I was born and raised on Comic Books at the worst possible time: the 90’s. Over masculine males posing with belts, pouches and weapons from every possible point you could attach them (even if it didn’t make sense), gritty storylines and grittier teeth and gimmicks galore. I probably have a dozen or so comics with ‘holographic’ or ‘foil’ covers with ‘collectors!’ emblazoned on every one. It had charm, but I’ve found it wasn’t for me. I prefer concise storytelling with themes that evoke emotions, or at least I do now. It’s why I still read comics and it is very much why I love Marvel (nothing against DC, but new 52 lacks any sort of heart).
Moreover, Marvel has had a really great run of movies. I’m not saying they’re magicians that make everything they touch turn to gold, but at least it does look like there’s some Asgardian mischief going on to make all their movies top the box office. Everyone has their own ranking of which movie they feel is best and worst but no matter what your ranking is, you have to admit that Captain America at his best makes you want to just smile. He’s wholesome and kind and honest, something that is almost a rare commodity and even though he’s a fictitious character many people find him inspiring.
The movie gets all of this across and more. Cap remains stalwart living in a time where the traits which define him are considered weaknesses. People do what they have to, often for the ‘greater good’. The movie itself is structured as a political thriller and that theme is used to perfect effect. It’s been a very very long time since I’ve *literally* been on the edge of my seat and Cap 2 had me right there. From an action movie perspective, there is plenty of eye candy and well choreographed combat scenes. From a narrative perspective, the characters are fleshed out and continue to provide interesting viewpoints while dealing with the conflicts around them. A specific scene of Cap and Widow talking in a pickup truck was very close to the heart.
As for the plot, devices used within and greater ties to the Marvel universe, I’m not going to spoil anything here. I will say if you’re a fan of Comics or of Marvel Movies, you will not be disappointed. This movie delivers everything an action movie fan, a political thriller fan, a cinema fan, a comic book fan or a Captain America fan, could want in a movie. Marvel didn’t pull any literal or figurative punches when delivering this movie, cementing their studios into cinema history and proving that the Superhero Movie genre isn’t yet wearing itself out. It’s just gearing up.
Oh and if you watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (a show that I’m quite fond of) you should watch the April 1st episode, Cap 2 then the April 8th episode if you want the proper viewing order, but I really doubt it’s going to spoil movie points other than what most people could already infer from the Winter Soldier trailer.