Captain America: The Winter Soldier (a spoiler-free review)

The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely  Based on Captain America
by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby

Starring Chris EvansScarlett JohanssonSebastian StanAnthony MackieCobie SmuldersFrank GrilloEmily VanCampHayley AtwellRobert Redford & Samuel L. Jackson

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.

Cap and Fury

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.

Black Widow

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.

Cap

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).

Falcon

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.

The Arm of Hydra

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.

Widow and Cap

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.

Baltroc The Leaper

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,

– Mel

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6 thoughts on “Captain America: The Winter Soldier (a spoiler-free review)

  1. I just got back from watching this. I’m still digesting everything but I really liked it a lot. Like you said, there is political commentary but it’s done without feeling too preachy. A lot of story elements mirrors what’s going on in the world from government spy tactics to diminishing personal freedom. I also noticed some of the close up action fight scenes weren’t the easiest to follow but still cool. Man, I want to watch this movie again.

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    • Yeah. Me too. It was good. It was better than I thought it would be. But I can’t stop thinking about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch though. The twins. That was so cool. Loving the way Marvel is doing this movie thing. Just like in the comics the stories overlap and heroes appear in other books. It is sensational.

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  2. Great review, I also loved this movie. I think it’s actually my second favorite solo Marvel film now, right after Iron Man. Loved Chris Evans as the Cap, and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow; I thought the two characters had great chemistry. I also loved the new character, Falcon. I hope to see him in more Marvel films in the future.

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    • Yeah. Me too. Cap didn’t have the best origin movie but he definitely got the best follow-up. And so much changed in this one. Jasper getting killed. I guess that’s why he had to go suddenly in the last SHIELD episode. It’s good to see that Agent Carter is still alive. I hope somebody… you know… brings her back somehow. I wonder if she knew about Hydra. I also liked it because it was almost as much of a Black Widow movie as a Captain America movie. And this movie brought together Captain America’s two side-kicks to fight it out. Bucky vs Falcon. Though the thing about Falcon has always been that he has no powers… just the wings. Great movie.

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