Movie marketing is a tricky business these days. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is available now in digital form via iTunes and other digital content distributors. The BluRay and DVD release isn’t until Sept. 9th, though. It’s a marketing tactic used for Star Trek: Into Darkness, actually. Either way, here’s my take on Cap’s sophomore effort in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Captain America is one of those comic book characters that people tend to love because he’s… well… Captain America. He is a carryover from the bygone Golden Age of Comics and he represents a symbol of patriotism and dedication to country, so much so that you almost feel bad for not liking him. In the first Captain America movie, we were treated to a delightful period piece that carried us back to the World War II era and the heyday of Cap and his Howling Commando buddies. It was quite nostalgic feeling.
For the sequel (for those that mistakenly missed this in the theaters), Captain Steve Rogers is in now the modern age. While the first film was great at giving us a classic look at Rogers, in this film we finally get to see more of that badass side of him that we just got a glimpse of on the helicarrier in The Avengers. Cap is now working with SHIELD on special ops along side agent Natasha Romanov (aka Black Widow). Rogers is also adjusting to the times by trying to learn what he’s missed out on for the past 70-plus years (like Nirvana, Marvin Gaye, Pac-man, etc). He’s got a nice little apartment in D.C. with a nice nurse lady down the hall. Then, the bottom falls out. It’s up to Cap, Black Widow, and their new buddy Falcon to thwart an evil from Cap’s past that has resurfaced in his new modern life and threatens the world.
The Winter Soldier is an entirely different movie than it’s predecessor, not only in time period, but in overall feel and style. It ramps up the violence, of course, but it also transcends being just a comic book movie and is a really excellent espionage flick and political thriller. Yes there is a guy flinging a shield around, and a guy with a robot arm and whatnot, but the real treat here is seeing how the story plays out. The way the Marvel Cinematic Universe works is that everything is connected and the revelations over the course of this flick will have a major effect on the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. In other words, if you’re a fan of the Marvel films, this one is the one that changes everything.
The action is tight and well paced, and it acknowledges Cap’s ability to handle his own. The flick also demonstrates how he is much more to the world than just a good soldier. The one thing I might lodge as a complaint about this movie is that while it may indeed be its own film, this ends up being more of a launching platform for the larger Marvel Universe that I mentioned before. I would call this more of a prequel to The Avengers: Age of Ultron than I would anything directly related to Captain America himself. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it does shine enough light on Cap to make it about him and just how vital he is to the Avengers and SHIELD.
Chris Evans is finally settling into his stars and stripes and looks better than ever. He’s joined by Anthony Mackie as Cap’s new friend Sam Wilson, who is a futuristic paratrooper/pilot who takes to the skies as Falcon. Sebastian Shaw also delivers a perfect Winter Soldier (and that’s all I can say without Spoilers Sweetie kicking in). Scarlett Johanssen seriously needs her own Widow movie, just saying. Sam Jackson is also back as super spy Col. Nick Fury. Cobie Smulders also features in her new staple Maria Hill. Also done well is of course Robert Redford as Director Pierce who fits perfectly into this world of Washington bureaucrat with an agenda.
Sadly, no other Avengers come in to help, but in the end Cap, Falcon, and Black Widow are more than enough to carry this film successfully. I highly recommend seeing this one if you haven’t had the chance already, even if you’re not a fan of Captain America but are a fan of the amazing things Marvel is doing in their movies right now.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out on physical media September 9th but you can catch the action now in digital from your favorite digital outlets.
Rate: 10 out of 10 (seriously, even Honest Trailers said this was a great movie and it really is!). Check for the Honest Trailer treatment below the trailer (if you’ve seen the flick already as it is, of course, basically a hilarious spoiler).
and the hilarious HONEST Trailer with customary (SPOILER ALERT):