Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What is Wrong with CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER? Oh, a few things...

With the new AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON movie coming out this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to ask the question: What is wrong with CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER?

What isn't wrong with it? I'll answer the latter first, the former later.

As usual, Hollywood churns out generally entertaining stuff.  The "Captain America" sequel is definitely a blast and is very entertaining and for that reason, in my opinion, is even more insidious as it manages to include quite a bit of character development without upsetting it's ridiculously break-neck pacing.  It helps that the first "Captain America" film did an amazing job of adapting the original comic's premise for the big screen, so we are ready to like this film.

The first film was paced so well that there was essentially no aspect of the movie that was given short shrift.  Story, character, editing, effects, music, it was all nearly perfect.  The sequel, however, manages to sell everyone short except for Cap and Black Widow.

Again, on the surface, it seems like the perfect movie.  It opens with Cap meeting a young veteran while jogging.  It's pretty much a perfect sequence and makes for a good character dynamic for later, when Cap needs a second teammate (not sure why he didn't just call Tony Stark or Bruce Banner or Thor--well, Thor probably doesn't have a mobile phone, but you get my point).  Likewise, the character moments Cap and Natasha share are really great.  Two competent people dealing with what their competence doesn't prepare them for: real life.  It's a really nice dynamic and super rare to see.  When is the last time you saw a male and female character of any competence level have a non-sexual relationship in movies or TV these days?   And this one was even based on mutual respect.

I should also say that the score is utterly amazing.  It's totally creepy and almost mind-bending compared to most scores done for action movies.  This music has moments where it screams at you: SOMETHING IS WRONG and it's wonderful.  Listen to the score by itself and you'll see what I mean.  It's one of my favorites.  Henry Jackman deserved an Oscar for it, in my opinion.

So, that's pretty much what worked.  Now for what didn't.  Remember, this is a spoiler-rich zone.

First, the Story.

As the story progresses, we learn that SHIELD, an 80 year-old government organization, has been utterly infiltrated by HYDRA.