I have never been a huge fan of Captain America. This beloved Marvel comic book character has always seemed to be a little too much of a Boy Scout to truly pique my interest.
He pales in comparison with most other comic book heroes, especially when he's teamed up with characters like Ironman or the Hulk as part of "The Avengers" series.
That being said, Captain America's latest movie might just change my mind about him being nothing more than bland beefcake. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a top notch comic book movie with a surprisingly complex story, solid action sequences and interesting character developments.
Captain America (Chris Evans), for those of you who don't recall, was a 90lb weakling who couldn't pass the physical requirements to enlist as a soldier in World War II. Thanks to a top-secret experimental drug program, US scientists found a way to turn the slight boy into a super soldier.
He became the All-American he-man.
In his new movie, our hero is pitted against another one of those super soldiers. The titular Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is just as fast and just as strong as Captain America, but he has the advantage of a metal arm.
Cap is going to need some help if he's going to vanquish the Winter Soldier, so he teams up with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), which works well for the movie as she and Captain America exhibit pretty convincing chemistry as they set out on their mission. It also doesn't hurt that Johansson runs around in a skin-tight bodysuit, which should get a lot of teenage boys into the theater.
For me, the real attraction for "Winter Soldier" is an old school reliance of practical effects. There are very few computer generated images peppered into the film. There's a certain thrill in knowing that most of the amazing stunts up on the screen were actually performed in real life. It gives the film an extra layer of believability, a nice addition in an outlandish story like this.
Throw in some fun moments of levity as Cap tries to come to terms with the modern world, and a few new faces to add to the ever-expanding roster of Marvel characters, and you're left with a pretty good summer blockbuster of a movie.
Yes, I know that the summer movie season is still months away, but when you have a spring release as good as "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," I say grab you sunglasses and pass the popcorn.
*** 1/2 stars