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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Movie Review: Captain America changes the superhero universe

Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 04, 2014
First Published: 15:45 IST(4/4/2014) | Last Updated: 12:36 IST(5/4/2014)

Let's face it, Captain America is not the sassiest of Marvel superheroes. He is the good guy who believes in following the straight and the narrow. None of that devilish streak for him which makes superheroes, well, a little bit human.

But if you want someone to watch over America when bad people are doing bad stuff, he's your guy.

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there are enough bad guys around and you've seen all of them before - Russians, Nazis (at least, in spirit) and rotten eggs inside S.H.I.E.L.D, the super secret agency.

So, America needs its wholesome superhero and Steve Rogers aka Captain America comes to the rescue. And he does so with style.

The film takes off from a rescue attempt aboard a ship which has been hijacked. Kinetic hand-to-hand fights and blazing guns set the scene.

The gun keep on getting bigger and bigger throughout the movie till you are introduced to helicarriers (better than anything you have seen till now, thank you very much CGI).


Directors Anthony and Joe Russo ensure that there are enough car chases, fancy gadgetry, kicks and somersaults, and flying vehicles to satiate the Marvel fans. It dazzles the eye, keeps you on the edge of your seat and doesn't tax your brain a lot. The climactic battle over Washington DC is classic comic film for you.

Chris Evans is reprising his role as the Cap (we saw him in the Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers earlier) and there are enough references to the first film. Those who have not watched it, this will be a good time to catch it.

Giving him company here are S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). S.H.I.E.L.D is ramping up its operations and instead of acting once terrorists have stuck, the organisation wants to eliminate people who may pose a danger in the future.

Rogers, who is anyway struggling to comprehend how the new world functions (he's 95, remember), says it is "fear, not freedom". His plan is to hang up his XL-sized boots.

But then, Fury is targeted by bad guys and Rogers is left with no option but to get back in the game; with a lot of support, and a kiss, from Black Widow. He also has Falcon (Anthony Mackie) on his side - the guy flies minus a plane and has the best lines.

Evening up the game is Robert Redford, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D who is equal measures suave and terrifying. When Fury asks him to delay the project, Redford's Pierce asks him to send Ironman to his niece's birthday party. "And he has to mingle".

An inspired piece of casting, Redford excels as Alexander Pierce whose layered character keeps you guessing whose side he is on. 

And then there are the back stories. Believe it or not, Fury's grandpa operated a lift in a fancy building and carried a loaded gun. Oh, by the way, Fury may be married.

Black Widow traded in KGB for S.H.I.E.L.D because she wanted to know whose lies she was telling. Ironman's father was killed by rogue Nazi agents. If that's not a treat for dedicated fans, what is?

There is an India, Pakistan and a 26/11 mention too and it's not in the best taste but then since when has Hollywood been known to be sensitive when it comes to countries which are not America?

There is also a delicious twist in the end which will leave you surprised and set the stage for the next film of the franchise. Just a little teaser: It is a blast from the past and adds to the emotional bandwidth of the film.
      

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