Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) working for SHIELD, trying to figure out if he can really trust the agency and sees him fighting soviet agent Winter Soldier. Returning to the Marvel Universe is Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Anthony Mackie joins the team as the Falcon.
The thing about Captain America: The Winter Soldier is that it is more like an old-school spy thriller than a superhero movie – and it works really well. The action is shot well (you can actually see what’s happening and there’s very limited shaky-cam) and the pace never lets up. It’s a solid addition to the Marvel Universe though of course there are those moments where you do wonder how they’re going to explain the absence of certain characters. That being said I did like it when characters names are thrown in here and there, it adds to the whole universe building thing.
The stakes are higher compared to other films. With the far more human characters of Black Widow, Fury, and (while he is a super-soldier he still bleeds) Captain America, people do get hurt. There are dangerous situations, where you fear for these characters safety. The violence is far more real, and violent, compared to previous superhero films. Also the soundtrack is brilliant and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
In short I really enjoyed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I think it’s my favourite of the Phase 2 Marvel movies. The finale is a huge amount of explosions but at the same time I couldn’t really be bothered that much by it since the action scenes leading up to that had been much more realistic and grounded – for instance the car chases are brilliant!
PSA: There are TWO end credits scenes so make sure you stay right till the very end!
PSA2: WARNING! There may be spoilers in the comments.
Now on to the spoilers….
The disbanding of SHIELD will no doubt have a ripple effect across the Marvel Universe, including the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which I’m watching on UK time so am on episode 13 – no spoilers please!) I think it’s a brave move for Marvel to disband an organisation that has had varying amounts of influence and involvement in each of the films – I’m definitely intrigued to see what’s next. The fact that Hydra had grown within SHIELD was interesting and I do love the comments it makes of today’s society, security and Big Brother-ness.
Character-wise stuff. I really liked the Black Widow/Captain America dynamic. A friend of mine saw it as Black Widow pinning over the hero but that’s not how I saw it at all. Black Widow’s a complex and interesting character and even from the little backstory we know from the films it’s easy to see that she doesn’t trust easy. I saw their relationship as the start of a real friendship which is an important yet scary thing to have in their world of secrets and spy’s.
I loved Anthony Mackie as the Falcon. He was funny, could hold his own alongside Captain America and had a strong sense of loyalty. I liked seeing Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) back in action and being loyal to Fury too. Nick Fury’s story was interesting and while I was 99% sure he wasn’t dead, I still feared for his life and got a bit upset when he “died.” The whole sequence with his car being attacked was one of my favourite parts of the film.
Of course I can’t not mention the Winter Soldier. Sebastian Stan did a brilliant job – he can convey so much with his eyes! As I mentioned before, one of the things about Captain America: The Winter Soldier I was looking forward to most was my mum’s reaction to the Winter Soldier really being Bucky Barnes. She loved Bucky in Captain America: The First Avenger and got rather upset when he fell from the train and always wanted him to come back alive and well. We rewatched Captain America: The First Avenger the day before we saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier and she got upset again, even though she knew what was going to happen. My mother’s reaction to the reveal didn’t let me down – she whispered Bucky two seconds before Steve did and then throughout the rest of the film she did not care about any other characters chance of survival except Bucky’s.
Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) was awesome yet slightly terrifying, I’m intrigued to see what they do with his character next. Robert Redford was also pretty awesome and the scene with Peggy Carter made me tear up – I had a relative go through Alzheimer’s so it was a bit close to home. I liked the scenes with Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) a lot too, while she was a SHIELD agent (and a great one at that – loved her standing up to Rumlow) I did kinda like her as a potential love interest for Steve.
I’m sure there were more things I wanted to talk about but I now can’t remember them so I shall just say I’ve seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier twice now and loved it just as much, if not more, the second time. A second viewing definitely helps confirm some thing’s since it is such a fast-paced movie.