The Captain is Back!
After the events of The Avengers, Steve Rodgers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) is having a rough time adapting to modern day life. One day, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) sends Steve on a mission to investigate a pirate ship that is holding members of S.H.I.E.L.D. as hostages. After learning that Natasha, the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) was sent on the same mission, Steve begins questioning S.H.I.E.L.D. and their orders. It isn’t long before Steve and Natasha discover that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been compromised and a new project known as Project Insight serves as a threat to the world. Now, Steve, Natasha, and newcomer, Sam Wilson also known as The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) must stop the Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) from launching the project and destroying the world.
Out of all the Avengers characters, I always found Captain America to be the weakest of the bunch. The character reeks of American Propaganda and the idea of a wimpy guy becoming an unstoppable solider isn’t really the strongest character arc in my eyes. With that being said, I did find the last Captain America film to be enjoyable and was anxiously awaiting the release of this sequel. The question that now must be answered is, “how does Captain America: The Winter Soldier compare to the other post Avengers films a la Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World.
I know I am in the minority here, but I like Iron Man 3 the most out of all the post Avengers films. I find Iron Man as a character to be extremely bad ass and Robert Downey Jr’s personality as Tony Stark is exactly how I picture the character being. I also found the story to be the most clever and engaging out of all these post Avengers films. However, with all that being said, I think Marvel fanboys and fangirls will absolutely adore The Winter Solider. There is so much story and character introductions within The Winter Solider that I won’t be surprised if fans label it as one of the best Avenger movies of all time.
I need to say that its hard to really go into much detail about Captain America: The Winter Solider without ruining the film’s many surprises. Fans should know that there is a lot that happens as the story progresses. There are several story arcs taking place throughout the film and there are characters added into the mix that weren’t hinted upon in the trailers. To keep this spoiler free, this means that there are other people introduced in the film besides The Falcon and Winter Solider. I am not saying they get a lot of screen-time, but definitely enough to make the fans cream in their pants a little.
The Winter Solider’s pacing is a bit on the slow side and I won’t lie when I say I was pretty bored for the first 20 to 30 minutes. Once the action started and the story started moving along, I felt like a lot was happening and there were so many plot points to take in. As many would probably guess, this film as well as most of these recent Marvel movies work best if you are avid readers of the comic books. There are a lot of little inside gags or references that will have those loyal fans extremely excited about. The story does have a lot going for it and might even be a little too cluttered in my opinion. There is definitely a lot to take in during the 136 minute run time so make sure you are wide awake for all the surprises that will be thrown your way.
I think Chris Evans really fits the build and personality of Captain America, but I do have to say that compared to everyone else in this film especially, Captain America was probably the weakest character. In the film, Steve is rather ho-hum throughout making him the least interesting character to watch on-screen. I think Scarlett Johansson really shined as Natasha in this entry. She was great at kicking ass and looking good while doing it. I loved her quick-wit and constant conversations with Steve about who he should try to date. The introduction of the Falcon was a great addition to the Captain and Black Widow duo and Anthony Mackie makes the character his own. The constant back and forth banter between Falcon and the Captain was highly amusing and served as some of the film’s more lighter moments.
As for the Winter Solider character, I think Sebastian Stan did a good job, but definitely left more to be desired. Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Solider didn’t get that much background story this time around and was more used as a lead in to the sequel. I think this is a bit misleading considering the film’s title includes The Winter Solider. I hate to disappoint but I don’t want fans thinking that this sequel is all about the Winter Solider. This is more about Steve Rodgers, S.H.E.I.L.D, and the introduction of HYDRA than anything else.
All in all, I thought Captain America: The Winter Solider was a lot of fun and got me extremely excited for the next film in this post Avengers film series. While the film does have its fair share of over the top moments that made me roll my eyes with disbelief, the overall film is solid and the acting is extremely strong especially for a big budget spectacle like this. I think the Avengers fans will love this film to death and will be a huge smash at the box office. For those who are wondering, I would recommend that you do stay through the end of the credits for a mid-credits and a post credits scene that will spark even more excitement. A spoiler filled description of what is shown can be found below.
MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Captain America: The Winter Solider is a 7.5 out of 10.
*END OF CREDITS SPOILER SECTION* – The mid-credits scene at the end of the film does include a quick glimpse of Avengers: Age of Ultron. The characters Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are briefly shown using their powers. This serves as a really exciting scene. The post credits scene features Bucky Barnes visiting the Smithsonian where he sees the exhibit featuring Steve and the rest of his gang from the 1940s. This gives him the realization that he has been in fact brainwashed to forget his past.