There’s almost a cottage industry of people talking about favorites, polling them, ranking them, and all that. Which is certainly a fun and enjoyable pastime, since we’re no longer comparing a couple of films made a few decades ago and hoping that someday Hollywood gets it right.
Having grown up with the 1970’s Superman movie and the slow spiral after the second one to awfulness, a similar occurrence in the late ’80s after the Tim Burton Batman movies showed there’s money to be made here – and Batdance – this is pretty much a golden age we’re living in and it’s an embarrassment of riches that’s truly hard to comprehend. And an embarrassment of acceptance by many about such movies when you consider the billions made every year in the films themselves, the merchandising and the chatter. To see so many adults and kids partaking in the mythology of my childhood is an amazing event.
We’ve gotten our comic book movies treated seriously while getting plenty of humor mixed in but probably the most serious of the modern Marvel movies is that of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That film hit the ground running from that first trailer we got after hearing for awhile that it was going for a 70’s style thriller with a healthy amount of action mixed into it. That trailer captivated me like few others had because it was so different while playing within the familiar trappings. The movie largely did the same thing when you get down to it. It changed a whole lot of things within the Marvel Cinematic Universe while also being essentially a real sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. It wasn’t a true follow-up to The Avengers, which was a smart thing to do. It used some of the trappings from it with Fury looking to protect against larger threats, but it was the threat of ourselves and mankind that was the scary thing as we saw the truth of Hydra’s long term plan. We didn’t quite get as big of an impact from it as we could have, though Agents of SHIELD took advantage of it, but there are a lot of neat little moments that sprawled out from it..
The film delivered for me handily and each repeat viewing – a few in theaters and at home now in 3D Blu-ray – reminds me continually of just how slickly put together it is while weaving some intriguing stories, character material and plenty of great little easter eggs for the fans.
This film didn’t break the mold of what comic book superhero movies can be, but it showed that they’re certainly not all alike, which has been the Marvel plan this year with the two films they have out.