“Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.” – Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Marvel Studios present…
Captain America was created back in the day where war was a huge detriment to society and in order to alleviate the populace in its own little way, thus the “super soldier” was born! After two years since the attack on New York City from beings in outer space, Steve Rogers tries to catch up with the modern world and now works as an operative for the United States Government’s specialized department code named S.H.I.E.L.D under the command of Director Nick Fury with compliments to Samuel L. Jackson (The Spirit) who has since became a household name when it comes to comic based films, making his undeniable presence since the day he showed up in Iron Man (ground zero for the MCU films)!
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (You, Me and Dupree) while screenplay was provided by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (You Kill Me). Never would we have known that the comedy centric tandem of these writers would absolutely produce a runaway success hit that comprises the whole nine yards of film making and giving it relevance to the actual reality that the world is being controlled by a handful few! On the other hand, the Cinematography counts a lot for given measure since Trent Opaloch (Elysium) gives the story sweeping and specific capture of details on given scenarios while making it more tangible and nail biting in reference of the music provided by Henry Jackman (X-Men: First Class).
A TALE OF TWO SOLDIERS: FRIENDS AND FOES
Two men, lost in a world filled with lies and deception! The former became the patriot for his country as he continues the good fight against the forces of oppression while he leads another set of commandos who might have a different perspective in terms of this era’s global war! Coming back from a frozen icy grave (irony) Chris Evans (Iceman) together with the “multi-tasking” Scarlett Johansson (The Black Dahlia) makes the most of their reunion considering that their specific skill sets gives room to be “more” acknowledged making them go toe to toe with their adversaries. They team up with covert black-ops missions whom they coordinate with a team known as S.T.R.I.K.E (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies) upon which Frank Grillo (Warrior) is a member plus acting as lieutenant to the “Sentinel of Liberty”! Modern times has changed drastically especially for the man who is on the run, as Steve tries to find the truth about the agency he is working with, their real agenda and at the same time to those who give the orders.
The latter was a comrade at arms, a former sidekick and above all an irreplaceable friend! Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and appeared as his title character in Captain America Vol. 5 No. 1 on January 2005. Enter the Winter Soldier played remarkably by Sebastian Stan (The Covenant), his concept on how to approach the character was derived from “The Joker” from the block buster phenomenon “The Dark Knight”, the actor explains that his intentions are not just to be the villain in the story but to allow utter chaos flow with his actions as he terrorizes the populace by mass killings and assassinations being made even in broad day light!
While the errand boy does his master’s bidding, veteran and multi-awarded actor Robert Redford (Spy Game) portrays the enigmatic Alexander Pierce, his presence alone does give stipulation of how his so-called long term goals coincide with a “new world order” by tearing the old one down so as to handle prejudice across the globe by answering back not with words of diplomacy but rather with “hell bound” helicarriers!
TRAITORS, ALLIES AND TECH SUPPORT
Cobie Smulders (The Long Weekend) goes in and out of the playing field to provide prop up for the heroes just to save millions of people from being annihilated including both humans and super heroes alike (Ororo Munroe, Amadeus Cho, Bruce Banner, Dr. Stephen Strange, Tony Stark the list goes on). While adding a new face in the MCU (and practically in The Avengers roster soon) is former USAF pararescue Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) as the high soaring Falcon, he has always given his supporting presence some levity where he can still be a team player without acting like someone who is egotistical, he handles his scenes and dialogue as someone who is willing to fight another war just to help his friends and save humanity!
Speaking of which, I was glad that we still got to see the newly inorganic, reincarnated monstrosity (200 K feet of data banks) and former “Swiss” Scientist Dr. Arnim Zola (HAIL HYDRA!) portrayed again by Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Marvel is ingenious to give the Doctor the right contemporary look compared in the pages of the comic books! His plans were well carried off by carefully positioned “ground troops” knowing that one day their slithering tentacles will seize the right opportunity to strangle S.H.I.E.L.D and all of its glory (maniacal laughter HAIL HYDRA!).
The commandeering of the vessel ship, the gun fights, car chases, martial arts / hand to hand combat simulations, the CGI courtesy of ILM looked flawless especially for the characters taking into account their given roles. Noteworthy is the inclusion of Georges “The Leaper” Batroc known in the Marvel Universe as a thief who uses his strong legs to get away from his crimes. Former UFC World Champion Georges St-Pierre gives the Captain a rare one on one stand off to jumpstart the film’s premise!
I watched this film in a cinema where I was asked to choose which one would be better “300: Rise of an Empire” or this one? To be honest I was so happy I chose the latter! It’s already given that you are watching a fan favorite from the comic books as Marvel and Disney ante up the plot a bit more to tilt into the spy-political thriller where every detail should not be left behind nor unturned since it will allow you to connect piece by piece the actual agenda of HYDRA and how they were able to manipulate S.H.I.E.L.D all these years. There is an underlying conspiracy that gives the plot a catalyst to see that no matter how resolved anyone with their ideals; it can still be shaken or controlled by paranoia!
Control would be a good word coming from the special effects team of six companies including ILM, Scanline, Lola, Luma Pictures, Whiskytree and The Embassy plus pre-visualization by Proof which gives the sequences a little more “kick to the teeth” and at the same time to make it look awe inspiring! The casts are more comfortable with each other and dialogue has an easier flow especially with Steve and Natasha working to resolve this clandestine commandeering of their agency!
There were a lot of nail biting moments from the Lemurian Star take over, Fury being hunted down, the secret HYDRA base where it housed the computer Zola and all of the third act’s glory! It is actually so far the best film in the MCU with a smartly written screenplay, thought provoking, real modern times aligned machinations, what else can you ask for?
So, to give emphasis on this juncture another major villain is leading the amputated “skull squid” as he states that this is not a world anymore for spies and heroes but rather of “miracles”! Given that the so-called twins shown after the film were Pietro and Wanda Maximoff better known as the siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, the “mutant” children of Magneto “Master of Magnetism”!
In relation, we also need not overlook how things have changed in the MCU primarily since they want to involve as many characters as possible; unfortunately they were not able to do so since selling the rights of some of their properties to both Fox and Sony which includes “X-Men”, “The Fantastic Four” and “Spider-Man” although given that their contractual obligations to be definite, we just need to be patient when all of these characters will finally come home!
In related news, a boy was recently abducted from planet Earth and is destined to be a “guardian”…