I would like to start this off by saying that I liked Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3, and from the start I really was not behind this film(welp, that's a crappy start but I'm not going to bullshit you guys). However, Iron man and Thor were fun sure, but still had that shallowness that sadly trails the Marvel Studios films like a creepy stalker. Captain America's latest outing, which hit theaters yesterday, I think had a little more depth to it. This time around, it didn't just feel like Marvel was throwing it out there real fast to sort of 'get it over with', this film had heart, but not just that. The action, humor, setting, everything was almost like watching one of the recent 'Bond' films. Everything about this one felt right to me.
Chris Evans indefinitely stepped up his game in this installment. Evans not only returned to fulfill his contract, but to play a superhero true to the comics and I'm going to tell you friends, he played the hell out of him. Evans made me feel that he WAS Captain America, the whole way through. I will say that initially I felt there were better choices than Evans, but he proved me wrong in every way. Now, I feel that Evans is indeed perfect for the role simply because he embodies everything that Cap is and stands for. I had a hard time seeing that previously but now I don't now why the hell I ever did. Evans' Cap this go around was fast, brutal, and to-the-point, but every bit as compassionate and selfless as he was in his first two appearances.
The addition of characters The Falcon and The Winter Soldier were great, with solid casting to go along with it. Anthony Mackie surprised me as Sam Wilson/Falcon, he didn't turn out to be just a nice little foil for Cap, but throughout the film he built and became his own character. The effects of The Falcon were awesome to watch, every time he would spread those wings and take off, I couldn't help but smile. Sebastian Stan may not be an entirely new character, but villain wise he might as well be, because this was an entirely different role for Stan. The Winter Soldier was everything he was built up to be in the trailers and more. Slick, creepy, and just an all around badass, Stan proved his alter ego could be every bit as powerful as Evans' Cap.
Moving on to supporting villains Robert Redford and Frank Grillo as Alexander Pierce and Brock Rumlow respectively. I basically expected "Hail Hydra' to escape Robert Redord's lips before the film was over, and sure enough I was right dammit. Redford was that perfect 'pulling-the-strings' type soul with corruption oozing out of him. Redford's Pierce would threaten and act with sheer conviction and you could almost tell he was a forerunner of HYDRA from the start. On to Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow or as we like to call him: Crossbones. Grillo played Redford's little helper with good loyalty and a fantastic villainous side to go with. Grillo himself has said: "He is a bad ass guy. [He] pretty much beats the shit out of everyone in the movie and that's really it." That is really it.
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow, and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill all portrayed their characters to the letter, and no less delivered than how they have done in the past appearances, so if you were expecting some kind of life changing performance of the three, it doesn't really happen, but Fury and Widow do have some solid character development this time around, with Fury clinging to his life in frantic car chase scene to Widow getting a little closer to her mysterious past exploits than she'd like to be. That's all I will say on that.
Now, on to what I thought were to of the best elements of the film: the action and emotion. The choreography was smooth, stylish, and just downright brutal, and oh so satisfying to watch. I would say that the showdowns within this film are on par with Daniel Craig every time he beats up a baddie in a 'James Bond' film(please forgive me for the Bond comparisons. I just love the action within them). Captain America really shows just how painful things could get if you ever cross him. So, with said 'crossing' I don't recommend it. Other highlights fighting-wise would have to be The Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and Crossbones. So if you haven't seen this, you know who to look out for once the action starts.
The emotional levels of this one push the limits of the MCU's lighthearted-ness, and you really start to feel for these characters, specifically Steve, and The Winter Soldier. This film will certainly tug at those heart strings at some point in time, because the movie as a whole is just that powerful, and it's a nice change compared to Iron Man and Thor's last outings. The emotion in this film doesn't overdo. It's the icing on the cake, and whereas with Thor: The Dark World, it doesn't make you regret feeling sad at a particular scene with poorly placed humor following after. Speaking of the humor, the movie has it's moments of getting those chuckles out of us, but it is well done it doesn't make an ass out of itself by trying to look like a gut-busting comedy.
One of my only real complaints with the film was that I was expecting an 'Expendables' type battle with Falcon and Crossbones, and all I really got was some snappy comments and a few punches and a throw. Falcon proceeds to go and 'take care' of Brock, he gets there and then it goes to another event happening within the film, by the time it comes back to the two, its over. Some other little things about the film may have been out of place not to mention I strongly disliked the suit at the beginning of the film, but overall, this is the best film that Marvel Studios has released so far. I was glad I took the time to see it.
With solid acting, well-placed humor and emotion, incredible choreography that sets itself apart from the other MCU films, and just a great overall tone, this is one of the best Marvel has ever made. I highly recommend seeing it if you haven't yet, I was not disappointed.