Soooo… Remember my review of Thor 2? I was not very happy with Thor 2. So when people were very enthusiastic over Captain America 2, I was still kind of sceptical. But man, I’ve been rarely so pleasantly surprised by a movie! Captain America 2 is everything Thor 2 wasn’t. And that made it a great movie. So I’m going to tell you how great Captain America 2 is by comparing it to Thor 2, while telling you as little spoilers as possible.
In Thor 2, the plot of the movie is literally told to you in the first scene of the movie. Right from the start, you know who the bad guy is, you know why he’s evil, you know where the movie is going. This leaves no room for story development and the only thing you need to do as a watcher is sit back and enjoy the interaction between characters and the epic battles, without worrying much about plot development. In Captain America 2, you are in the dark about what’s happening for the first hour of the movie, just as the main characters. Your brain is trying to put the puzzle pieces together, and you see the main characters struggling with the same stuff too. This motivates you to stay focused and watch as the story develops, and this makes you surprised as plot twists occur. This makes movies unpredictable.
In Thor 2, they reduced Jane Foster to an unconscious vessel with no importance to the story whatsoever. They could as well carry an actual vessel with them. Loki was an okay male supporting character, mostly because of the comic relief he brought and well… because he’s Loki. He’s only there for a limited amount of time though, and his presence overshadows the main character (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing). In Captain America there are also a female and a male supporting character, with the female character taking the exact opposite role as Jane Foster. I am of course talking about no one less than Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow. It’s refreshing to see that the supporting female character is not the love interest of the main character. Yes, there definitely is some sexual tension between her and the Cap, but hey, there is sexual tension between her and any man. But the writers succeeded to make her into something more than a sex symbol (because let’s be honest, that was her main purpose in the Avengers). In this movie they gave her a much bigger role than in the Avengers. She still is a mysterious character, but we get to see some of her inner struggles and emotions. In contrast to Jane Foster, Natasha can save her own ass and is a powerful woman. She saves the Cap numerous times and they gave her almost as much screentime as the Captain. I would even go as far as saying she’s not even a supporting character, but the second main character (again with the overshadowing, which is again, not a bad thing). The male supporting character is a new addition to the super hero family. I’m not going to say much about him to avoid spoilers though. His role is much smaller than Black Widow’s, but he’s an awesome newcomer.
Integration in the Marvel Universe
As you might know, I’m a sucker for easter eggs and cameo’s. I love it when I can put small (seemingly unimportant) pieces into the bigger Marvel picture. The only connection Thor 2 had with the rest of the Marvel Universe was a casual mentioning of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a cameo of Captain America. Except for that, it was a stand-alone movie. Again, Captain America 2 is the exact opposite. Although the other ‘main’ super heroes don’t make cameo’s, you can’t see this movie separate from the rest of the Marvel movies. It’s fully integrated. But again, it’s hard to tell more without spoiling.
I’m the annoying kind of person who always has a few bad points, even if the movie was awesome. With Captain America 2, it took me a while to think of those, but I found one. The point I just made about integration, it can also be seen as a bad thing. Or at least an odd thing. Captain America is supposed to be the main character of this movie, but as I said, Black Widow plays an almost equally important role. This movie is so integrated, it’s more important to have seen the Avengers to understand the plot than Captain America 1. This movie is more of a spin-off of the Avenger movies instead of a full fledged Captain America movie. It’s more like Avengers 1.2 or something. Yes, they pay attention to the Captains personal past, but it seems of secondary importance. The movie seems to be more focused on the internal troubles of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Captain just happens to be involved. It doesn’t feel like his personal movie to me.That doesn’t make the movies less amazing though. The story is great and, ah well, I think I’ve made my point in the previous sections. It’s just that it’s different from the other ‘personal’ super hero Marvel movies. I personally like that it’s so integrated, but the title can be a little misleading.
Captain America 2 is one of the best Marvel movies so far. I think I maybe even liked it better than part 1. It’s fully integrated in the whole Marvel Universe, there is good storytelling, and character writing is excellent. There is action, there is humour. It’s got the whole package (except maybe romance, but I actually don’t miss that). And hey, Chris Evans is hot. Go see this movie! But remember: you’ll understand it a lot better if you’ve seen Captain America 1 and the Avengers movie first!
Oh yea, to understand the Avengers you have to watch Cap 1, Thor 1, Iron Man 1 and 2… You know what, just watch all of them if you haven’t done that yet!