some of the activities of S.H.I.E.L.D., the spy/ security organisation he works for. Because of his super strength, the result of being given an experimental serum during the war, mere mortals cannot compete with him so there's a mighty baddie, The Winter Soldier, for him to battle, just to keep things interesting.
There's also a kind of mini Avengers team thing going on as the Captain is joined by The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), as well as Nick Fury, to root out suspected corruption.
Black Widow gets a lot of screen time, and there is even some playful banter between her and Rogers about who he should date, while The Falcon, complete with mechanical wings, comes into his own during the last quarter of the movie.
The plot reveals itself slowly but there's loads of action for those who don't want to think too deeply. The body count is high with Captain America using his shield as a deadly Frisbee as much as a defence mechanism.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are obviously huge film fans as they draw on other works for inspiration. They admit that, plot-wise, '70s conspiracy movies were an influence, while the action sequences recall Michael Bay's Transformers franchise with lots of close-ups and in your face fights, and previous Marvel movies Iron Man 3 and, especially, Avengers Assemble are brought to mind. In fact, the climax of The Winter Soldier is so close to AA the producers may want to ban similar conclusions in their next few superhero outings.
Having said that, I saw The Winter Soldier in 3D at Birmingham Cineworld's IMAX and it was spectacular. Other things I liked were the inspired casting of Robert Redford as Agent Alexander Pierce (although on the IMAX screen he looks really old!), an appearance by Jenny Agutter as World Security Council Member and the introduction of Emily VanCamp from TV's Revenge as Sharon Carter/ Agent 13. And it's always fun to spot Stan Lee's traditional cameo appearance.