The Marvel Cinematic Universe just keeps upping the level I expect from each movie they release.
This is no exception, the first Captain America movie was the weakest of the Pre-Avengers movies, falling far short of the expectation set by Iron Man and Thor, I was a little worried after Iron Man 2 and then Captain America... But Thor restored my faith and was along with the first Iron Man movie... my fave of the pre-Avengers films.
This time round they kicked it up a notch, the back story is out of the way and all of the exposition has been covered in previous movies. Marvel fully expect that the people who watch these films, will have watched all of the previous ones... Probably in order. So there's virtually no time wasted with covering much of what's happened before.
The new character of Sam Wilson (Falcon) is introduced right at the start, and I must admit that I found the immediate friendship that seems to have happened in 2 mins is a little forced and plot convenient... But done in such a way that I was irked by it as I may have been in a weaker movie.
We switch straight away to CA and co on a mission... this is the one part that really bugs me. Black Widow picks up Cap in Washington for a mission when he's talking to Sam Wilson... It's morning because we see them jogging at sunrise. Next we switch to night time and they're seemingly half a world away and it's only 93 mins later.... Actually it must be less than that because the hijacked ship was taken 93 mins earlier and they still had to scramble Cap his team and get them on a plane and to the target... Now I admit I'm not sure exactly where the ship is supposed to be, but from later dialogue in the movie I think we can place it somewhere in the Indian ocean... A good 4000 miles away.
It's not a major issue... but it does irk me greatly all the same, and should have been written much better. It's not the dialogue that irks, but the content.
The banter between Cap and BW throughout the movie is well written, a mix of serious and funny that develops as the movie progresses. We get to see more of the dry humour that Black Widow has and it's used to good effect.
I won't go into great detail about the rest of the plot as I don't want to spoil it for people too much. But the pace of the movie is very well laid out, it doesn't jump from one set action piece to another as so many bad action movies do. It has peaks and lulls that work really well overall.
The acting is very good for an action movie and shows just how much thought Marvel studios are putting into their universe. I was not a fan of Chris Evans in many of his earlier films and thought he made a terrible Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies... but then again, they made poor choices for each of the actors in those movies and it's no wonder they failed miserably.... They need to bring them back in house and do them properly.
But I digress... Good performances all round, a decent plot, excellent character development that sets up movies to come during Phase two and three of the MCU.
Of the 3 post Avengers movies so far (not seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet)... it's really hard to rate them. I am a huge fan of the Iron Man and Thor movies. So I'd put Thor first, Iron Man second and Winter Soldier third... But don't think that is in any way a bad thing. It's entirely a personal preference and all three films are excellent and set the standard for movies of this genre.
I for one am really hoping the greenlight a 4th Iron Man movie, can't wait to see GotG, and I'm so looking forward to Age of Ultron, Ant Man, The Dr Strange film and the new Hulk movie.
I give this film a very high 9 out of 10.