Sunday, 10 August 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

All this talk of the Avengers gets me thinking...where is Captain Britain Marvel?? Yes that's right my fellow movie forum dwellers and review hobgoblins, there is a character called Captain Britain and he is or has been part of the Avengers, amongst other super teams. Wouldn't it be kinda cool to see good old Captain USA fighting alongside Captain UK huh. Captain America fighting Hydra whilst Captain Britain battles all those bastards that take up two spaces in your local Tesco car park, don't get me started on the state of our roads! but I digress...

So whilst the rest of the Avenger team is...somewhere where they can't be reached apparently, the Captain and Black Widow must virtually save the entire world on their own. S.H.I.E.L.D. has been comprised as Hydra slowly takes over, no one can be trusted, not even the top levels. Three huge Star Destroyers are being finished and prepped ready to sale over the world and bring order out of chaos, but are they controlled by the good guys or the bad guys?

The very first action scene in this film reinforces some issues I have with this comicbook universe (not being a fanboy). A S.H.I.E.L.D. ship has been hijacked by French (French?) terrorists and are holding hostages. The Captain turns up with Widow and the S.T.R.I.K.E. team but basically goes off and takes down half the terrorists single handedly. Black Widow takes down plenty of guys too but these two simply exterminate them all without breaking sweat or having any makeup get smudged, how is there any crime in this universe when these heroes are so invincible?! Seriously the Captain could of killed everyone on the ship without help...also does that boomerang shield have a homing device or something?

What I did like about this film is the fact its a bit of espionage and all out action blended together with some political intrigue of sorts. This does make for a rousing experience no doubt, the other thing I liked was the surprising sidestepping of all out CGI set pieces and the actual use of real time stunts and destruction, plenty of it too. If you like destruction porn, mainly car destruction porn, then you're gonna like this movie that's for sure. I haven't seen so much vehicle ruination for a long time, explosions out the yang! guns fights blazing, fisticuffs errr fighting and a reasonable amount of violence too! They don't shy away from people getting gunned down which was cool, up and close neck breaking is hidden from view for the most part though.

You certainly get what you came for with this movie I kid you not, in fact Black Widow kinda upstages the Captain if you ask me...despite her iffy looking dye job and heavy tan makeup. Dunno what's happened there, in the first movie she has curly hair and is quite pale, obviously wasn't sexy enough first time around. I really don't wanna say it but at one point I actually thought there was too much action! yes that's right too much. There is so much stuff getting blown to pieces and so much extreme destruction...alongside characters that have wing jet packs and metal bionic arms, you could almost be forgiven for thinking you were watching the new G.I. Joe movie. The whole thing really looked more like a big toy advert than a Marvel flick at times, luckily the sight of the Captain keeps you in check.

After seeing a multitude of vehicles getting blown to shit we eventually reach the finale where basically...three huge Helicarriers must be blown to shit. I gotta say I agree with Robert Redford's character when this happens, it is such a waste of tech! geez! couldn't they try and just land them or something. The other thing that made me laugh at this point was the fact they are trying to stop these Helicarriers targeting and killing thousands of people. Yet when they all get blasted to pieces and come crashing down wouldn't that still kinda kill a hell of a lot of people on the ground? Sure not as many if Hydra's plan had come to fruition but still!

I'm not too sure how Marvel do it but somehow they are able to make a movie work with multiple characters right now, DC and Sony have kinda failed as have other folk in the past but Marvel has got this thing down to a tee. I can't really fault the cast here, everyone has good screen time, we know their performances now, the new guy portrayed by Stan looks a bit cliched with his bionic arm as does Falcon but hey ho its a comicbook adaptation. Cards on the table though...I thought Redford was a bit weak, didn't quite seem comfortable in his role, possibly his age.

So yeah there is still an abundance of CGI tomfoolery going on here but there is also some great old fashioned stunts and wreckin' going on too, so kudos. As usual the finale does tend to lose its grip a bit, things get a tad stupid like Falcon jumping out of a tall story building right into the waiting chopper below, yeah the characters reference how crazy it is which is cool...but it still seems too much despite everything else going on. Oh and surviving that fall with the parachute at the last minute? errrr! Also why do those Helicarriers have those glass dome things on their underside? and why would they house the most important electrical parts of the carrier (targeting system for one). While we're down here how the hell did the good guys know which one of the those electrical circuits to remove and replace??! there were loads of them in rows all looking the same! talk about a fiddly situation that might cause a panic attack sheesh!

The only real bit of action that didn't look too good for me was the short sequence where the Captain escapes from Triskelion and has to overcome one of those Sulaco drop ship things. It all looked a bit like a videogame sequence there I think, but there's always gonna be some hokey looking CGI in these films.

Some nice twists which I'm sure everybody knows about now, some setups for future adventures and new characters, two end credit scenes which poke at more crossovers and new characters. Hell its everything we've now come to expect from a standard Marvel superhero experience. This movie was on fire! it doesn't stop for a breather at all, devastation piled on top of obliteration. In the end virtually everything has been blown up, all that's left are the dark clouds of smouldering debris.