Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Review
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a very different product than Marvel is used to making and whilst it’s still a safe film for all its nice to see Marvel trying new themes, this time it was espionage. This was a really well made film and I have very few to no complaints however taking on a spy thriller means it will get compared to a higher class of films. The story takes you much deeper into SHIELD and into how it all works for better or worse. The visuals are great and apart from a bombastic finale the majority of the film relies on practical effects, and I always like a mix of the two. The new Directors (Anthony Russo & Joe Russo) have done a wonderful job of creating a sequel, blending past events naturally with the current story and just making it work. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
Black Widow: “Hey fellas, either one of you know where The Smithsonian is? I’m here to pick up a fossil.”
Captain: “That’s hilarious.”
Steve Rogers continues his journey as the super-powered American soldier who’s grasping to find his place in a modern world after being frozen in ice since WWII with this Marvel Studios sequel. Chris Evans returns to star, with Community director/producers Joe and Anthony Russo helming.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 85% Acting: 90% Characters: 90% Dialogue: 90%
Sci-Fi/Action/Superhero: 100% Style/Sound: 90% Visuals: 100%
The story feels smaller because of the spy/ espionage theme of the film but at times it could be as big as The Avengers or bigger because of the potential consequences. One of the best aspects of the films story is the use of tying the past with what is happening now. Obviously the story arc of The Winter Soldier involves a lot of Caps history and how the events of the past tend to come back and bite us in the ass. The Spy aspects of this film also allowed for far greater intimacy for the characters to develop and how the relationship between SHILED and the costumed heroes is going to coexist. Past this the story details become very spoiler territory so I will just say this; the Russo brothers brought many events and storylines together to make a really entertaining film.
The acting is good with some pretty emotional scenes involved between Rogers and Romanoff, actually the whole cast worked really well together in this film. Evans and Scarlett had great chemistry and the duo of Cap and Falcon was also great to watch. Or we have the battling duel between Captain America and his fallen best friend Bucky aka the Winter Soldier, Sabastian Stan did a great job in this film. Unlike previous Marvel films trying to create a villain this one actually worked, we got a really cool looking hard to read badass as a counter to Captain America allowing for some truly great fight scenes. Nick Fury also gets far more screen time and we even get a glimpse into his past, and he is the super spy with justified trust issues. More on the characters in the spoiler section.
The science fiction of this film has some interesting parts to it, on the one hand we have the genetic super soldier and his augmented and brain washed best buddy and on the other hand we have the near endless supply of high tech spy gadgets and more weaponised Helicarriers than you can shake a stick at. I remember seeing the Winter Soldier and got a bit worried that the robo arms would be plastic looking or move like power ranger armour, however the tech looked great. I liked that they incorporated the modern era of information and how it can be used but at times felt like they were trying to spoon feed the audience some of the bad guys plan but maybe that’s just because I am a big nerd.
The visuals in some scenes are stunning, especially in the last big old battle with the massive fights and Hellicarrier battles. In the rest of the film though they kept it under check but still action packed, for example there are plenty of fights and action throughout the film but they aren’t way over the top with ridiculous explosions with more hand to hand fights. The costumes where really smart in this film, we had new additions such as Winter Soldier and Falcon and some redesigns for Captain America’s suit, but I still like that he went back to his original. The Falcon was really cool and some of his action scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Lastly the music was not the great spectacle I had heared from others, still it worked well for the film and the action was helped by it.
Seriously guys turn away now to avoid spoilers. Nick Fury turns into Ultron! I told you not to read this section. There is a lot to talk about here so I’ll keep it brief and talk more in the comments. Hydra survived as the mythical creature does but inside SHIELD? That’s interesting, kind of reminded me of Skrull invasion, especially Nick Fury going underground. I really like that Bucky survives in the end and saves Captain America but then just walks away, really smart. I do wonder how the “end” of SHILED will really go down, I mean it’s not going to actually stop, it’s what holds the marvel universe together. Now to the amazing end credits scene including the surviving Hydra being led by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker but more importantly Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver using their powers as prisoners of Hydra. AMAZING!
The best reviews I found would be these:
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a delightfully pulpy adventure. In many respects, it feels like the movie that Captain America: The First Avenger really should have been, a celebration of its lead character’s versatility and a demonstration of how easily the comic book character can cross genres. Part of the beauty of The Winter Soldier is in the way that it feints. It weaves in directions that are a little surprising at times, and even avoids taking the path of least resistance when offered.” The Movie Blog. Full Review
“It may climax with an overly formulaic splurge, but The Winter Soldier benefits from an old-school-thriller tone that, for its first half at least, distinguishes it from its more obviously superheroic Marvel cousins.” Empire Magazine. Full Review
“Takes the bold (for Marvel) step of reducing CGI spectacle to a relative minimum in favor of reviving the pleasures of hard-driving old-school action, surprising character development and intriguing suspense.” Hollywood Reporter. Full Review
“Fundamentally, this is a superhero movie with something to say. In fact it’s the first Marvel entry with a truly topical sting.” SFX Magazine. Full Review
My favourite scene would have to be the many brilliantly choreographed fight scenes with Captain America, I could watch them all day especially Cap vs Winter Soldier. A lot of Caps action scenes feel much more like the comics and more diverse than the fights in the first film. Love it when he puts the old suit on too.