“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Review
What do you do when everything you know, everything you believe in, starts to crumble? That’s what Captain America: The Winter Soldier addresses. It blurs the lines drawn by good and evil to a point where you can’t see which side is which. This movie does a great job of drawing in the audience with action, depth and wit; exactly what you expect from another movie in Marvel’s Phase 2.
Extremely well directed by the Russo brothers, who are best known for the show Arrested Development, Captain America: The Winter Soldier follows in the footsteps of fellow post-Avengers films Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. Following the attack on New York, Captain America: The Winter Soldier follows our titular character Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as he tries to find himself in a world that he doesn’t fully understand. Still adjusting from being frozen for about 70 years, Rogers finds a fulfilling life in defending his country. Since he knows that fighting for what is right still hasn’t changed he depends on it to cope. Unfortunately that comfort doesn’t last long when the efforts and morality of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its leader, Director Fury (Samuel L Jackson), are questioned. Rogers along with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and some new faces, such as the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp), try to determine whom to trust and what cause they are fighting for. All seems to level out when a shadowy hit man, the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), shows up and turns everything upside down.
At its core this superhero movie is an action film, and it is damn good at it. Between Captain America and Black Widow the duo kick some ass. Each fight scene drives the story and keeps your adrenaline pumping. This movie pulls out all of the action stops; fight scenes, explosions, big weapons, nice cars, and extremely fit bodies. Thank you Scarlett Johansson and Cobie Smulders (for the women there is Chris Evans, but I’m pretty sure he never takes his shirt off, but he is very tight). Right from the beginning the fight scenes are intense, but once the Winter Soldier arrives it is a whole new ballgame. Each punch or gunshot is dynamic and powerful. When going toe to toe with Captain America the two don’t waste any chance to destroy the other. Add in Black Widow with her extreme combat and marksman skills, nothing tops the action in this movie. Well, maybe Falcon flying around with badass jetpack with metal wings.
Strip away the incredible action scenes that fill this movie and you are thankfully left with a story that has a lot of depth. The overall plot of the movie boils down to politics. The movie analyzes the idea that when a large power, such as S.H.I.E.L.D., can “protect” the world but it has to use force, is it really protecting anyone? Just because we have the technology to prevent violence before it happens, does that mean that we should act, or do you punish someone after the fact in the chance that they may not go through with it? There is a big difference between the plan to commit a crime and actually committing the crime. In the movie S.H.I.E.L.D. has developed this technology and there is much debate as to the ethics of it. Along side this plot is the concept of how easily a major power can be corrupted over time. S.H.I.E.L.D. is this huge force to be recon with but is it all good. Are the people in charge making the right decisions and how is that determined? It creates a question of trust and morals when this entity of “good” may no longer be what it was thought to be. Enter Robert Redford as a S.H.I.E.L.D. executive who blurs the line of good and bad.
As with most Marvel movies the scripts are filled with wit. Hilarious one-liners keep the story lighthearted amongst the action and drama. The pairing of Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie help achieve this right from the first scene of the movie and continue it throughout. Many jokes about how Captain America is 95 years old and how Black Widow keeps suggesting women he should date help stay true to the story and keep you wanting more. Even Stan Lee pops in a joke with his standard hilarious cameo.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier has everything you were upset the first one didn’t have. The only reason we can now accept the first one for what it was is because it brought out this gem. After The Avengers, I only saw the Captain as a character built for the purpose of making The Avengers not really for leading his own movie. But after this he is moving up my favorite Avenger list and rather quickly. I will say a few things about the movie that you must know if you plan on seeing the movie. First I recommend refreshing your memory on the first Captain America movie, as the sequel has many references to the first movie that you may not easily remember. The sequel expects you to remember faces and characters more then telling you who they are and if you are foggy on the first movie you may be a bit confused at parts of The Winter Soldier. The other thing you need to know is stay till the very end and I mean the very end. There are two post-credit scenes.
SPOILERS ABOUT THE POST CREDIT SCENES BELOW
Let’s talk about the post credit scenes! We shall start with the second scene. Taking place at the very end of the credits, we see Bucky at a museum in the section about Captain America learning about his past. This is significant because it shows a true turn that the Winter Soldier is genuinely good and caring.
The first scene takes place just after the graphics-filled credits where we see that a section of HYDRA has Loki’s Chitauri scepter that was lost at the end of The Avengers when Black Widow used it to destroy the wormhole. At that same facility we see two people who are being held captive and are only referred to as “the twins.” Knowing what I know, these twins are Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), two new characters that are crucial to the plot of The Avengers 2.
This scene was intense and certainly gets you jonesing for The Avengers: Age of Ultron which will be released Summer 2015.
Until then, the only Phase 2 movie we have left to look forward to is Guardians of the Galaxy, which looks like it is going to be incredible. Check out the trailer below and be sure to read our thoughts on it.