Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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.

Cap 2

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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NEW TRAILER: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Bring it.

Stop.

Before you carry on, watch it again, and then look at the poster below (which is also awesome).

XMen DOFP Poster

Days of Future Past (DofP) is the next instalment of the X-Men franchise and, as you can see from the trailer, combines the casts from both the original X-Men films (1, 2, and 3) and those from the rather excellent prequel (of sorts), First Class.

If you stayed past the end credits after watching The Wolverine, you would’ve already known that something else was in the works. Well, this is it. Based onĀ the 1980s comic book of the same name and back in the extremely capable hands of original director Bryan Singer, DofP looks set to be amazing.

I am, somewhat unsurprisingly, extremely up for this. Yes the X-Men film hit rate has been patchy, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

Oh, and don’t think that’s it after this one either. X-Men: Apocalypse (yeah, you know) is being lined up after this with the third Wolverine film to drop straight after. So that’s three X-Men universe-based films (that we know about, X-Force has been rumoured for some time too) to look forward to.

What do you think? You in or out?

 

Related reading: Screenrant has a great trailer breakdown.

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Mondo does Godzilla

This is awesome.

Godzilla Mondo Poster

If you have no idea who or what Mondo is, educate thyself.

While you’re here, here’s the latest Godzilla trailer too –

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RAAAAARGH!

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NEW TRAILER: Guardians of the Galaxy

Oh my god, let’s DO THIS.

They’re here, and they look awesome. The newest and weirdest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (yes, this is what ties into that post-credits sequence in Thor: The Dark World) and it looks AMAZING.

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BRING. IT. ON.

Sidenote: I still can’t get over how awesome Karen Gillan looks. The former Amy Pond is almost completely unrecognisable -

Karen Gillan Nebula Wallpaper

UPDATED: The poster has been dropped too, YOU’RE WELCOME.

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(click for big version)

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NEW TRAILER: Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Watch this! Quickly!

It’s just a teaser, admittedly, but…

HOLY BALLS THAT’S OPTIMUS PRIME RIDING ON THE BACK OF GRIMLOCK FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

Optimus Grimlock

WHAT?! I CAN’T EVEN.

..and breathe..

I hope they make a hoodie of this new version.
The one I have of the old one rocks my face off.

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