Captain America Winter SoldierAfter watching CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER I realize what is wrong with a lot of these comic book movies. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Most are bunch of cool EFX set pieces tied together very loosely by a thin plot. Ok, don’t stop me because it is totally reasonable. I came to that realization because CAPTAIN AMERICA is very different. It is more about the plot and less about its set pieces. There are moral and ethical consequences to the actions of the characters. As in THE AVENGERS The Cap (Steve Rogers), more than capably played by Chris Evans, is having problems adjusting to living in the 21st Century. He fills his life with work, you know like saving the world and doing S.H.E.I.L.D.’s bidding. It’s a running gag between Evans and Scarlett Johansson as she keeps suggesting women for him to date. That serves to humanize the Superhero. All that is subtext for the main plot. S.H.E.I.L.D is under siege. Maybe from within. We really don’t know until later in the movie. Which is a good thing. We discover what is really going on alongside our hero. The dialogue is sharp but not nearly as rapid fire or clever as The Avengers. That’s not bad, just different. Actually it might be better, because CAPTAIN AMERICA is not as impressed with itself as THE AVENGERS. What really sets this apart is the moral dilemmas that Captain America, Black Widow (Johansson) Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) must deal with. How much freedom should we give up for security? Is it wrong to reveal intelligence to the public, even if it is for the right reasons? (Are you paying attention Washington?) There are a ton of spoilers that I refuse to reveal. That would ruin all the fun, wouldn’t it? One small hint in the form of a question: Is Hydra really defunct? Is this better than The Avengers? Not quite. Is it the next best movie to come out of the Marvel Universe? It just might be. — Alan Yudman

Now this is how you make a sequel! Captain America: the Winter Soldier is far better then the last 2 Iron Man movies and both of the Thor flicks. Cap has become the new Superman for this generation because Man of Steel most certainly does not carry that tradition of a hero who believes in what’s right and won’t lower himself morally while fighting the bad guys. The story is smart and timely, the acting fantastic, and the suspense genuine as old school action shoot them up sequences keep us in the audience on the edge of our seats. Aside from the first Iron Man and the Avengers, this is the best marvel movie in the bunch. Simply awesome! — Stormy Curry


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