I dare say that the arrival of The Winter Soldier on Blu-Ray marks the official beginning of the holiday shopping season. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” tells an exceptionally strong and action filled story that is not only entertaining but subtly sets up other avenues to expand these characters and stories even further making for one of the more electric action movies in recent memory.
Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans) lives quietly in Washington, D.C. trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him. With the help of a new ally, the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy from the Captain’s past.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” just might be the best stand alone Marvel movie as it opens up the entire universe to a wide array of upcoming stories while still delivering on a strong and compelling adventure it sets in front of us.
The directing duo of Anthony & Joe Russo announce themselves as legitimate players on the action/fantasy moviemaking landscape as they balance some very well executed action scenes right alongside a complex narrative that unfolds rather well and never lagging. The script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is also the first outside of the Iron Man series to truly capture any sense of wit and comedy to the proceedings as the banter and chemistry between this wide array of characters is surprisingly strong. It is the kind of movie where the story, the heart and emotion, don’t get skimped on for the sake of the action and is a brilliant balance of character work and full on action cinema.
Chris Evans has settled into the earnest soul of this hero out of time, while his back and forth banter with Scarlett Johansson brought some fun energy to balance all the serious action that is happening around them. Anthony Mackie is a solid edition to the team as the Falcon, while returning players Samuel L Jackson & Cobie Smulders and new faces Robert Redford, Frank Grillo and Emily Van Camp support this ever expanded story incredibly well as they keep roping us in.
Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are top notch and the special features include three behind the scenes featurettes, a gag reel and a feature length commentary track with directors Anthony and Joe Russo as well as screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Ultimately, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” works as well as it does because it finds that balance between fun action fantasy and real world gravitas that draws us all to these characters n the first place, only making us want more.
4 out of 5 stars.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, On Demand and Digital Download from all major retailers and providers.