Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

James Whatley

Probably one of the best Marvel films ever made.

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Let’s get one thing absolutely clear: The Winter Soldier is a great film.

Yes, it’s Captain America film in title, but it’s more of a mini Avengers to be honest. Avengers 1.5, if you will. The most Avengers-like film you’ll see between 2012′s Avengers Assemble and next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. With, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Maria Hill, Falcon (team newbie), and of course, the Cap himself, Steve Rogers, they give you quite a line up. This is very much an ensemble piece.

A lot of what I had read leading up to seeing TWS had many saying that what happens in this particular Marvel adventure has (or will have) a lasting effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and they’re not wrong. Big changes are afoot. And SHIELD is at the heart of it all.

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First thing you notice about TWS however, is that Captain America is a more of a badass than ever before. The opening sequence, a rescue mission aboard a pirated ship somewhere in the Indian Ocean, felt like something straight out of a James Bond pre credits mission (and is something I’d like to see more of in the future).

You know that Cap has been on these kinds of missions before and, when he hits the ground running, you know that this is not his first rodeo. And of course, Chris Evans owns this role now and even though he’ll be hanging up the shield (no pun intended) by the end of Phase 3, in this, his third outing in the blue uniform, has got Rogers down. Seriously, he’s perfect.

Which is handy really, because the rest of the cast are pretty darn fantastic too, Scarlett Johansson leaves you wanting a Black Widow film more than an ever before (or maybe even a two-hander with Hawkeye), Samuel L JacksonĀ is Nick Fury, and Antony Mackie, joining the team as Falcon, shows what it really means to be a valuable sidekick.

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Hurrah for team players.

If I could make one criticism it would be to have more of the heavily-billed baddie himself, the Winter Soldier. That said, I don’t want to go into it, or him, too much in fear of giving away any spoilers (some people know about him and who he is, some people don’t – so I’ll leave it there).

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The thing that makes Cap 2 really sing though is that, while there obviously huge links to the rest of the MCU throughout, it works really well as a standalone film. It’s confident, smart, and grounded in a realism that has seemed missing from both Iron Man 3 and Thor 2. Yes, I know we’re dealing with superheroes here, but see the film and you’ll get my point.

That said, there’s no harm in, ahem, re-capping with The First Avenger and The Avengers before you go see it though; you’ll be rewarded for it. On a related note, there are a gazillion bunch of hidden nods in the film (and I’m half tempted to do another post later to cover them all off, but we’ll see on that one), so marvel fans will be pleased too.

Like I said at the start, The Winter Soldier really is a great film. I didn’t bother seeing it in 3D as I didn’t think it’d be worth it – I stand by that. However I do think it’s worth seeing in the cinema.

In closing, The last time we (officially) saw Cap he was a bit part player in Avengers Assemble, this time round he gets to show us what he’s really made of.

It’s simple -

  • Cap 1: intro story.
  • Avengers: bit part player.
  • Cap 2: BAMF.

And so you know, there are TWO post credits sequences. The first is a teaser for Avengers: Age of Ultron. And the second, I’d guess is a nod of things to come in the already announced Captain America 3.

Go see it.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 17:59 and is filed under film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

  1. Angela Says:

    Okay, one line movie reviews coming up.

    Really liked this but I found myself staring at Steve Rogers’ teeth!

    Loved ScarJo. And Falcon.

    Okay so that was technically two lines and three sentences but who’s counting.

    [Reply]

    James Whatley Reply:

    Ha! His teeth?! Whut? Weirdo! :P

    [Reply]

    Angela Reply:

    argh and i forgot to reply to your reply and keep the comment flowing nicely. What a daftie.

    [Reply]

  2. Angela Says:

    haha you got me sussed.
    Since I got my brace in I check out peoples teeth. But his teeth just looked fake, like veneers. Like, giant and perfect and kinda prominent, like veneers are, and i kept staring at them.

    Yep. Okay you’re right. Weirdo ;)

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  3. tookiebunten Says:

    Great movie. The Capt. Is definitely running the show. My favourite of MCU so far. Brought a lot into line with comics and set up a lot of stuff for the end of the phase but also laid down some things for a few more off shoots. Really looking toward to see how Agents of SHIELD ties in a pity we’re not in line like the Americans are. Probably going to loose a lot of the effect. Lots of things I want to say but don’t want to spoil it for others.

    [Reply]

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