You don't have to go very far to find critics who think nothing of panning the new "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Go here. Or here. But, this may come as a surprise, I am not one of them. I actually like the movie.
It wasn't until I began searching out information about the co-directors, brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, that I saw clearly why: As Joe Russo has said, "(Marvel) said they wanted to make a political thriller." And once I realized that, everything fell into place.
It's not as if the uninitiated can easily understand everything that is going on in the Marvel universe. Captain America/Steve Rogers himself dates back to the early years of World War II, and he and his associates — such as colleague Nick Fury and foe the Winter Soldier — have long and complicated back stories. Click here for a rundown that contains plenty of spoilers.
But none of that is essential. Oh, you might want to know why the pirate Batroc is played by the French-speaking mixed-martial-arts champion George St.-Pierre. Or why Anthony Mackie can actually fly. But you don't really need the information.
Te Russos manage to make the fight scenes seem not only exciting, but they capture them — even in 3-D — in a way that doesn't lose any needed detail (the way so many second-rate filmmakers do). And the addition of a political undertone tends to make me like the character of Captain America even more because now he isn't a Greatest Generation apologist for U.S. foreign policy but is, instead, a clear-eyed champion of democratic principles.
Makes all the difference.