It was at exactly 00:05am on Wednesday that the film started rolling and the Brunswick Moviebowl held its breath.
In the hours leading up to the opening screening of the eagerly awaited ‘Captain America - The Winter Soldier’ fans from far and wide were treated to special screening of 2012’s ‘Avengers Assemble’. It was simply a warm up for what was to follow.
The double billing of the two films was a real sense of occasion for film and comic fans.
Twenty something University of Ulster drama student, Robert Emmett, entered the Moviebowl’s number one screen to an applause.Yes. You’ve guessed it. Robert came dressed as Steve Rogers a.k.a Captain America.
The series of films that have been borne out of the Avengers comics have all been largely successful and ‘Captain America - The Winter Soldier’ was no different.
In fact, ‘The Winter Soldier’ is an improvement on the recent offerings made by the likes of Thor and Iron Man. It has a perfect balance of bone crunching battles and action sequences with some of the best CGI around.
It’s Chris Evans’ (‘Sunshine’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’) third outing in the stars and stripes and without question it is his most entertaining.
‘Captain America - The First Avenger’ (2011) lacked the budget of other Avenger franchises such as Iron Man and Thor but it was an entertaining superhero romp nonetheless.
After the success of ‘Avengers Assemble’ the possibilities for exploring characters such as Captain America, Hulk and Thor were endless so when the Russo brothers opted to go down the Winter Soldier, fans were beside themselves with excitement.
The Russo brothers have been largely untested when it comes to movie blockbusters but it’s safe to say that they have hit a home run with ‘The Winter Soldier’.
After the Avengers’ victory over Loki in ‘Avengers Assemble’, Captain America attempts to come to terms with living in the modern world.
The references to popular culture throughout the film are fantastic. One of the film’s stand out scenes happens when Captain America produces a to do list of things he has to catch up on since he was put into a deep freeze 70 years ago.
His to do list includes things like, Star Wars, Steve Jobs, Thai food and Berlin Wall (up and down). It’s exactly this attention to detail which transforms ‘The Winter Soldier’ from a decent film to an excellent movie.
Replacing Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull villain is Sebastian Stan’s the Winter Soldier.
The Winter Soldier is an enigmatic and mysterious Russian assassin and after he attacks S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Nick Fury, Captain America is forced to confront him.
Stan is superb as the Winter Soldier and he is without question the film’s most interesting and unexplored character.
There’s also more screen time for Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Black Widow’ and Samuel L. Jackson is fantastic as Nick Fury.
A few new characters are introduced. Sam Wilson/The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Brock Rumlow/Crossbone (Frank Grillo) are welcome additions but the film is let down by the awful miscasting and an oh so flat performance from, Robert Redford as Alistair Pierce.
Redford needs no introduction from yours truly but needless to say he’s pretty forgettable in the Winter Soldier and instead of going for a big name like Redford, the casting directors should have given the role to someone more used to playing that kind of character.
If you don’t believe just how entertaining and enjoyable I thought ‘The Winter Soldier’ then go and see it for yourself. You’ll most certainly not be disappointed.
‘Captain America - The Winter Soldier’ is currently showing at the Brunswick Moviebowl. For full movie listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 028 71 371 999
VERDICT: (4/5) The Russo brothers’ film is without question one of the best Marvel movies ever to be made.
It has everything a superhero film should have. It’s funny, sexy, entertaining and abounds in awesome action sequences.
It’s Chris Evans’ best outing as the all American ‘Cap’ and it’s sure to have won him a few more fans.
Some existing characters get their chance to shine and some new characters are introduced too.
As ever, there’s a post-credit scene which sets the 2016 Captain America sequel up perfectly.