Captain America: A Superior Sequel

Nathan Fisher

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Illustration by Sophie Cooper-Ellis.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love (good) superhero movies. Surprisingly, Marvel’s recent installment, “Captain America:  The Winter Soldier” does not disappoint. After the Marvel superhero clan banded together in “The Avengers” and reminded us how awesome Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America are, Marvel has not backed down in rolling out movies showcasing individual heroes.  Frankly, Captain America has always been my least favorite “hero” because he seems a bit of a dud. But the ole Captain has matured; maybe his testosterone has increased along with his muscles––whatever, he’s worthy of a solo adventure and contrary to what history might suggest, a sequel can be better than the original.

“Captain America” round two follows our manly-muscles-popping-from-his-suit American hero (Chris Evans) after the fallout from “The Avengers.” Captain Rogers is working for SHIELD, the secret organization that tries to keep peace in the world. Steve is still trying to acclimate into the 21st century after having been frozen for over 70 years and unthawing just in time to help save mankind in the “The Avengers.” SHIELD has Captain America running missions and “saving the world,” but one of his assignments with Black Widow (his trusty and hot sidekick played by Scarlett Johansson) by his side goes horribly wrong when the head of SHIELD, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), is attacked by the “Winter Soldier.” The attack leaves Fury to believe the multibillion-dollar organization he and his friend Agent Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) run is compromised. The only man who can save the day is, yup, you guessed it, Captain America, the Black Widow and the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) ––oh, dear god, they need better names!!!!

The ending set up what could have been a very interesting twist in the future, but for the majority of the movie, the other characters of the Avengers were not even mentioned, which disappointed me.  There wasn’t even a hint toward the T.V. show “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” which is directly affected by the events of “Captain America.”  But by taking out any references to other characters and movies, “Captain America 2” made itself able to stand alone, unlike the Thor sequel, which highly incorporated plot and characters from “The Avengers.”

The plot unveiled itself as expected with our superhero, but Captain America was not the highlight of the movie for me, even with his improved wit and physique. Robert Redford, the leathered 77-year-old Sundance kid who recently survived a capsized sailboat in “All is Lost,” continues to create magic on the big screen. His relaxed and laid back style shows he still has life left in him and was the perfect opposite to the heavily CGI-ed “Captain America.”

I was surprised by how enjoyable the Captain America sequel is. The second time around, Captain America is here with a purpose!  He’s a better fighter, more muscular, and he fights alongside Scarlett Johansson. Everything is upgraded! The dialogue was better, the supporting cast was more enjoyable, the gadgets were newer, the explosions were bigger and the movie was more fun to watch all around. So, if you’re looking for some superhero fun, don’t hesitate to see “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

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