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“Captain America” not your usual action film

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At first glance, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” looks just like any other superhero film. The superhero is reluctantly drawn into battle to fight off the bad guys and save the world.  But what if the bad guy is . . . us?  

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In the second Captain America film, based on the Marvel comic, Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, who struggles to find his place in the modern world after a decades-long deep freeze. He becomes more and more disillusioned by the modern military and weary of those keeping secrets, especially his commanding officer, Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Imagine his surprise when Fury, who is badly injured, shows up in his apartment with an order to “trust no one.” This command sends Rogers on a hunt to find out what is going on, who the bad guys are, and save the world.  

Seems similar to the plot of every superhero film, right? Wrong. Director Shane Black sets “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” apart from the ho hum, mundane superhero films with an interesting and surprising plot twist. Without giving too much away, those that are supposed to protect us are not what they seem. Rogers and Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson), team up with newcomers Sam Wilson, aka Falcon (played by Anthony Mackie), and Maria Hill (played by Cobie Smulders, best known for the tv series “How I Met Your Mother”) to save the day while on the run from the government.

The dynamics between Rogers and Romanoff makes Romanoff, an unlikeable character, much more endearing. Mackie is stunningly sexy and delightfully entertaining in his role and worth watching alone. The plot will leave the viewer second-guessing everything they thought was going on.

This may be the second-best film of the Marvel series (behind my personal favorite, Thor) and is  startlingly deep.  Black does a wonderful job of making a point without going over the top. At what point do we citizens stop blindly trusting our government to protect us? When does privacy trump protection? And what price are we willing to pay for “freedom?”  

If you only see one superhero movie this year, make it this one.

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