On Friday, I suffered through Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and its 2011 prequel Captain America: The First Avenger (available at RedBox and Netflix).
Having watched both films, I’m having a hard time figuring which is the less endurable one!
In its favor, the older film at least had some funny moments like the puny guy itching to join the war effort (WW II) before he gets serumed up into an invincible fighting machine and interesting characters like Tommy Lee Jones’ surly Colonel Chester Phillips.
Super Zero Drivel
For me, the genre of super hero movies based on comic book characters targeted at children and adults with the mental age of children is an agonizing affliction that strikes every 18-24 months.
Made with budgets on steroids, in the case of Captain America: The Winter Soldier it’s $170 million, most of these super hero movies have no soul or emotional draw.
The one constant is men in ridiculous attire wield weapons like the hammer, shield or fancy guns and perform weird and impossible feats.
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier too, there’s little by way of an engaging plot or drama, relying instead on gee-whiz gimmickry of flying men and hulking weaponry to keep the zombies (audience) on the edge of their seats and send their adrenalin into the stratosphere.
Our hero Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans again) is diving from planes parachute-less, jumping off tall buildings, leaping on to planes, blasting his enemies into oblivion and performing an assortment of other tricks.
My appetite for pyrotechnic gimmicks is not endless.
But for addle-brained, adrenalin-starved action movie zombies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is bound to be a sumptuous feast.
From start to finish, the film is an endless series of fights – on ground, on a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean and high in the air. Admittedly, some of the action scenes (mostly computer generated) are well executed.
But the underlying story of Captain America: The Winter Soldier is so threadbare, and the writing less than inspired, that I found it impossible to form a connection with what was transpiring on the screen. Save a couple of sentences, the dialogs have little zing to them.
The core of the story centers around how SHIELD, the spy agency Captain America and his sidekick Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) work for, has been compromised/infiltrated by members of the evil outfit Hydra led by Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and assisted by the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
Considering the use of Winter Soldier in the title, one would have expected more of his back story on how he turned out the way he did. But there’s not much of that except a rushed explanation.
You can watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier without seeing its 2011 prequel. But to get a good sense of the strong link between Captain America and the Winter Soldier or the role of Dr.Zola, it’s better if you see Captain America: The First Avenger first.
At a theatre on the East Coast, it was a full house for the new movie yesterday.
Doubtless, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will easily strike a chord with zombies elsewhere too.
For the sensible ones, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is most definitely worth missing.