Captain America The Winter Solider

Movie Review: Captain America The Winter Soldier (2014) *Minor Spoilers*

Captain America, Steve Rogers, Chris Evans, Captain America The Winter Soldier   Of all the superlatives that I could toss at Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I think this is the most fitting: Cap 2 makes you remember why Captain America is the center of the Marvel Universe.  Upstaged thus far by Iron Man, Thor and-even-the Hulk, Winter Soldier reminds you why Cap is the MCU’s Superman: it’s core.  It also makes him unbelievably cool.
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The title of the film is a bit misleading in that, unlike First Avenger, this is an ensemble movie, every bit as much Black Widow or Falcon’s film as Steve Rogers.  To be most accurate, this is a SHIELD film.  Viewers of Agent’s of SHIELD will know that not all is right in SHIELD and the degree to which that corruption has seeped into the agency goes far beyond what you could imagine.

Black Widow, Scarlet Johanssen

Unlike FA, in Winter Soldier, you get a Captain America who is truly a SUPER soldier.  In the opening scenes, Steve, Black Widow and a SHIELD strike team take down a freighter of pirates led by Batroc the Leaper of all people, and you see a hero in full command of his abilities and confident with his use of the shield as a weapon.  That Marvel not only used Batroc, but made him somehow cool, may be yet their finest achievement in this mad experiment.

Just as deft in combat is Scarlet Johansson returning as Black Widow and serving as one of two partners Steve has in the film.  The Widow gets some back story and even more opportunities to steal scenes than she had in her previous appearances.  I’m all for an eventual individual film for the Widow, but she is a huge part of the mix here.

Captain America, Falcon, Captain America The Winter Soldier

Anthony Mackie rounds out the trio of heroes as Sam Wilson, a returned vet that Steve meets while jogging (one of the many funny scenes in a very serious film; a balance that can be attributed to the outstanding direction of the Russo Brothers who were previously known for their work on NBC’s Community).  Wilson is a very specialized type of paratrooper and gets back into action to aid Cap’s cleansing of SHIELD.  Mackie turns in a star-making performance both in his action scenes, but also in his very timely and very well-done scenes with returned veterans.

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How in the world can the Russos have gone from directing a six-person ensemble community college sitcom to orchestrating action scenes that rival anything we’ve seen in super hero films?  Who ARE these guys?  More importantly, thank GOD they’re coming back to do Cap 3.  I don’t want anyone ever directing Captain America films again.

Captain America The Winter Soldier, The Winter Soldier

Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier is a force of nature.  His menace is real and he feels more of a threat to our heroes than the Red Skull ever was (which highlights one of my biggest problems with the first film).  The Winter Solider’s story is just beginning, despite getting top billing here and Stan recently revealed he has a nine film deal with Marvel only two of which he’s completed, so look for a lot more WS down the line.

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If it seems like I’m jumping around and highlighting performances and giving shout-outs rather than delving into a  plot-based review, you’re absolutely right.  I’m not going to get into plot on this film other than to say that it is frigging fantastic.  It is not an exaggeration to say Cap 2 changes the MCU.  Things are so different at the end of the film than they were at the beginning that I don’t even know what’s going to happen on the next episode of Agents of SHIELD!  The film is just as much of an espionage thriller as it is a super hero movie and action blockbuster.  It takes time to develop character without ever being dull for a second.  It takes the abilities of the characters, dials them to 11 and sticks them in situations you couldn’t even fathom.  It perfectly balances the humor, action, heroics and pathos that Marvel has now fine-tuned into this masterpiece.  I’m not going into specifics because I want you to go see the best Marvel film so far for yourself and we’ll talk spoilers in a few weeks when you have.  EXCELSIOR!
10/10

PS – I shouldn’t have to tell you this by this point, but stay in your seats for BOTH post-credit scenes and get ready to scream for Avengers 2.

Cap 2, Captain America, Captain America The Winter Soldier, Chris Evans, Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson

 

10 thoughts on “Movie Review: Captain America The Winter Soldier (2014) *Minor Spoilers*”

  1. OK, we won’t talk spoilers for a while, but let me just say WOW. It’s not often you go into a film with sky-high expectations and have them exeeded by a mile. This movie works as a direct sequel to the first one, it signifigantly advances the larger narrative, and it changes everything. The action scenes are the best so far, and that scene in the elevator, while cool, is only the tip of the iceburg. CA’s method of combat has been realized to perfection… he uses that shield like an ancient Spartan on steroids. And now I’m excited by the prospect of a Black Widow solo film. This movie put me in a terrific mood, and when a certain character’s name was mentioned, that cemented it. Disney needs to stick with this directing team like glue. WS strikes the most perfect balance the Marvel/Disney people have achieved thus far. This deserves to be the hit of the year, and hopefully it will be.

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    1. Also… I’m pretty sure we now know how the presence of a certain pair of characters will be handled in the MCU. But again, I will refrain from spoilers. Awesome, awesome movie.

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  2. Great review! Yay! I’m glad to see so many positive reviews for this. When the UK actually gets a movie way before America & I give it a glowing review, I always wonder if I’ll be the only one with that opinion. So far, it seems I’m not. ; ) This movie was great fun!

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    1. HEY! Good to hear from you! You know you and I think alike on most stuff. You’re not as out there as you think, but why does the rest of the world get Captain AMERICA before AMERICA does? It seems kind of backward.

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      1. Lol. I don’t know but it’s pretty awesome seeing something before America for a change! I reviewed it last Tuesday but actually saw it the Wednesday before that. ; )

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  3. I’ve heard good things about this and I want to see it… alas, I won’t have much money for movies again this year… so I’ll be waiting for the DVD… but with my projector and surround sound it’s just as good as the movies anyway LOL (And you don’t get any annoying people around you… and you can pause it when you need to pee LOL)

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    1. Well that’s good to hear because the sound in this film is freaking amazing. The visceral sounds the shield makes and the weight conveyed just through sound does so much to improve not only the shield but the entire film. Early leader for Sound Oscars.

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