Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I don’t write about comic book movies often. One reason is it’s too much like thinking about my day job. Another reason is I rarely see movies in theaters, so any review I might write would hardly be timely. Case in point: I finally saw “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” last night, on Blu-Ray, sitting on the couch.

The baby woke up early from her evening nap, necessitating about a two hour viewing hiatus after the opening action scene. Did I say I rarely see movies in theaters? I rarely see them at home either. Intermittent viewings of Netflix on my little Chromebook screen, one movie spread out over the course of a week when the baby and MBW* are asleep is usually the best I can do.

So, “The Winter Soldier.” Did it live up to the hype? Yes, I think so. I liked the grounded (for a superhero flick) feel, more like a Bond movie than a Marvel vehicle. Or, perhaps more like a Seventies’ spy film rather than a Bond movie, for reasons other than just the casting of Robert Redford (“Three Days of the Condor.”) I enjoyed the fact that a superhero movie was willing to raise the tough questions of freedom versus security, privacy versus safety. I think the choices the heroes made would have felt more consequential if some of the potential dangers that the security apparatus protects against were portrayed. But with HYDRA as a villain I suppose I should be glad the film indulged in as much nuance as it did.

The superhero comic book genre crossed-over well with the action/spy story. There is a lot of potential in genre cross-overs and I’m glad to see film studios taking the risk. The novel I’m working on this year crosses genres, giving me grounds for my pleasure in seeing that sort of gamble pay off. Though of course it does not always work, cf. “Cowboys & Aliens.”

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is an excellent rental, a worthy successor to the first film. Recommended. Rent it, if you haven’t already seen it. Then follow it up with the goofy Science Fantasy of “Guardians of the Galaxy” to wash away all that unpleasant real world applicability.

Though I admit I’m too out of the loop to get what the mid-credits scene at the end of “The Winter Soldier” was meant to foreshadow. Any Marvel Universe initiates care to enlighten me?

 

*My Beautiful Wife