Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

captain_america_the_winter_soldier_posterMy esteemed colleague Pseudo Joe brought it to my attention that since I had wrote a preview of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” it was only right that I followed that up with the review. Hell I already forgot I wrote that preview but luckily I saw Cap 2 so here I am to tell you how awesome the movie actually is.

Cap 2 is FREAKING BAD-ASS! This has to fall in the top three Marvel movies ever, behind “The Avengers” and “Iron Man.” While the first Captain America movie essentially served as a lead-in for the aforementioned Avengers, this movie gets its own two legs to stand on and it totally kicks the shit out of everything in its way. It’s Steve Rogers again setting the pace for the sequel to “The Avengers.”

The movie strays away from the tone of other Marvel movies in the sense that it’s not overly comic book-ish. Captain America is kind of Marvels version of Batman, at least in the terms of the movies. He’s a human guy, albeit one built to human perfection by the super-soldier serum, handling real life situations. One could make an argument that Batman is no less “super” than Cap by the crap he pulls off. That was one of the first things I noticed about this movie. Rogers pulls off a lot less “super human” stuff in this movie than he did in his first solo and “The Avengers” combined, which is good because Cap isn’t super powered. Rogers does kick all kinds of ass in this movie though which is awesome to watch.

Chris Evans owns the role now much like RDJ is Tony Stark. Watching him go through a multitude of emotions is fascinating and heart wrenching at times. There is a scene where you can really feel for Rogers and his “man out of time” shtick. For the most part though Cap is settling into his new life and Evans plays Cap as someone comfortable with his surroundings while still trying to hold on the values he grew up with. Never before has Captain America seemed like such a force than in Winter Soldier. He goes from friendly to laying waste to baddies in no time flat.

captain-america-the-winter-soldier-2Scarlett Johannson is her usually scene-stealing self. How she doesn’t have her own Black Widow movie now is beyond me. I think part of what makes her work in these movies is the array of colorful characters she gets to play off. Winter Soldier is just another vehicle for Johannson to show off to fan boys all over. Sam Jackson excels as Director Nick Fury in this, given more screen time than in any other Marvel movie. Without the wide assortment of characters to go through Fury is given a chance to delve into what makes him tick and its enlightening to see that he’s not that different from comics, which keeps things entertaining. A surprise for me was watching Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon. I know Mackie was a good actor and he just seemed to blend right into the Marvel Universe, not in a bad way. Introducing new characters is always risky but Falcon never seemed to overstep his boundaries. Cap and he have a long history in the comics and hopefully this movie was the beginning of bringing that to the cinematic universe.

As for the titular bad guy, the Winter Soldier is one bad S.O.B. He’s a monster who doesn’t even think about stopping to take names. It’s almost difficult to put into words how dangerous he is. Winter Soldier comes off as an unstoppable killing machine who is more than a match for Wing Tips. Sebastian Stan does a wonderful job because you would never know it’s him playing the villain compared to his role in the first movie. Give him credit for doing a complete 180 and making it work magically. There aren’t many threats that seem insurmountable in the Marvel Universe but Winter Soldier is a bad guy that is hardcore.

It would be remiss to not mention Robert Redford either. His casting in the movie sent shockwaves through Hollywood for an actor as distinguished as he to be in a “comic book” movie. He doesn’t just make a cameo either. Redford brings a level “this isn’t campiness” to the movie that serves it well. The movie has a 70s political thriller and Redford lends to that considerably.

cap-uk-posterThe action sequences aren’t as lavish as Iron Man’s or Thor’s but they don’t disappoint either. Winter Soldier showcases how much of a one-man wrecking crew Cap is. Using the shield as a weapon like never seen before, Rogers isn’t someone to take lightly. The action does pick up towards the end when Falcon takes to the sky so he and Rogers can save the day. If you’ve seen the trailers then you already know what I’m talking about.

Cap’s adventures in this movie have ramifications that shake up the entire Marvel Universe. I won’t go spoiling it but it even extends to “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and that’s already been felt on the episode airing after the movie’s release.

The Winter Soldier brings the goods. It’s one of Marvel’s best and worth seeing so go check it out.

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