(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was definitely a high octane, edge of your seat political thriller, this is the Captain America everyone needs to see, even though the movie left me with some questions and loopholes that Marvel movies love to do, but the action will make you satisfied with the character Captain America at it’s patriotic finest. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
Let me backtrack a few years back. When I started getting into the comic book world, I pretty much immense myself to a world that is bigger than I thought it would be. Thanks to cartoons in the 90’s I was really into Spiderman, X-men (especially Wolverine), Hulk, and Batman. Those three got me started to immerse myself in a culture that now is starting to get respect. Captain America was always on the back burner for me. Why? Just wasn’t interested in his story for whatever reason, and was an annoying character to go against in Marvel vs Capcom 2. Many comic book junkies or nerds were telling me that I really need to give him a shot, and I did, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) announced The Avengers initiative that would star Captain America. I did a lot of research of his origin, and what he stands for. It intrigued me a little, but for me I have to see it to understand this patriotic character. When The First Avenger: Captain America came out I was really impressed how directly comical it was with his origin story, and it turned out great, the only MCU movie that I gave a perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars. The one thing that intrigued me was Captain America’s character, all he wanted to do was fight for his country, and was willing to do anything to achieve that, even being a successful test subject. The one scene that really showed me his true unselfish patriotism, was when one of the Sargents threw a dummy grenade, and thinking that it was real, Captain America (or Steve Rodgers at the time) risked his life in falling on the grenade to sacrifice himself and save others. That to me showed that he was definitely a hero in the making, and a true leader for anything. Captain America: The Winter Soldier really stepped it up a notch for this character in today’s world, but I believe this movie showed the true potential of Captain America in heroism and patriotism. I will start with what I like to the so-so.
What I liked, let’s start with the story, you see Ironman as a technological hero with a pompous entrepreneur that dealt with his past demons and post traumatic stress from The Avengers movie. You have Thor that showed another pompous royalty character in another magical world outside of Earth, who learns humility in living with the humans, and dealing with the troubles from both worlds. Then you have Hulk a person really dealing with two personalities of human genius to wreckless monster, and not knowing about his future in life. Then you have Captain America who is a strong soldier hero in World War II, who was cryogenically frozen to today’s world, and having to get used to today, and still becoming a soldier for S.H.I.E.L.D. that becomes pretty much a 24ish political thriller. What I like most about the MCU is how each story is completely different, and they come together, and go back to their business. It’s watching comic books instead of reading it, and I love every single minute of it. I like seeing Captain America still getting used to life in today’s world, befriending friends a long the way, yet the only thing he knows what to do is become a soldier and do missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually having disagreements with Nick Fury on the way he handles things. Old School vs. New School. The big disagreement is when Nick Fury showed Captain America a top secret Project Insight, where they are developing flying weapons that are linked to satellites to eliminate any possible threat to the world. Fury believes after the Battle of New York in the Avengers they can never be too cautious, but for Captain America it violates the essence of freedom and that people will just live in fear. This makes Captain America doubt that he is cut out to work for S.H.I.E.L.D., but doesn’t know how to move on if he does leave. Once Nick Fury was attacked, everything that you thought S.H.I.E.L.D was turned immediately upside down and turned to a big political thriller. It’s like Captain America turned to Jack Bauer of 24, finding out whose responsible and realizing that HYDRA, a terrorist group that formed during World War II, was in this from the beginning to use the weapons in Project Insight to eliminate anybody going against HYDRA. Now Captain America has to trust the right people to put a stop to it, and going against The Winter Soldier. Probably the best story line in Captain America comic book stories, in my opinion. The Winter Soldier ended up to be Captain America’s best friend and sidekick back in the time of World War II, Bucky Barnes, and now Captain America has a dilemma on what to do against him in stopping HYDRA. The story really had a lot of twist and turns that made the movie fun to watch.The first scene on the ship showed how strong Captain America really is, even with his bare hands he stopped a strong Batroc. The final scene in the helicarriers, just showed Captain America’s true grit in stopping at nothing to save the world, even if it’s sacrificing himself. I liked the scene where Captain America announced all of S.H.I.E.L.D. that HYDRA is behind this, and showing people who and what to believe. i like that some were willing to die, then becoming a component in a big terrorist threat. The acting was great. Chris Evans as Captain America was perfect. I liked the fact that they showed more of The Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson, and revealing a little of her past how she used to be in HYDRA now for S.H.I.E.L.D., and was the perfect partner for Captain America. I loved Anthony Mackie, playing Falcon. I liked how instead of a corny suit, they use his wings as a military weapon component for paratroopers. I liked how he was living a good life in helping soldiers deal with post traumatic stress, but still want to become a soldier to fight with Captain America. Shows how much of an influence Captain America has on today’s soldiers. He shows his true skills and potential with his wings, and was very helpful in the final battle of the movie. Emily VanCamp playing Agent 13 showed some potential of her in the future movies. Also good to know that Agent Maria Hill, played by Colbie Smulders, is still in the good side of things as well. As for some villains, I liked Frank Grillo playing Brock Rumlow, he was a strong leader and fighter for HYDRA, and showed a little bit in the end of him deeply burned but alive which means he is becoming the villain Crossbones. They showed Arnim Zola as a real life computer human villain, and I liked how creepy that scene was when Captain America, and Black Widow meet him. As for The Winter Soldier played by Sebastian Stan, he was awesome. A perfect villain to go toe to toe with Captain America, and almost succeeding in defeating him. His story played out great and comical, as he was found by Arnim Zola, and was created as a humanoid weapon with a robotic arm and cryogenically freezing him so he can still be in good shape when they need him. Training him that HYDRA is right for the world and he is a big part of achieving it. I liked that it was Captain America giving him doubts of who he really is, and when Captain America let’s him live after he completed the mission, he was saved by The Winter Soldier, and left to recuperate. Which ends up in the final scene after the credits in The Winter Soldier studies in who he really was back in World War II, but was the creepy music necessary for that scene? I love the mid credit scene which shows that HYDRA is still alive, now with Baron Von Strucker played by Thomas Krestchmann at the helm, and shows that he has Loki’s staff, and has both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen contained revealing that they will be let loose to wreak havoc , setting up for the next Avengers movie.
Now for the so-so, I knew (and probably most other people) Nick Fury was not dead, even though the scene made it look that way. But I want to see Samuel L. Jackson in his true potential as Nick Fury. Meaning, I want to see him yelling a lot more, Sam Jackson is known for his anger yelling, let him let loose. Overall, you do see Nick Fury becoming vulnerable, and that is good to see that he is human after all. As for Robert Redford as the senior Leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. Alexander Price i wasn’t feeling him, especially when he turned out to be behind all of the HYDRA takeover. I didn’t think he was menacing enough, but he was a big part of the story. As usual with a lot of movies in the MCU, it left me with a lot of questions, like what now with S.H.I.E.L.D., are they done, or are they rebuilding? How will this affect the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. like the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? (Will find out in due time, where I believe Agent Hand is part of HYDRA now) How this HYDRA takeover will affect the rest of The Avengers in trusting them? Also where was Hawkeye during all of this? He is a big part of S.H.I.E.L.D., and could’ve gave them a hand. It will most likely be answered in the future movies, so i have to wait. (I have little patience when it comes to these things.)
Overall, I love the direction that the MCU is going. They have made good movies after another, exceeding expectations with each one, which is hard to do. I look forward with what they have in stock next. Next movie is Guardians of the Galaxy, which is the last movie before The Avengers: Age of Ultron in phase 2 of the MCU. This will be something new, and probably MCU’s biggest risk yet. Let’s see!!! Rating 4.5 out of 5 Stars