So this was probably one of the most anticipated movies of the spring, despite the fact that it was up against some intense competition, with Jungle Book and Mother’s Day being strong performers. However, I was pretty sure this one would take the number one spot, as it’s already set records outside the US. And for once, a big budget blockbuster is pleasing critics and hitting all the right notes with audiences.
And it had a lot of notes to hit.
The film opens in 1991, with a frozen Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) being thawed out for another in a series of murderous missions. One after another, the code words needed to activate the killer are spoken: “daybreak … furnace … homecoming … freight car …” Flash forward to present-day Lagos, where an Avengers squad made up of Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is foiling the theft of a biological weapon. There’s a shit ton of casualties and it all goes downhill for the Avengers from there when they have to submit for government oversight.
There’s a lot going on, but they managed to balance it pretty well. I never got too confused, despite a cast of what feels like millions. They go through ever doggone country in the world and tie in every other franchise that Joss Wheaton ever read a comic on, and they never stop moving. All the actors blended into their characters, and there’s a lot of characters to keep straight.
But for the most part, I still knew what was going on, because the plot’s pretty straight forward. They don’t want to deal with United Nations regulators telling them what to do, despite the wake of destruction they often leave. It doesn’t become a one sided argument, because it argues the point from both sides. I mean, when you see what they leave behind when they’re being heroic, you can kind of see the government’s point.
“Yeah, guys, you got that lady’s purse back from a mugger, but there were 45 civilian casualties and your caused $85 billion worth of damage to the city. Maybe next time, don’t start with the nuclear option?”
It all eventually culminates in one of the best battle scenes I’ve ever seen. It should have been confusing, or too much, but it wasn’t. The direction is subtle but the action is perfectly choreographed, which is why I never felt like it was too much, when this movie should be the definition of too much. There’s a method to this madness, and I didn’t even resent the over the top ads for future movies.
The latest offering of Captain America is a misnomer, because it’s got just about every other character you can think of. But it’s extremely well-done to the point where you can follow it easily. It’s controlled chaos and worth the watch. It’s one of those rare movies that’s critic and audience approved and should not be missed.
WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!
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