Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier on opening night. I didn’t spring for the bells or the whistles. No IMAX. No 3D. No in-seat massage with happy ending. I just watched the flat, boring movie projected on a large, silver screen in the dark with hundreds of like-minded comic book movie fans and movie buffs.
And we loved it. We all fucking loved it.
The second Captain America movie is not your run-of-the-mill superhero flick (That’s right, there’s a mill now). It is an espionage thriller. It’s more Jason Bourne than Clark Kent. It’s a movie about surveillance and spying and sleeper agents… and it is awesome.
This time around Captain America starts out alone, being hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D., and not knowing who to trust… but my favorite of Cap’s powers has always been his leadership ability and in no time at all he attracts a kick-ass squad of heroes to lead into battle.
Chris Evans is fantastic as Captain America while Scarlett Johansson is amazing as Black Widow. And the juxtaposition of her zero morals and Cap’s legendary morality make these two the ultimate pairing. The movie also introduces Captain America’s longtime sidekick, Falcon. (Finally a hero that doesn’t have to be made black to make up for the decades there were no minority characters in mainstream comics… that’s right. I said it. Nick Fury is black now. Deal with it. The Human Torch is black now. Deal with it).
If I had one complaint about The Winter Soldier, it would be the extreme close-ups used during some of the fight sequences. A lot of directors do this, supposedly, to reflect the blur & chaos of a fist fight but really it’s done to hide crappy fight choreography.
However, what I loved the most about The Winter Soldier was how it ties together all the Marvel tie-ins; The Marvel One Shots, The S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, The first movie, The Avengers movie… everything is represented and then dropped on its head.
And the Easter Eggs and the references that are just thrown out in this movie made the first night audience scream with every recognizable name or phrase. And of course the epilogues. The first epilogue was so good, it made me have to change my pants. But just like in the recent Thor movie, they put the one that goes with the film at the end of the credits and the one that introduces the next film right after the titles. It still feels backwards but I understand that it’s more important that everyone see the next movie teaser epilogue.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fantastic movie. A lot of fun but not too cartoony. A lot of politics but not too preachy. A lot of action but not too frantic. Just a well-made action movie with a great cast including the wonderful Cobie Smulders (HIMYM) and the beautiful Emily VanCamp (Revenge). I hope this directing team does the next Hulk. I think they could do an amazing job keeping that franchise going strong and grounded as well.
See it on the big screen.
and I’ll see you guys at the movies,