After a rocky start, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) becomes a tour de force of blockbuster filmmaking. About the time that Fury is chased down by four Hydra men disguised as cops, the film’s well choreographed action sequences and finely structured narrative arcs take off.
Though the first installment was flawed by awkward pacing, the Russo brothers locate the impetus of Captain America’s passions and use this to fluidly conduct a series of events that are not only justifiably bound but retain a sense of continual momentum. The result is cogency between the plot and the action; the narrative and ensuing action make sense together.
Until the final action scenes which, again, boast fine choreography, a well mannered exchange of rhythms between narration and spectacle keep one entertained but grounded. Providing respite from the stimulating <1 second shot average of the action sequences are scenes of framework establishing storytelling. Unlike several other films of this genre, the plot is integral and justifiably instigates the action.
The 3D is certainly unnecessary, though this does not detract from the quality of the film. At times, selective focus is overused and becomes somewhat obtrusive. Like most superhero films, some of the formal elements of The Winter Soldier are overly emphatic, drawing attention to themselves, although the Russo brothers do a fine job of creating an immersive experience for the viewer to sink into.
76/100 – Very Good