AMERICA! $#%& YEAH!
We’re now on the backend of Marvel Studios’ phase 2 of the Avengers films; and with that we get the second solo film for Captain America. The first Captain America film, Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) told Cap’s (Chris Evans) story of his origin and battle against the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) and the organization, HYDRA, during World War II. We then find Cap in modern day New York in The Avengers (2012) (I won’t give away how he does this in case some readers have not seen the first film). Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) finds our hero in modern day, still, and struggling to adapt to the times. I’d say it’s a big switch jumping 70 years into the future.
Captain America is working under direct orders from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the director of the Strategic, Homeland, Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Divsion (SHIELD). Cap follows orders but is having a hard time seeing the reasoning and morals behind Fury’s decisions. Back in WWII, it was simple: there were good guys and bad guys and if the bad guys did something wrong, they were dealt with. Now SHIELD is talking about isolating problems before they happen and drowning potential threats across the world. Cap has always been one of the most honorable characters in the Marvel Comics universe and he can’t seem to cope with this mentality. Oh and to add on to that, this dude named The Winter Soldier comes along looking for Cap’s head.
I loved this movie. It was everything I wanted in a superhero movie. It had great action (The camerawork and sound mixing was great in this movie), a plot that didn’t fall victim to stereotypical superhero movies (Maniacal bad guy, damsel in distress, suit gets torn up, etc.), and even the acting was well done. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow and she is great. Although I will say her character’s new hairstyle kinda makes her forehead look huge.
There are some twists in this movie, some I saw coming and some I didn’t see coming at all. There were also a load of easter eggs in this movie, both inside and outside the Avengers movies. Some superheroes get shout outs and it’s always nice to see that they are always relevant in this universe. My only gripe with that is since we’re now in a post-Avengers-movie world, I can’t help but ask where these guys are while all hell is breaking loose. Like while Captain America is duking it out with the Winter Soldier on a freeway in Washington, where’s Iron Man? Is he just chilling at his home in Malibu? He set up shop on the East Coast in The Avengers, he could be there in no time! I mean Thor’s on a different planet, but he’s always in contact with Earth since he’s constantly hooking up with Natalie Portman. Hawkeye is LITERALLY an agent of SHIELD. And The Hulk, we saw him chilling with Iron Man at the end of Iron Man 3 (2013) so the two of them could have carpooled to the party. It’s not a big deal that it’s on my mind, and its’ not gonna ruin the movies for me; but I can’t help but wonder.
Of all the Phase 2 Avengers movies, I will say Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the best of the three that are out right now (The other two being Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World (2013)). It serves well as a solo Cap film, while maintaining relevance to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stick around during the credits for the tease at The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and another after that. The second is kinda irrelevant, but still, check it out.
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Great
High action, a great story, and fine acting from recurring and new characters to the universe. If you’re a fan of Captain America, or the Marvel Studios films, or just superheroes in general, you’ll highly enjoy it. I’m excited for the last penultimate phase 2 movie, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), but I’m not sure if it can beat this one out.
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