Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Marvel’s Phase Two is going strong

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I realize at this point they’ve become as overdone as zombies and vampires, but I freaking love superhero movies. When one is on its way to theaters, I inevitably round up a group of nerdy friends and make a midnight trek to see it—because God forbid we wait until the day it comes out. We simply must see it before the rest of the world. Plus, midnight superhero movie premieres make for excellent people-watching. At this premiere, I got to see an overweight couple dressed as Captain America and Black Widow. And in case you were wondering, yes—people did take pictures with them. God bless nerds. God bless (Captain) America.

Anyway, I was pretty excited for this film—a vastly different attitude from when I went to see the first Captain America. For whatever reason, I was convinced the hero wouldn’t make a smooth transition to film. Seemed too cheesy. But you know what? They pulled it off quite well. And my fondness for Cap only grew when I saw The Avengers. So where does that leave The Winter Soldier? Well, between this and Thor: The Dark World, I’d say Marvel is on quite a roll.

Synopsis: “Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.” Borrowed from my favorite movie site, IMDb.

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The Good: What I found most interesting about this film was though it’s a superhero film, it doesn’t necessarily feel like one. That may not sound like a good thing, but I actually found it to be a breath of fresh air. The Winter Soldier could pass as a superhero film, yes, but it could also pass as a thriller or even an espionage film. Personally, I think it’s a smart route to go for a 21st-century Captain America. Speaking of good ol’ Steve Rogers, I have absolutely no qualms with Chris Evans in the role. The character could easily come off as corny or a little stiff, but Evans imbues him with a genuine goodness that you can’t help admiring. Plus, he has a sense of humor and he’s pretty. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I would date Captain America. But that’s a little off topic. We get to see some familiar faces from the Marvel world in this installment, including kickass super spy Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and intense S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). It’s great to see more from these characters—particularly Natasha, as she’s developed a nice rapport with Cap. Then there are the new kids on the block. Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon (Anthony Mackie) quickly becomes Steve’s new best bud, and I must admit that they make a wonderful duo. Plus, with his fancy flying exoskeleton, Falcon is a very cool hero in his own right. And the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is just awesome. Rocking a metal arm, a mysterious past, and some seriously emo hair, the Winter Solider meets Cap blow for blow, making their fight scenes some of the most exciting moments of the film. But there’s more to this villain than you might think, and I think his story is pretty interesting. Throw in Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, a S.H.I.E.L.D. bigwig, and things get crazy. Seriously, this film is going to directly affect next year’s Avengers film as well as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show (which, fun fact, has gotten pretty good). It’ll get you excited for what’s to come.

Favorite scene: A certain character very unexpectedly kicks butt. At first it’s hilarious, and then something happens to make it a super cool moment. I wish I could be less vague, but I don’t want to spoil anything. If you’ve seen the film, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

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The Bad: There is a tiny thing that has begun to bug me as I see more of these Marvel movies: where are all those other Marvel folks? It’s the one bad thing about bringing the heroes together in The Avengers. As buildings crumbles and planes explode and people are shot, part of me is like, “Why can’t they call up their bro Tony Stark for some backup? Where the heck did Hawkeye run off to? Shouldn’t someone send for Agent Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team?” I realize that’s asking a little much, but I just can’t help wondering why the other heroes don’t come running as the world crumbles. Also…let me try to say this without ruining anything: there is a secret, villainous organization up to mischief in this film, but the way this organization is worked in…well, I didn’t totally buy it. It’s kind of a cool, clever tie-in, but I feel like it needs a bit more explanation. Again, if you’ve seen the film, you probably understand what I’m trying to say. Ugh. I wish I could say more! But I am very anti-spoilers. Other than that, I will say this: some people have proclaimed this film “bland.” Though I disagree, I could see how someone going in and expecting a full-blown superhero movie might be disappointed. Of the Marvel films I’ve seen, this is probably the least superhero-y (though, ultimately, I don’t think that turns out to be a bad thing).

Least favorite scene: That villainous organization I mentioned? A sleazy senator (whom you may recognize from Iron Man 2) is secretly part of it, and just so the audience realizes this, there is a moment where he leans in and whispers words that confirm his unsavory allegiance. It’s a little thing, I know, but the way it’s done is fairly corny.

To Sum It Up: The Winter Soldier is a worthy addition to the Marvel world. It builds brilliantly off the first Captain America film as well as The Avengers, giving us an admirable hero, an intense bad guy, fun and interesting supporting characters, and a story that superhero and thriller fans alike can appreciate. Because the story shakes things up so much, I’d say it’s a must-see for Marvel fans; because it’s enjoyable, I’d recommend it for just about any action lover.

My Grade: A-

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57 thoughts on “Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Marvel’s Phase Two is going strong

  1. Great review! AGREE with everything!!! : ) Mike is nuts – this movie rocks. Lol : ) And nerds are the BEST! I went to midnight movies in my youth too. Miss that! That’s the best time to go!

    • Yeah what’s up with Mike?! Silly Irishman. Haha. If I’m being technical, it wasn’t QUITE a midnight premiere–they’ve started doing earlier showings, which I’m actually very grateful for. But 11:10 is close enough, right? Lol. The best midnight premieres to go to were always Harry Potter or Batman. People went alllll out.

  2. Love the review and glad you enjoyed it! Wish we had such fancy cool launches!

    My question exactly, especially as what was going down would theoretically have affected ALL of the Avengers? I don’t know…

    Hey! Don’t hate on my man’s hair! 😦

    • HA! Believe me, Zoe, it was not that fancy. But it was very fun. And yeah! We need answers about those other Avengers! Mr. Whedon has some explaining to do in Age of Ultron! As for the hair, c’mon–it’s a LITTLE emo. 😉

      • Well… fun is fancy? 🙂

        Well, suppose we will see what gets done about it.

        No, emos are WAY too finicky about their hair… them and the scene kids. This would drive an emo mad. For me? His hair just worked… everything about him did actually, so I’ll just hush here haha!

  3. This one actually effects the franchise a whole lot moreso than the other ones. I don’t want to get into it as to why, but it’s definitely surprising where they end up going with this story. Good review.

    • Thanks, Dan! Yeah, I think the Marvel universe is going to be quite shaken up after the film! Can’t wait to see how everything affects Age of Ultron! 🙂

  4. That is a fun fact! It is odd how they never call for the rest of the Avengers and everyone else seems absent even when the fate of the world is at stake. However, they do that in the comics as well so I am not very surprised about it.

    Thanks for no spoilers! Have not seen the film yet!

    • Oooh can’t wait to see what you think when you see it! Personally, I loved it–even with the whole “where are the other superheroes” thing. I’m not a comic book reader, so I guess I’m just not used to that. Haha.

  5. Great stuff Captain Caramerica!! I loved it too!!! It always bothers me when everything is going down and no one else shows up but…

    Love it!

  6. Great review. I loved the film and thought the new thriller aspect of the film took Marvel into a new Genre even if in a relatively small way. Very much looking forward to the next one 😀

  7. Nicely done. I’m finding your blog to be a nice read. Certainly looking forward to becoming a regular vistor. Your reveiw of this film is just another reason why I may just go from “I’ll get around to it”, to “I think I’ll see it now”… Like you, I generaly don’t overly gravitate to the superhero genre. But when they have a bit more to say than what’s straight off the rack, they usually grip me quite a bit. Caragale, if you get a second, check out our show! We focus on NETFLIX INSTANT reviews weekly. We’re currently on 8 radio stations across the U.S. Perhaps you can offer up a film for review sometime – or at least give us a suggestion or two. We’d be more than happy to give you a shout out. http://www.theqfilmcast.net

    • Hi, there! Yes, I was perusing your blog and it looks like you have a lot of great content! I’m excited to look at everything in more detail. You’ll definitely have to check out Captain America. Great film! Would love to see what you think of it. 🙂

  8. I’m sick of superhero movies. The world needs far less of them and more original stuff in my books! They are just an excuse to print money though I suppose, so they will go on forever. Maybe one every three years though, rather than six every six months?!!!! Then I might watch them!

    • I know. It’s getting a little crazy. But Captain America was actually really good! As I said, it’s the least superhero-y superhero movie I’ve seen from Marvel.

  9. Great review. I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the other Marvel films like Thor 2 but I liked that it was different from the usual superhero movie and Marvel still rocks!

  10. Great review, Cara. I hope I like this just as much when I finally see it.

    And, I agree that S.H.I.E.L.D. has actually gotten good. Wouldn’t have predicted that.

    • Thanks, Josh! Yeah I hope you like it, too! I’m very, very interested in seeing where S.H.I.E.L.D. goes from here. Tonight’s episode ought to be exciting! 🙂

      • Yeah. This is the first time in the show’s run that I’m actually looking forward to an episode before it airs.

        It’s competing against Justified (the only other show I watch), which I like more, so I probably won’t see it tonight. But I will see it soon enough. 🙂

  11. Nice put Cara, I am getting ever so close to actually going to see this thing for myself. I’m not exactly sure why I’m more opposed to seeing Capn America than other Marvel heroes, and maybe it is just superhero film saturation for me at this point, but with each good review I read, yours being one of the more compelling for sure, I am more and more curious about this. I’m thinking I will actually give this a shot in theaters! 🙂

    • Yaaayyy! I’ve helped change someone’s mind! Hahaha. Y’know, I was determined not to like Captain America, but between all of his films he’s won me over. Of course that may have something to do with the fact that he’s beautiful…But this one really is great. I can’t wait to see what you think of it! 😀

  12. Awesome movie, awesome review, Cara! Th visuals are stunning; the fight scenes are top-notch. Having just watched the movie in Bangkok, found 1 of his Things To Do: ‘Thai food’ supercool. Cheers, have a nice date!

    • Thanks, friend! Glad you liked this one, too! I didn’t even realize Thai food was on this list, but that’s awesome! I was trying to remember what he listed. The only one I’ve been able to come up with is “Star Wars.” Hahaha. Hope your day’s going well, too!

  13. I keep hearing so many great things from all our lil bloggy friends about this movie. I feel like I need to see it now and I’m not really into superhero movies. But you did say that it doesn’t feel like one so that is a good thing!

  14. I held off on reading this because I never watched the movie, but I did a few nights ago. It was alright, but I found it rather disappointing to be honest. I actually just finished writing my long overdue review on it :].

    Excellent read always :].

      • You can take your sweet time with that. I know how busy life can get since my wife is pregnant with our fourth child. I would love to read everything all my favorite bloggers write about, but I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. If you do decide to read it though let me know what you think :].

        I liked the film don’t get me wrong. I just expected more since I loved the first one so much.

  15. Reblogged this on Silver Screen Serenade and commented:

    It’s a double reblog day! Earlier I shared some Valentine’s Day love, but now it’s time to return the attention to those Oscar reblogs. Nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, here’s my write-up about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (This is also appropriate for Valentine’s Day as Chris Evans is my future boyfriend. He just doesn’t know it yet.)

  16. I also really like the direction in which the Russo brothers took this. The lack of overt superhero-ness freshened the whole thing up – I’m probably looking forward to Civil War more than Age of Ultron!

    Adam.

    • Well, just because of the trailers and the sheer nearness of it, I am currently looking forward to Age of Ultron more…but Civil War is TOTALLY my number 2. I think it’s going to be epic, and I can’t WAIT to see how it shakes up the Marvel Universe. All of the sudden, the Cap movies are all about being the game-changers, huh?

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