Captain America: Winter Soldier begins where The Avengers left off, but even if you missed that one, the film does a great job making it seem like it picks up where the first Captain America left off. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Mr. Captain America himself, is still having a hard time adjusting to life in the 21st century. He’s a dedicated member of S.H.I.E.L.D, but starts to question some of its means to protect the US citizens. Before he has time to act on these doubts, as Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is assassinated, leaving Rogers questioning who he can trust. He teams up with fellow Avenger Natasha (Scarlett Johannson)–the Black Widow–and together try to uncover who is behind Fury’s death. They don’t get far before a mysterious super-human assassin shows up and tries to dispose of them.
Everything about this movie was fantastic. It highlights elements of the first film that made it so successful, without reusing old jokes or gags. We do get a few new flashbacks, which help the audience further understand Rogers’ backstory. Evans performs the role perfectly, which is a role that he was born to play. Johannson likewise is overly capable and appealing as the Black Widow. Together, the pair have so much chemistry, you wonder if they ever might end up together.
We’re also introduced to another new Marvel character, Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. He also is incredibly likable and fits in with the Avengers gang like a glove. We also get a few glimpses of Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp)–Agent 13–although her appearance is so short and leaves much to be desired. Hopefully with this introduction, we’ll get to see her fleshed out in future films.
The plot moves along at a very quick, yet comfortable pace. The duo act as little detectives, trying to uncover a potential coup d’etat that’s happening right under their noses. As each new clue is uncovered, they encounter another stumbling block. The most evasive and formidable is the Winter Soldier, an undefeatable bad guy. The film concludes with a very satisfying conclusion, yet still leaves you wanting more Captain America.
Is Captain America: Winter Soldier better than the first film? You better believe it. And it goes out with guns blazing that would make any American proud.