Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Superpowered Political Thriller

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

"With liberty and justice for all."

Those words have more complex meanings than ever before in the modern age of terrorist cells, surveillance drones, and digital threats. Captain America: The Winter Soldier captures these tensions and interprets them through the eyes of the titular 1940s hero now thrust into today's gray areas of freedom, ambiguities that didn't exist in Steve Rodger's black and white past.

Still trying to discover what the place of a member of the Greatest Generation might have among all us pesky millennials, Captain America faces the dangerous unknown in more than ways in one. A shadowy figure from the past has emerged and begun wreaking havoc upon SHIELD, a government counter-threat agency that may itself be corrupted by age-old foes.

Credit for much of the film lies with two creative duos: director brothers Anthony and Joe Russo (Community) and the screenwriting team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (The Chronicles of Narnia series). Knowing they had to make a very different film than the first, WW2-set Captain America film (also written by Markus and McFeely), these four set out to pay homage to the spy film classics of the 70s, a decision which lets Cap 2 feel less like the typical superhero movie and more like a typical political espionage thriller.