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Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby Staff » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:19 am


Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened last week to record breaking box office results (for April) and positive reviews. After seeing it last night with the family I'd say it's well deserved, but that was my impression going in. I could get used to getting what I expect from a movie and being pleased by it. The movie had huge implications for future Cap films, Avengers 2 and... well, if you watched MAOS last night you've seen it'll resonate though pretty much the entire MCU.


There's a lot to like about this movie, so I'll get right to it. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

A LOT to like. I'm just going to leave this right here.

A big problem many of this type of movie suffers from is trying to cram too many characters or content into one film and biting off more than it can chew (Spider-man 3, X-men Origins: Wolverine). At this point in the MCU, it's much less likely for that to happen because of the rich tapestry they've created where storylines, characters and random throwaway lines can all pass seamlessly from film to film. Well, maybe not seamlessly every time, but it's all still connected. CA:TWS started out exactly where Avengers left off as far as Steve Rogers is concerned. He's working for SHIELD, butting heads with Nick Fury and generally having a difficult time fitting in to the modern world. Luckily, he has the support of a friend and comrade he doesn't trust, accompanying him on missions while trying to set him up with every female that comes within five feet of him.

Also, she just looks great.

But her action figures are really starting to make me feel uncomfortable.

Having these characters appear in multiple movies means that they can continue their character development without having to eat up a lot of each individual film to do it. As it is, this film furthers both Fury and Black Widow's story arc and character interaction with Cap and each other, but it introduces new, complex villains and a new ally who is a welcome addition to MCU.

Anthony Mackie does a great job establishing Sam Wilson as a individual and as someone who has a lot to offer this world of super heroes. To me, the comic characters with the least power tend to be far more interesting and able to operate on many more levels. The Falcon has potential in this department, walking the line between being a good soldier and being a good man. An ex PJ who became disillusioned with finding meaning in being a soldier, gets a new sense of purpose by hitching his wagon to the last real boy scout. If you want to help people and hand out justice filled flying drop kicks to those that deserve them, signing up to be Captain America's partner seems like a way to achieve your life goals.

"But when do I get my own costume, Cap?" "When you get your own movie, that's when."

Robert Redford is as charming as ever in his role, he doesn't come off as cartoony even when he monologues and you can't help but see his point of view even though you don't agree with it. The film also does a fine job setting up villains and NOT killing them all off! As a comic fan, seeing characters like Batroc (the leaper!) and Crossbones show up is a nice treat and they don't feel shoehorned in. The real treat is the biggest spoiler in the movie, but not really if you're familiar with the source material, or watched Agents of SHIELD last night. Hydra is back.


This is a real game changer for both the films and MAOS, because now they know who their enemy is and it could be anyone. Finally the show will have the villain they should have been fighting against for the entire first season, or at least they'll know they already were. It answers many questions through out the series and the films and puts a great many things into perspective, like Senator Stern desperately trying to turn the public against Tony Stark in IM2 and get hands on his tech. The entire movie felt like a turning point in that regard. The films like to throw out little easter eggs, seeds that can grow later on or act as a trail back to previous events and this one does this quite a bit. The difference is that these things no longer feel like throwaways for fan service. A character from the first Captain America film had a direct influence on the creation/evolution of one in this film, while showing up in a new form that puts them more in line with the comic counterpart and sets up the story for Avengers 2. All while providing a setting for another possible television spin off (if Agent Carter gets off the ground) and providing pay offs for those who watch the One Shots. To me this film really is Captain America's answer to The Empire Strikes Back. There is no resolution in the end and the world that was created by the events in Avengers has changed again and the characters need to deal with this new world and find their place in it.

The movie itself is pretty tightly put together, but it creates a mess that will not be easy to resolve and yet isn't so huge that it would change the world for every person in it... yet. Ripples will be felt in any film or show that takes place on earth in the MCU and possibly beyond and a lot of bad things are going to happen.

Again, good.

Even if the world is changing and these characters are adrift in it, they still remain true to the source material and that is a testament to their longevity and a reminder that you don't have to completely recreate a character to put them on the big screen for modern audiences.

"Seems to be an awful lot of Avengers in this Captain America movie. Can't Black Widow get her own?"

Yes, as others have said this movie further illustrates that Black Widow and even Nick Fury could easily handle their own movies and not have to only keep popping up in other character's films. This movie really shows that Marvel can pretty much do whatever style of movie they want. They've done a period piece war movie and a tense political thriller dressed up as super hero action flicks now and that's just the two Cap films. Let's see the events of this spin out and take Natasha and Nick in opposite directions with similar goals. Comic fans will know that Fury can be at his deadliest once he's gone underground, so let him attack the roots of Hydra's organization with nothing more then his own very unique skill set. And Natasha's life has been made very public, past enemies could start coming out of the woodwork for payback. A cat and mouse story with her trying to carve a new path while digging up secrets from her past and being pursued could be a great chance to let the character really fall far and start on her personal redemption.

"Yeah, why don't I have my own movie yet?"

Of course, it wasn't a flawless victory. There were little WTH moments here and there, one of my favourites being the file Natasha gave Steve at the end of the film. The winter soldier went from a "ghost most of the intelligence community doesn't think exists" to a full file a fresh publicly burned double agent only had to call in a couple of favours to get.

And how about Steve's genius solution to hiding the jump drive. Good thing no one else went looking for a Hubba Bubba fix before Natasha. Though I did get a kick out of both of those.

Issues aside, this is a real win for Marvel and leaves a lot of threads to pull on in the future. I for one can't wait to see more from the Winter Soldier and the fall out from "the algorithm" and I'm hopeful they'll keep Falcon teamed up with Cap, or give him his own time to shine. I'm not greedy though, just throw him in wherever he fits well for now, like Black Widow and build him to a point where the demand is high and the time is right.

The last three films felt like issues of 'Marvel Team-Up', I could take more of that.

With Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist all prepping to be the onscreen version of the Defenders, Ant Man moving forward and Agent Carter and Doctor Strange still being thrown around, the MCU is poised to get really explode. And that isn't even considering what's happening outside of Earths atmosphere. The bigger and more complex this beast gets, the more impressive it is that they can balance it all and pull it off.

As a solo film it had a lot to offer. Flashbacks, monologuing villains, grappling hooks, the Matrix giving birth to Skynet, sexual tension(?), bromance, car chases, Sam Jackson, purple wearing comic book villains, product placement, whispering and Scarlett Johansson.

Oh, and Captain America is in it too.

One thing's for sure, you're going to see a whole lot of these for the next little while...

Hail Hydra 9Hail Hydra 1Hail Hydra 2
Hail Hydra 3Hail Hydra 5Hail Hydra 6
Hail Hydra 4Hail Hydra 7Hail Hydra 8

I'm looking forward to Marvel's attempt at making Star Wars in August and seeing "The Twins" again in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I'm also looking forward to seeing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.


I won't even start on what I would've liked to see from LEGO for this movie. If the Winter Soldier and Cap in his Steve Rogers: Agent of SHIELD outfit show up at some point as minifigs, I'm down.

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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby RfAurora » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:13 am

I really enjoyed this movie and how well MAOS ties into it. There was on part I really got a kick out of:
Spoiler: show
The quote of Ezekiel 25:17 on Nick Fury's gravestone and its homage to Jackson's character from Pulp Fiction.
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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby Trooper10 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:48 pm

Great review, I saw it 2 nights ago and really enjoyed it. I also like the less 'super' super heroes - even the star-spangle captain - I also like that it means you don't have to have ridiculous super-villains as well...TWS makes a good challenge for Cap and his buddies.

Personally as a casual comics fan, I'm not convinced Nick Fury or Black Widow have the interest to support a mass market film - $100m or so is still a big investment for studios and they are often spending double that on these films - but this helps enhance my enjoyment of their supporting role status and helps avoid one-dimensional movies where one character has to carry the whole film. (Or you could just do a Nolan and not have the main character in 1/2 of the movie)

Oh and one bit of advice if you haven't watched it yet - stay for the first after-credits scene but DO NOT waste 10 minutes waiting for the second one. Just search it on your phone as you walk back to your car...just my opinion.
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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby Joedward » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:21 pm

On Monday I saw it for the second time.
Cap was awesome, Nat was awesome, Sam was awesome and, oh my god, but Emily VanCamp is absolutely gorgeous.
The twins looked great as well. Can't wait to see them in A2:AoU.

The Winter Soldier has replaced Iron Man as my favourite Marvel movie. It may even be, possibly, my favourite superhero movie. I thought it was so fantastic.
Can't wait for Cap 3 either. That should be interesting. And it's already pegged for release on the same day as Batman vs Superman, or whatever that film will be called. I think DC will fold and move theirs before Marvel.
(that's Mr. Ed to you)

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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:25 pm

I would hope that anyone who hasn't watched wouldn't be reading past "SPOILERS AHEAD" and should know by now to always stay after the credits with Marvel.

My six year old sat through the credits for the end scene and was very excited that TWS was rediscovering his past.

He's a favourite character for us.

And yes Joedward, I think DC will blink first too.
'Resistance is Futile. We will add your Bricks and Minifigures to our own. Your Bothans will adapt to service us."
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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby plebeianprint » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:06 pm

buriedbybricks wrote:I would hope that anyone who hasn't watched wouldn't be reading past "SPOILERS AHEAD" and should know by now to always stay after the credits with Marvel.

I looked behind me right before the second post-movie scene and I was the only person that had stayed. Staying until all credits are finished should be standard practice on all Marvel movies.
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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby Trooper10 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:37 pm

buriedbybricks wrote:... and should know by now to always stay after the credits with Marvel.

Except that you could leave the theater, walk to your car, drive home, go to the bathroom, make a cup of tea, watch the extended Lord of the RIngs trilogy and the youtube the after credits scenes and STILL see them before you did if you'd stayed in the movie theater... just sayin'
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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby CaptainFordo » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:43 pm

I liked the shot of Stark Tower in the "targeting threats" scene. Also the Stephen Strange namedrop. I would definitely love to see the Falcon again, pretty sad that he won't be in Avengers 2 but Rhodey will. Rhodey has more of an excuse not to be involved, since he's a soldier in the employ of the US military as opposed to a "freelance" hero like Falcon or the rest of the non-SHIELD Avengers. Not that I'm saying we should kick Rhodey out of the movie, since I can always go for more Don Cheadle too :P

I like the current format of "mid-credits = setting up a future movie and Post-credits = coda for the main film. Since Avengers, Iron Man 3 is the only one breaking that chain by having no mid-credits.
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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby Faefrost » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:49 pm

Trooper10 wrote:
Oh and one bit of advice if you haven't watched it yet - stay for the first after-credits scene but DO NOT waste 10 minutes waiting for the second one. Just search it on your phone as you walk back to your car...just my opinion.

I don't know that I would go that far? Granted that final end credit scene lacked the clarity of the rest of the movie. Much like the equally seemingly dull and pointless end credit scene in Thor The Dark World, it puts the character back on the board and sets them up for future use. In Thor it moved Thor back to earth so he is in position for Avengers. Whereas in CATWS it moved the Winter Soldier away from "villain" and signified his return to "Bucky" hero and protector. The fact that they did that hopefully indicates that we will be seeing him again, and maybe before CA3?
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Re: Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Postby Firespray » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:09 pm

First off, I really dug the WarGames reference :lol: Second, Winter Soldier was Iron Man 1 levels of cool.
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