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"Captain America" offers political commentary

The movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is an action epic based on a famous comic book character. With the name Captain America, the main character obviously represents patriotic ideals. However, as the movie shows, the meaning of patriotism and the ideas of "good" and "evil" are not simple nowadays. In fact, viewers of this film get a heavy dose of action and drama along with some important themes about national security and freedom that will stick with them long after the movie is over.

In the movie, Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, is Captain America, who fought in World War II as a super power soldier. Captain America is now trying to get used to life in modern-day Washington, D.C., working for a federal security agency after being awakened from suspended animation in an iceberg. The conflict of this movie is that his agency, SHIELD, has a new plan to use technology, such as satellites, to identify terrorism suspects and kill them before they can pose any real threat. Steve Rogers cannot accept this idea, because it does not fit with his views on proper processes of justice. The political ideas in the movie seem to question how far governments should go to combat terrorism. The message I understood from the movie was that we must protect national security, but also be careful, because if government agencies have too much power in fighting outside threats, then their own people actually have no freedom.

The action of this movie is extremely well crafted. The movements, costumes, dialogues and even the colors are all presented with precise control. My feeling was that the movie strongly captured the feel of a comic book story. I cannot say that the movie felt realistic or entirely believable, but for comic book fans, it makes a strong emotional connection.

The complaints I have about this movie are that it is quite long and it is somewhat confusing. In a two-and-a-half hour movie I would expect a clear explanation and resolution of all major plot elements. 

However, I had some trouble following this movie. Any time an explanation started to become clear, it was soon interrupted by more fights or chases. News reports say a sequel is being planned. It seem that the plot may be overly complicated, requiring the director to divide it into several movies. I did not find the plot to be interesting enough to make the length of the movie worthwhile. Still, I have to admit that I am looking forward to the next Captain America installment due in 2016.

For lovers of comic books and action films, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is an excellent choice. It is a visually appealing movie that sticks with comic book atmosphere and pacing. A more streamlined plot would have been an improvement to the movie. However, the movie as it is serves as a fun and entertaining film that succeeded in its purpose. At the same time, it raised interesting points about freedom, security and politics.

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