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Captain America: The Winter Soldier' - Elevator Smackdown

The crown jewel of The Winter Soldier is the most claustrophobic action sequence in Marvel’s history: the elevator fight. Again, the sequence’s brilliance lies in how well the tension is managed, with character after character filing into the elevator before Cap’s clever verbal warning brings things to a halt and prepares the audience for a serious throwdown. The scene is beautifully staged and executed with pinpoint precision, but more importantly it presents the audience with a situation in which Cap may very well be the underdog. The Winter Soldier is all about vulnerability and the limits of control, and in a world where superheroes have a major leg-up in relation to mortals, the reminder that Cap isn’t untouchable serves to both raise the stakes and strengthen the audience’s emotional investment in the character’s well-being.

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