Saturday, April 5, 2014

Movie Review: Captain America- The Winter Soldier

Marvel Studios has done the impossible. Not only have they transformed a B-tier, one dimensional character like Captain America into a total badass, but they've made a sequel that surpasses the original and elevates the entire genre into higher plane (think The Empire Strikes Back or The Dark Knight). In summary, Captain America: The Winter Soldier shattered all of my expectations, had me giggling like a school girl and reaffirmed my undying loyalty to the Marvel brand.

S.H.I.E.L.D./Big watching,
Captain America's first movie was pretty cool, even if it was a glorified placeholder for The Avengers. I loved the vintage, period piece atmosphere and didn't mind the dozen or so montages that rushed the film into the current MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe for the non-geeks). Cap's new film, The Winter Soldier, although intertwined with the rest of the MCU, stands on it's own two feet as a legit action/thriller extravaganza. Seriously, you could take away the comic book elements from this film and you'd still have a wildly entertaining action flick. Since Captain America doesn't have high tech armor or an enchanted space hammer, he's just a dude jacked to the extreme pinnacle of human perfection, his movie is bit more grounded than the usual Marvel films. Yeah, he's doing back flips off planes and punching holes in walls, but it's still less crazy than space portals and robot wrestling. Instead we see Cap laying the smack down on dozens of random goons in total 80's action mode. The fight scenes in this movie are beyond glorious. The elevator beat down sequence was easily one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my life (next to Thor Vs Hulk in Avengers). I don't know what I enjoyed more, watching Cap finally go full super soldier, or the subtle barely there extras, like him bouncing off walls and falling off freeways; the crazy physics stuff that was always implied off panel in the comics but brought to light on the big screen.

Geek stuff aside, this is just a really well made flick. The Winter Soldier is a political leaning thriller, with topical references ripped right from the headlines. Nick Fury and his bros at S.H.I.E.L.D. have developed some new mega spy/drone weapons to weed out threats before they occur. It's some Orwellian/G.W. Bush/NSA stuff that our boy Captain America wants no part of (he's a 95 year old WWII vet for crying out loud). Everyone in the cast deliverers great performances, from Frank Grillo and the low level henchmen types to Scarlet Johansson who finally owns her Black Widow character. Of course all praises due to Chris Evans, the dude is the perfect Captain America. He handles the action and emotional aspects of the character remarkably well. His speech during the beginning of the third act was inspiring in all the ways Warner's godawful Man of Steel was not, and "end of the line" remark during the finale battle scene with the actual Winter Soldier had my heartstrings all twisted much like the now iconic, "...I had a date," phrase from the first film.

Kudos to the Russo brothers for directing such a sharp and ass kicking thriller. If you're into fast paced action flicks like the Bourne films, you'll love this. Next to The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Solider is easily Marvel's best film to date, and also one of the best comic movies of all time (up there with Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, etc). Go see this.


  1. I saw it today a few hours ago, it was pretty amazing. 2nd to only the Avengers. I love the scene where they get on the boat and Cap is just knocking regular guys to the side.

    Also that flashback scene with Cap and you know who was very touching

  2. This is a film I think is definitely worth watching only because it is better than the first installment. On the other hand the whole film felt very familiar and I couldn't quite figure out why. But when we get to the moment where they finally reveal that in order to protect the world we must sacrifice a few, my mind shot straight to Watchmen. I thought, this is what the Watchmen film should have been. The Russo brothers pulled off a great tribute to Watchmen with a twist of Captain America.

  3. Thanks for the review, going to watch it now