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Captain America – The Winter Soldier

Eric Renderking Fisk | May 2014

By now we all know what an amazing phenomenon the Marvel movies have become. Starting with Iron Man we were introduced to a large and almost all encompassing universe. The Marvel Universe is perhaps too real and deals with issues such as elitism, class and social conscience, personal responsibility and consequence. Not only do many of these movies demonstrate that “no good deed goes unpunished” but too often that doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is often just wrong.

Yea, these people are superheroes, but they aren’t always the best in maintaining and building relationships. We want to emulate them because of the good they do, but we want to learn from them and not do what they do when interacting with the people they’re supposed to love. It’s these nuances that make all of these Marvel true to life, we all know of people like Tony Stark who masks his inner issues with false bravado… just one example. We also know plenty of people like Steve Rogers – the elder statesman who is often too right than we care to admit.

To reiterate, some of these superhero movies that Marvel is cranking out might be too cerebral and complex for some viewers who want something that’s cut and dry… just tell me who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, and now let’s have some “X-plosions!” So a movie of this complexity and nuance and some critics totally lose their minds because they don’t know what to make of it.

One of the things that’s clear to me is that all the critics who claim this motion picture – “Captain America: Winter Solder” has no plot obviously didn’t see it our were too inebriated to follow it. If anything, this motion picture was a bit too heavy for a super hero movie. If a critic were to write, “the plot was too think and dense for a super hero movie” that might be a criticism I might actually except. I might actually respect that since my kids had a hard time sitting still for a couple of scenes.

To say this film had “no plot” is an insult to people who actually saw the film. To say “Oh I can assure you he has seen every movie he has written about. If you didn't agree with the critics opinion then just say so, there is no need for anything else” is just a lie.

The “problem” with this movie is that it’s too intellectual for some people. The question of who are the good guys and the bad isn’t that clear. We have good guys who do bad things for the “greater good” and you have bad guys who do good things to lull us into a sense of false security. All we know is that our buddy – The First Avenger – is the good guy along with fellow Avenger Natasha Romanoff AKA “The Black Widow” (Scarlett Johansson… who really needs her own fim.) and Sam Wilson / Falcon (played by Anthony Mackie who will get his own motion picture eventually).

We also have Alexander Pierce played by Robert Redford who brings with him the baggage of “All The President’s Men” and “Six Days Of The Condor.” No, that’s not a mistake on anyone’s part – there’s a reason why Mr. Redford is there with that caliber of movies since those of us who have lived long enough know what those movies mean.

We have to think; what was the director, producers, and screen writers trying to do with this character played by a man who has done plenty of other films about corruption and conspiracies with-in our own government. What are they trying to say with this character and this casting? It’s not a mistake, it’s fully intentional.

I don’t mean to gloss over the rest of the movie with all this “Conspiracy Theory” chatter. As always Chris Evans does an incedible job playing the 95 year old super hero with action scenes that are the best since… the last Marvel movie he was in? He plays the part of a half superhero/half fish out of water character to the extent makes his background story seem plausible. His on-screen relationship with Miss Johansson reminds us of the chemistry of “Nick and Nora” from “The Thin Man” movies, while new comer of the franchise Anthony Mackie serves as the audiences advocate via his role as Falcon.

This Marvel film is about as close to anything high-brow and thought provoking as Joe Six-Pack is going to get via an action movie and it bothers a lot of critics that this movie did something really bold with this sequel. This motion picture has more intelligent things to say about the state of decay our system is in and how good intentions have allowed an infestation of near biblical proportions than anything hacks like Michael Moore has done or ever will.

If there is a draw-back to this film is that there were times when I was reminded how much I miss “The X-Files” and how we’re past due for it’s return. “Winter Solder” also serves us a painful reminder of how close “Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” came to perfection if it just stuck more to the plot line of Cold War intrigue.