Chris Evans portrays a conflicted, pensive Captain America as he struggles to maintain the classic ideals of American freedom amidst an invasive government, an increased technological presence and black-ops cynicism, all under the guise of sacrificing a degree of autonomy to protect Americans. Although he is reluctant to confide in and rely on anyone, he grows to trust Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson, Her), known as the Black Widow. She is a former Russian assassin and a formidable opponent with her expert martial arts and interrogational skills.
Both Johansson and Evans shine in the movie’s countless hand-to-hand combat scenes, leaving viewers marveling at these displays of pure physicality. Their dynamic as partners is founded on mutual respect despite their differing backgrounds, and their banter injects humor into the dark action sequences and prose.
Anthony Mackie, a friend of Rogers’ who retired in Washington, D.C., reclaims his wings as the Falcon and serves as an ally in combat for Captain America.
However, at some point before the end of the movie, the plot slightly lags in a way that makes viewers wish for the archetypal climactic resolution.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the first superhero movie since The Dark Knight to draw on current events and societal attitudes involving the National Security Agency (NSA) and mass surveillance in the United States. This movie is unique because it appeals to fans of superhero and dystopian genres. It is reminiscent of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, which portrays a government that utilizes ongoing high tech observation to maintain order and eliminate potential threats.
The Winter Soldier bests its predecessor in a spectacular culmination of action as Captain America, Romanoff and Mackie save America from its alleged protectors. Fans of the first installment of Captain America and The Avengers will thoroughly enjoy this thrilling, and at times thought-provoking sequel. They will also be delighted to see that the resolution previews an impending conflict for Captain America, or possibly the entire Avengers team, to take place in the next movie.