Mindless quotient: 9/10. Sometimes even the lowest expectations are not enough. Why the critics and the masses think Winter Soldier is such a great film is a complete mystery to me. I’m sorry, masses, but I found Winter Soldier to be a waste of my time and money, even when I was accompanied by a couple who thoroughly enjoyed it. The Iron Man films are classics in comparison.
Winter Soldier is the latest film in Marvel’s ongoing Avengers/SHIELD saga, a saga that is making heaps of money but that holds almost no interest for me at all. This time, we’re treated with Captain America (Chris Evans), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). When Nick discovers that something is rotten in SHIELD, it’s up to Captain America to find out what kind of horror lurks beneath the army base in New Jersey where he was once in training, and then singlehandedly (okay, with a little help) defeat it. Oh, yeah, there’s a mysterious soldier (yawn).
The film’s opening scenes are so abysmal, I was tempted to walk out after only ten minutes or so. But I figured at least there was no place to go but up. I figured wrong. It’s true that Nick’s discovery had huge potential. This could have been an engaging, suspenseful intelligent thriller about how we are being duped by the powers-that-be to live in constant fear so we will beg them for an Orwellian security apparatus. Alas, instead Winter Soldier went for thrills, with endless mind-numbing action, endless special effects, endless shooting (PG????? SERIOUSLY?????), and a predictable cliche-riddled plot. A complete mess.
Robert Redford, what are you doing in a film like this? Your acting was by-the-numbers, your character was unconvincing, and do you really think Winter Soldier is advancing the film industry in any way? You do your awesome credibility a disservice by being part of the Avengers universe.
If you are one of the masses who can’t get enough of the Avengers, please tell me why, because I’m not getting it (at least The Avengers had some clever dialogue to enjoy along with its endless mind-numbing action). Okay, that’s enough complaining. For the hint of a positive political message and for the scene in which one person nonviolently stands up to the evil descending on our world, I am giving Captain America: Winter Soldier **. My mug is down.