‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (Film)

 

‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Captain America meets the Winter Soldier with Black Widow and Falcon

This is one big epic action-packed movie in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’!

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is a follow-up to ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’! I loved the first film when I saw it at the cinema back in 2011. Unfortunately I didn’t see this movie when it came out in the cinema in 2014. I managed to get the DVD of this movie during the summer of 2014.

Mind you, when I eventually did see this film on DVD with my best mate Stephen, I’m afraid my memories of it were vague. I had again lost interest in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ movies since I didn’t feel they had an impact on me. When I re-watched this film again in 2018, I was so impressed!

Like I said, I purchased the DVD of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ in the summer of 2014. But it was when I purchased the film again as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Two’ DVD box set that I actually took this film more seriously and I thoroughly enjoyed it a lot more.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ stars Chris Evans who returns as the main hero, Steve Rogers/Captain America. The movie was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who would make their first significant contribution to the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ as one of the best film director duos.

The film also stars Scarlett Johansson who returns as Natasha Romanoff/the Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson who returns as Nick Fury. The film also stars Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce. Like with the ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Thor’ films, I had an unusual pattern to seeing ‘Captain America’s films.

I saw ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ at the cinema; I sort-of saw ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ on DVD next; then I saw ‘Captain America: Civil War’ at the cinema. Like I said, when I saw ‘The Winter Soldier’ again on DVD for this review, I was impressed by the storytelling and direction.

This movie is a superb sequel to the first ‘Captain America’ movie. It touches upon Captain America fitting into the 21st century world as you would expect after he was thawed out of ice in the first movie. But it takes this approach in a way you don’t expect. It’s never done in an overly silly manner.

It’s done in a way where Captain America accepts the situation he’s in with being ‘a man out of time’ but he continues to fight on and work for S.H.I.E.L.D. to save the world from those wanting to cause harm. It helps with the fact that this movie is set two years after the events of ‘Avengers Assemble’.

There’s no need for us to see Captain America be baffled by everything that’s different in the 21st century compared to when he was fighting the war in the 1940s. He writes in a notebook to check up on everything he’s missed and what he considers important to keep up to date within the world.

Like I said, in the movie, Captain America is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Despite having done convert operations for the past two years, he questions the way things are done. Trust becomes an issue these days. The Captain is concerned all that has been done to save the Earth has caused more fear.

This gets realised when Nick Fury is soon attacked and ‘killed’ by what would eventually turn out to be Hydra forces. Captain America is soon on the run and becomes a fugitive from S.H.I.E.L.D. which gets taken over by a resurfaced Hydra after all these years. The Captain is shocked to see this occur.

With the help of Black Widow and the Captain’s new friend, the Falcon, the three heroes uncover what’s happening and what this conspiracy is with S.H.I.E.L.D. But things become dangerous when the super assassin called the Winter Soldier starts trouble and has a close connection to the Captain.

I like how this movie has this conspiracy story going on that could come from the 1970s and makes it more spy thriller as well as action-packed superhero film. I’m not familiar with ‘The Winter Soldier’ story from the comics, but I don’t think you need to as it is pretty compelling to watch here anyway.

I’m saddened I didn’t get to see ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ at the cinema. Had I done so, I would’ve been blown away and impressed with the action-packed direction and storytelling featured in this movie. The movie certainly got highly praised at the box office and by critics when it was released.

Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers/Captain America. It’s hard to believe that Chris Evans once played Johnny Storm/the Human Torch in the ‘Fantastic Four’ movies before he became recognisable these days as Captain America. It is a role that suits him and he plays it extremely well.

I like the idea of an old fashioned superhero fighting in a modern world. Captain America is the genuine nice guy who you can put your faith in when he’s saving the world not just for America but also for the world. He has clashes with the modern day world as he keeps on trying to fight for good.

I loved seeing Steve Rogers/Captain America fighting both in civilian clothes and in uniform as he keeps his shield with him at all times. The action scenes are great with Captain America and he gets to see how the world remembers him fondly. He learns shocking revelations as this film progresses.

Scarlett Johansson returns as Natasha Romanoff/the Black Widow in the film. It’s interesting to see how Natasha interacts with Captain America in this movie. They both see each other eye to eye at times and there are even times when she subtly flirts with him. It’s quite charming to see in this film.

Natasha is the action girl as always and despite S.H.I.E.L.D. seemingly backstabbing Captain America in the film, she accompanies him to uncover what’s happening here. It was fun to see how Captain America’s old-fashioned views and Natasha’s modern day views bounced off each other in this film.

The film demonstrates Natasha coming across as a strong woman and serving as a good ally to Captain America. You would expect there to be a romance between Natasha and the Captain, but there isn’t. I’m glad the film presented them as good friends working in a professional environment.

Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury has been in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ series since the beginning and it was interesting to see how he’s depicted in this film. Nick Fury and Captain America do not see eye-to-eye at times, but there is a huge respect here.

I was shocked when Nick Fury got attacked in his SUV by what seemed like unexplained bloodthirsty police officers in police cars. It was even more shocking when Nick got seemingly killed in the film. Nick gives a memory stick to Captain America for safekeeping. He instructs him not to trust anybody.

This film was filled with so many twists and turns and the biggest twist of all came when it turned out Nick Fury wasn’t dead at all. By the second half of the film, he’s still alive but in a secret hideout where he meets Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon. I honestly thought it was the last of Fury.

Robert Redford stars as Alexander Pierce, a senior leader within S.H.I.E.L.D. When I first saw this character, I didn’t really think much of him. I thought he was just going to be some bureaucratic leader within S.H.I.E.L.D. giving orders to Captain America especially once he’d taken over from Fury.

But as it turned out he was not that character at all. Alexander Pierce turned out to be the bad guy in this movie as he was in charge of the Hydra operations within S.H.I.E.L.D. I didn’t see that coming, especially when he shot his own housemaid in cold blood once she saw the Winter Soldier with him.

It got pretty tense during the climax where Alexander Pierce was about to control everything and cause trouble when Hydra starts sending their terrifying ships of war into the sky. It was equally tense when Pierce was confronted by Black Widow and Nick Fury that entered to stop his evil plans.

The Winter Soldier is a pretty terrifying opponent for Captain America to fight against. He’s fast; he’s merciless and seems like a cyborg with his metallic arms. And he turns out to be…Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Steve Roger’s former best friend. This shocks Steve Rogers greatly once realising this.

It was a shock to discover that Bucky Barnes was still alive after he was presumed lost during the events of the first ‘Captain America’ movie. He’s now used as a tool for Hydra and doesn’t recognise Steve Rogers when he fights him. He’s been brainwashed. Can Steve Rogers break Bucky out from it?

Anthony Mackie stars as Sam Wilson/the Falcon, who is a former pararescueman trained by the military. He becomes Steve Rogers’ new friend and helps him and Black Widow when they’re on the run and stopping Hydra. He even has his own specially-designed wing pack that makes him look cool.

Cobie Smulders returns as Maria Hill, a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Nick Fury. Thankfully she hasn’t turned traitor and become one of Hydra’s minions. She helps Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon to escape and reunite with Nick Fury and has a share of the action.

Frank Grillo stars as Brock Rumlow, who is the commander of S.H.I.E.L.D’s counter-terrorism S.T.R.I.K.E. team. At first, I thought he was one of the good guys. But it turns out he’s turned traitor like Alexander Pierce, as he and his S.T.R.I.K.E. team work for Hydra too. It is another shocking twist!

Emily VanCamp stars as Sharon Carter/Agent 13, who works for S.H.I.E.L.D. and is assigned to guard Steve Rogers at his home without him knowing. I thought she was a random neighbour that lived in Steve Rogers’ area. It was a surprise when she turned out to a secret agent. She’s a nice girl though.

Hayley Atwell returns as an older Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers’ former love interest in the film. I didn’t think we would see her again and that Captain America would reunite with her after all these years. She only has one scene in the film, but it was lovely to watch as it’s well-performed and well-written.

The film also features Toby Jones who returns as Dr. Arnim Zola from the first ‘Captain America’ movie. I didn’t expect him to return in this. Jenny Agutter also returns as one of the members of the World Security Council in ‘Avengers Assemble’. Thankfully I was able to register Jenny’s appearance.

The action-packed direction by Anthony and Joe Russo in this movie is superb. Sometimes it’s pretty violent and you can almost say it’s like the Michael Bay ‘Transformers’ movies with people almost getting killed in the process. But the story and the action was pretty well-balanced throughout here.

The set-pieces within the modern-day S.H.I.E.L.D. complex as well as abandoned World War II sites fitted in well with the movie’s action and storytelling. There are quite a number of connections to World War II with Captain America as well as the Winter Soldier and Hydra which was really exciting.

The visual effects for this movie didn’t distract me as the storytelling and action-packed direction was kept in check. I was gripped in wanting to find out what would happen to the heroes and how they would defeat the bad guys. The action set pieces in the film’s climax was stupendous non-stop.

The movie ends with Captain America being saved by the Winter Soldier after falling out from a monster warship into the Potomac River. The Winter Soldier disappears but Captain America knows that his former best friend Bucky Barnes is still out there. Will he find old friend from the past again?

The DVD special features of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ are as follows. There’s ‘Steve Rogers’ Notebook’ and a deleted scene called ‘In Pursuit of Captain America’.

On the Blu-ray for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, as well as ‘Steve Rogers’ Notebook’, there’s an audio commentary with directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. There’s ‘On The Front Line: An Inside Look At Captain America’s Battlegrounds’; ‘On Set With Antony Mackie: Cut The Check!’; a gag reel and more deleted scenes.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is excellent! I’m ashamed I didn’t pay it much attention on first viewing, but now I’ve seen it properly I can honestly say this is definitely a brilliant Marvel superhero film. Chris Evans is brilliant as Captain America as well as the film’s direction; storytelling and action.

There’s a mid-credits scene where there are two test subjects at a Hydra lab. They are Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver. I wonder where this will be going. There’s also the post-credits scene where Bucky Barnes visits his own memorial at the Smithsonian Institution that has tributes to Captain America too. I wonder where this will be going too.

‘Captain America will return in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON!’ Ooh! I can’t wait! 😀

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ rating – 9/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (Film)

  1. Timelord 007

    Shame on you Tim Bradley, Shame on you not seeing this Marvel masterpiece at the cinema lol.

    This is still my all time favourite Marvel movie, the action is jaw dropping, the performances amazing, brilliantly written character arcs (Thor Dark World/Ragnorok are you paying attention) & this is so emotionally dramatic as two best friends are pitied against each other makes for compelling drama.

    Love the Russo Brothers style of direction they know how to mix drama & emotion with brilliantly edited action, this film looks EPIC, it feels EPIC but it’s the smaller moments like Peggy having Alzheimer’s or Capt & Buckys relationship that hits home, the ending were Capt basically says i ain’t going fight you anymore i lost enough so if you want kill me just do it was a very powerful scene which i don’t think other Marvel movies tapped into, Capt is a good man but a man out of time unable to process how the world around him has changed.

    A excellent detailed & spot on summary of this phenomenal Marvel movie, you done justice to my favourite Marvel film Tim but shame on you not seejng this at the cinema……shame…..shame lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review on ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’.

      I know! I’m saddened I didn’t see this movie at the cinema either. I did check to see whether it was ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ that had something to do with it. But as I checked, I discovered the film was released in March/April 2014. At that time, my Dad was in hospital since he became very ill. So I suppose my Mum and I worrying about Dad in hospital had me distracted from seeing ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ at the cinemas when it was on at the time. I wish I did see the movie now at the cinemas back then, but then again my Dad in hospital had to come first.

      I found this is a better movie experience compared to ‘Thor: The Dark World’. I enjoyed the action, the storytelling and the characters. Chris Evans excels in the role of Captain America in this movie as well as the other ‘MCU’ films he’s been in. I’m saddened to hear Chris Evans is now giving up the role after the next ‘Avengers’ movie in 2019. I’ve really enjoyed his performances as Captain America throughout the ‘MCU’ so far.

      Yeah I enjoyed the direction by the Russo brothers and they clearly have a good grasp on how to tell epic stories compared to other directors who’ve worked on the ‘MCU’ series. I’m pleased I was able to get invested in the characters in this movie as well as in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. The latest two movies directed by the Russo brothers gave me happy experiences of enjoyment when I was saw them at the cinema for my birthdays in 2016 and 2018.

      Many thanks for your comments Simon and sharing your thoughts why you like this movie so much. I do wish I saw this movie back at the cinemas back then in 2014, but I’m glad to have seen it on DVD and pleased it’s had an impressive following over the years.

      Tim. 🙂

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      Reply

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