Poor Captain America. He never thought his days fighting Nazis would be the ones he'd look back on with nostalgia. All he yearns for is simpler times. Times when freedom wasn't a commodity, but a necessity.
Times when the good guys fought to protect that freedom, and the bad guys all wore matching uniforms.
Such is not the case for Captain Steven Rogers (Chris Evans) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the second installation of the saga. He unthawed to find the modern world is faster, stronger, and technologically advanced, not at all what the wide-eyed super-soldier is used to. Even the institution that employs him, S.H.I.E.L.D., is revealed to have their hands in some, um, questionable technology intended to provide security. Headed by Alexander Pierce - the ever magical Robert Redford - S.H.I.E.L.D. is not the same as Rogers remembers, sparking an inner turmoil for our hero. Are freedom and security mutually exclusive? Pierce seems to think so. Rogers isn't so sure.
Although Rogers is vulnerable when left alone to brood, it doesn't take long into the movie to realize you do not want to get on his bad side.
When Rogers punches someone, you feel the punch. His sheer power is evident from the opening scene, and it only takes one throw of his shield to know he's not messing around. The fight sequences are only made better by the refreshing lack of CGI, solely relying on choreography, training, and brute strength. Nail-biting battles combined with surprisingly good character development provide us a dark, intensely realistic comic book movie, the likes of which we haven't seen since "The Dark Knight."
Sandwiched between the excellent action sequences and striking cinematography, there is the slightly flatter banter between Rogers and Agent Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). While Johansson nails her character's grim aloofness, we really just want them to stop coming up with witty one-liners and get back to kicking some bad-guy butt.
And there sure are a lot of bad guys. The plot was ambitious, yes, but unfortunately it erred on the side of confusion and muddiness, a plot that would have probably been better served as another Avengers movie. The supposed main villain, the extremely powerful and mysterious Winter Soldier, comes off as an afterthought. Disappointing, considering he is mentioned in the title.
And between assassination attempts, Soviet gangsters, and a government-funded internet surveillance system that makes the NSA look like Harriet the Spy, it's hard to tell who the real bad guys are.
But, of course, that is the point.
Robertson is a senior creative writing major at SMSU from Sacred Heart.