REVIEW: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Marvel Studios poster

The following is a review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The Winter Soldier was something very special. Not only did it have some of the best mid- and post-credits scenes in the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it might also be the most groundbreaking Marvel Studios-film since Marvel’s The Avengers. It gave us new friends, reunited old ones, and changed the entire look of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), while on a covert mission for S.H.I.E.L.D., notice that there were layers to the most recent mission. Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) had given Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) a special mission, which could have easily ruined the one Steve had been sent on.

While confronting Nick Fury about what just happened, Steve learns of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ‘Project Insight’. S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to deliver pre-emptive strikes to eliminate threats. ‘Insight’ goes against everything Steve believes in, but soon worse news comes his way. Nick Fury has been killed by the infamous Winter Soldier (played by Sebastian Stan), and it may have been orchestrated by someone within S.H.I.E.L.D..

When I got home from the theater, I was very impressed with the film. This was the first blockbuster that Anthony & Joe Russo had ever worked on, and they really brought it: The Winter Soldier is one of the most impressive blockbusters in years. Captain America had already worked really well in The First Avenger and Marvel’s The Avengers, but The Winter Soldier was a completely different challenge.

It had already been touched upon a little bit in Marvel’s The Avengers, but The Winter Soldier had to really handle the idea of Steve being a ‘man out of time’. Most of his friends are no longer present, and his best girl has Alzheimers. This leads me to the fact that this film may be the most emotional film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at the time of writing.

The Winter Soldier is full of twists and turns, and essentially becomes a political thriller with superheroes being the stars of this very special story. The film shines a light on some really cool ideas for superhero films to focus on. The film is about freedom and peace. Idealism versus realism.

Chris Evans is great in this film, and I loved seeing him interact with Scarlett Johansson – their interplay worked really well. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow was a highlight in this great film, and her role cannot be overstated. The parts of the movie that I loved the most, however, were the scenes involving Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans. Their relationship was the definite highlight in the first film, and in this one they capitalize on said relationship in a big way.

It was also really great to be introduced to a couple of new faces. Robert Redford is amazing in the film, and played a much bigger part than I expected him to. It says a lot about the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe-films that he decided to be a part of it. I also really liked Anthony Mackie in this film, especially in Sam Wilson’s more character-driven and personal scenes with Steve Rogers.

As I mentioned earlier, there are two credits scenes, so let’s move on to those. First we have an excellent mid-credits scene, and it features the characters to be played by Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Thomas Kretschmann in the forthcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. This scene was really great, and it did ‘wow’ some of the theatergoers that did not know of these three characters. The final scene is at the very end of the credits. It features the villain from The Winter Soldier, and it sets up the future of the Captain America-films in a nice way.

Final Grade: 9.5 out of 10.0. The Russo’s have directed the best solo-film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the original Iron Man-film.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.

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