2.5, United States/Canada

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2014 / Joe & Anthony Russo > You’ve done it, Marvel: You’ve finally taken your audience for granted.  In the post-The Dark Knight world of comic superhero films, we, as an audience, have become increasingly forgiving in the hopes that the major studios will continue to follow through in their promise to actually build plausible storylines, that we won’t be insulted by constant deus ex machina plot progressions and 180° character transformations.  While The Avengers did quite a bit to strengthen our hope, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has ripped the concrete off that foundation.

At this point in time, Marvel has the global audience by its neck.  It cannot fail because we’ve been brainwashed to believe they can do no wrong.  The positivity surrounding this film is shocking as it’s a veiled attempt at capitalizing on a generic storyline utilizing tropes that would shame Steve Rogers.   After nine films, the formula is not only getting stale but regressing.  The thought of the The Winter Soldier’s plot co-existing with The Avengers feels absolutely ridiculous.  And the pattern has become obvious: Hero finds devious plan much bigger than previous film and succeeds in taking care of the issue—but with one lingering problem that leads to the subsequent sequel.  So, knowing that the third Captain America film is due in two years, couldn’t we get more of an emotional bridge?  All we got were bread crumbs and no finalities.  In this universe, everything seems to have a way of resurrecting—and while this may be a common theme in comics, it becomes a rather lame exercise at the cinema.