Friday, April 04, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

I have to put my foot down: the action sequences in Captain America: The Winter Soldier are really notably badly edited.  I mean, I don't know, maybe I'm just noticing it more this time out, though I don't know why that would be, but I really have the feeling that the problem is greater here than in previous Marvel movies.  The camera is constantly cutting and flipping all over the place, and this oft makes it way more difficult to follow the action than it ought to be.  

In light of which it seems weird to say that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is really great fun--one of the best in the whole extended series.  The whole paranoid, conspiracy-thriller aspect of the story is something that's entirely new to the franchise, and it works really well.  A scene of building tension as more and more people crowd onto an elevator at different floors is extremely well-done (even if one wishes the denouement had been a bit less obvious).  The other big winner, for me, was a chase scene with Nick Fury--in previous movies, Samuel L Jackson's character had been basically above the fray, never in any actual danger, so it was actually kind of shocking, in an exciting way.

And what the hell--I really like The Captain himself.  It's odd that such a corny character could be brought to the screen so well, but I think he's one of my favorite characters in the franchise, topped only by Mark Ruffalo's incarnation of Bruce Banner, and maybe Loki.  Good characters, good story, good laugh-lines--what more do you want?  Well, okay, yes, less choppy action, but the best action scenes nonetheless work in spite of themselves.  I'm happy with this one.

I also appreciated the swipes it took at the modern security state--no, they're not the most coherent or biting, but hey, for a movie of this sort, they're okay.  Certainly a lot better than the frankly laughable effort at same in The Dark Knight.  But here's the real question: if you're a wingnut, do you hate the movie because it suggests that immediately murdering every terrorist or potential terrorist ever is a bad idea, so it must be pro-Obama, who, as we know, Coddles Terrorists…or do you love it because right now Obama's in charge so you can blame all our security overreach on him and pretend like you've always had a problem with it, and by extension read the movie as anti-Obama?  It's a tough one.  What a tragic life does the Zhadovite lead!  On consideration, though, I'm afraid the presence of Robert Redford in the movie is quite likely to tip the scales in favor of "hate."  Bit of a pain to hate all media that you can't obviously co-opt, I should think.


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