Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier photo starrating-3andahalfstars.jpgCaptain America: The Winter Soldier is the 9th installment in the series of superhero films, independently produced by Marvel Studios. The series has been dubbed the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its own acronym MCU. There are in fact different phases designed to apparently conquer the movie world (and your wallet). We’re currently in Phase 2 which will culminate with Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). I’m only mentioning all this because some people take this stuff with a very straight face. The deeper we get into these franchises, the more they demand that you’ve see the others. I’ve seen everything but even my eyes begin to glaze over when actors start tossing around names and organizations like we’re in the middle of a history lesson. I’m just here to watch a fun flick and I’m happy to say that this is indeed an enjoyable picture. The Avengers and Iron Man are better, but it ranks in the top half of the 9 entries thus far.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up two years after the events of The Avengers (2012). Following a lot of exposition that extends this movie 16 minutes past the 2 hour sweet spot, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) entrusts Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans) with a hard drive containing sensitive information. When he refuses to hand it over to senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce.(Robert Redford), Steve is branded an enemy of the very organization he once served. A superhuman agent codenamed the Winter Soldier does Secretary Pierce’s bidding. The Winter Soldier’s identity is a secret so no details on him. Helping Steve get to the bottom things are fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. member Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Sam Wilson / Falcon (Anthony Mackie). They’re both quite good. Scarlett Johansson fetchingly straddles the line between friend and flirt. Anthony Mackie has genuine camaraderie with Chris Evans as Steve’s buddy who he meets while jogging. The three of them joining forces makes this feel sort of like an Avengers movie.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an entertaining spy thriller. The story includes lots of rousing action sequences . The hand to hand combat scenes draw heavily from martial arts films in the best possible way. The pace is efficient with a narrative that doesn’t disappoint fans looking for excitement featuring people they already know and love. There’s enough human interaction to satisfy those who savor a little character development in their superhero flicks. Occasionally the overly complex story takes itself a bit too seriously. I welcome the humor of Thor. Fan boys will appreciate the reverence, but anyone unfamiliar with the Avengers universe might not be as captivated. Thankfully the tone shines with the occasional witty quips where everyone in the production can simply lighten up.

P.S. Given Marvel’s history, I shouldn’t have to point out that there are mid-credits and post-credits stingers that you should probably stick around for. That is unless that extra large Coke you drank is playing havoc with your bladder.

44 Responses to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

  1. Loved your review. Mine went up a short time ago and I liked it too. Well let me correct that, I absolutely loved it. I watched it twice this weekend and found that it did a lot more than I expected. It’s a great superhero movie but also a great old-school action picture. Loved it!

  2. The Captain America vs. Pirate Kickboxer scene made me spill my drink a little.

    • Insane. There was a lot of martial arts in this film. That was Georges St-Pierre playing Batroc the Leaper. He is a real MMA fighter from Canada.

  3. Nice review. This had the tone I prefer from Marvel films. I missed the period-piece aspect of the first film, but what it lost there, it made up for with stunning action.

  4. Good review. I’ve apparently missed a lot of MCU films…I need to change that.

    Envoyé de mon iPhone


  5. I always hate it when your soft drinks end up making the call as to whether you’re staying for the credits or not. Lol that part was really funny (and true). I’m avoiding Cap’n America, I’m just not that interested in it. I have the same feeling towards this as i did towards Thor and I recall sitting in that movie not even feeling that excited about getting to review it later. Films like that I find I can catch later on DVD or something, but this one does sound pretty fun.

    I’m sure it’ll be a great Netflix or Redbox at some point. 😀

    • Are you suffering from Superhero Fatigue or it disenchantment with just the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Honestly this is better than most so I’d recommend it to a film fan like yourself.

      • That it’s better than most superhero flicks seems to be the consensus. I don’t know man, I just don’t really think much of Captain America. I twiddled my thumbs something crazy in Thor: the Dark World and if theaters are going to continue to charge ridiculous amounts for these movies I’m going to try to be more selective with the Marvel/DC thing. I think this will make for a great Bite Size Review someday, though. 😀

      • Thor: The Dark World was a lessor entry. Most seem to rank this up there with The Avengers and Iron Man.

  6. Great review! I have also written my review for this film. I enjoyed this film great deal which was a surprise to me.

  7. Good review Mark. Sometimes got a little too serious and drab for its own good, but still kept me excited mostly throughout. Also, nice to see this franchise go in an interesting direction right before the next Avengers.

  8. nice review sir. I agree with most points you made and is definitely a step in the right direction. At least they are trying to make their films different in tone for each character so they get bonus points for that.

    Below is my review …… another positive review too

  9. Great review! I loved this film and it was miles better than the first one. I do love The Avengers but I think Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes it.

  10. I’m glad to say I loved this movie. I was into the story and thought the action was awesome. I always nitpick and wonder why the other Avengers don’t show up to help in times of ultimate threat. But, as a non-Avenger movie, this stood fine on its own. 4 1/2 stars

  11. Excellent review! I had such a blast with this film!

  12. off topic, I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Keep up the great posts

  13. As I so often do, Mark, I mostly agree. I too think The Avengers is a bit better than this one, but that this is still an engaging spy thriller, one more than worth viewing. I especially like what they did with Black Widow – I think she largely steals the movie.

  14. My boyfriend’s being trying to convince me for the last two weeks to go and see this with him, I wasn’t too convinced even as a fan of the Marvel superhero films. But now after reading your review, I feel that a trip to the cinema is in order! Great review, I also loved your little PS. note at the bottom! You absolutely have to stay all the way through the credits of a marvel film!! 🙂

  15. I generally steer clear of the extra large Cokes so that I can stick around through the end credits. Been hearing good things about Winter Soldier. Some even claim that it’s better than Avengers, which I had a hard time believing. Your review is still positive, but tempered which I like. I’m excited for the camaraderie that you mention between Steve, Natasha, and Sam. Also looking forward to the spy aspect and Cap’s moral struggle over whether SHIELD are actually the good guys or not.

    • Yeah I’ve also heard people wax poetically over how this is the greatest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s good, but that’s crazy talk.

      Honestly The Dark Knight trilogy is the benchmark by which all modern comic book movies should be judged.

  16. martin250 Says:

    am still a bit perplexed about your comment on my blog- about how you found this film to be full of interesting characters. I found this movie to be mainly about plot and action, not really personalities.

    i am aware it is an action film, a good one. But there really isn’t much more to it. I walked out of the theater remembering the action and the plot, not really the personalities.

  17. martin250 Says:

    my only guess is that you were referring to a loose definition of “interesting” . maybe Robert Redfords role and the Winter Soldier drew some curiosity. But Rogers and Black Widow, apart from flirting with one another, were typically noble and brave.

    • It’s funny that a character has to be conflicted and dark to be interesting as if someone who stands for truth, justice and the American way is boring. Ah well to each his own.

      • martin250 Says:

        we both pretty much agree that the film is good. I think comic book fans will like this a Lot more.
        Characters don’t need to be conflicted or dark to be interesting. Wouldn’t say that standing for truth, justice, and the American way is boring. its just an expected quality of Captain America.

  18. garylee828 Says:

    I keep hearing good things about this and I do want to eventually see it, but after catching “Dark Knight” on TV tonight, these other super-hero films just seem like child’s play. Nolan created such a fascinating and surreal world and although based off of comic books is able to still emulate real life; all these other super-hero movies have far too much CGI to come across even semi-realistic.

    I did like Captain America 1 and Iron Man, but they still pale in comparison to the Dark Knight trilogy – and I know you and others aren’t trying to compare these franchises to Dark Knight, but Nolan did such a phenomenal job with the Batman series that I can’t hardly take any of the other franchises seriously. I need CGI-free superhero films. Like “Watchmen”.

    • garylee828 Says:

      *I know “Watchmen” had CGI, but it still had a realistic vibe; it didn’t feel cartoonish at all. And the CGI wasn’t overkill. That’s what I meant.

    • Yeah Christopher Nolan is known for his preference for practical effects over CGI. It makes a difference.

  19. garylee828 Says:

    Since I was already at the theater today to see Godzilla, I went to see this one, as well since you, Isaacs and Zoe bragged so much about it. I thought it was good. I liked the opening attack on the pirate ship where he sprinted through and knocked out everyone he passed. lol. There were some well-done action sequences here and I think Captain America Steve Rogers is one of the funnest super-heroes to watch in combat. B/c Fury kept pounding “Trust no one” into Steve’s head, I kept expecting Scarlett or Mackie to turn on him. Glad I was off on that one. I liked the twists, as well.

    • The Winter Soldier was the 2nd biggest hit of the first third of 2014. (The LEGO Movie was #1) It’ll be interesting to see how long it holds onto that title with the Summer movie season upon us.

      I suspect Transformers: Age of Extinction is going to be tough competition at the box office.

      • garylee828 Says:

        Yeah, I was actually surprised last night b/c more than half the theater was full for Captain America. I thought there’d be me and only a handful of others since it had been out so long.

        TF4 I’m gonna wait to see what others say and if it gets strong reviews I will try to see, but after the disappointment of parts 2&3 I’m in no rush. This one looks like it could be good, though. I wouldn’t think Mark would do it if it were a bad script. Guess we will see.

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