Captain America - The Winter Soldier
Follow Genre: Action, Superhero
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Distributor: Disney, Marvel

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Good acting, great action, interesting story
Bad: Predictable, Ending drags on
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) started in 2008 with Iron Man. The first phase (Iron Man 1 & 2, The Incredible Hulk and the first Captain America) culminated in The Avengers, one of the biggest blockbuster in history. Since then, Marvel has started Phase Two. In Phase Two, they attempt to be more story-driven and make their movies somewhat more full so to say. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World showed progress and Captain America: The Winter Soldier continues that trend.

Now that Guardians of the Galaxy is out, the Phase Two films will have their (temporary) conclusion in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Captain America - The Winter SoldierLet me preface this review by admitting I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first Captain America. The first half was pretty good, but I thought the second half lost the plot and it becomes a giant mess. I was starting the sequel with minimal expectation, which might be the reason I was pleasantly surprised.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up two years after the events of The Avengers. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is still adapting from being frozen for about 70 years. Captain America is running errands for S.H.I.E.L.D., the government organization led by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). We are dropped in one such errand when Steve, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and their team are sent to free hostages from the grasp of Georges Batroc (the first of many comic references). This first bit is also the best action sequence in a Marvel movie so far and it starts with the coolest move by Cap: jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.

During the mission it becomes apparent that Black Widow was sent by Fury to do another job. Instead of focusing on the bad guys, she starts to collect data from the onboard computer.

Finishing the mission, Steve sets out to confront Fury about the lack of information. In order to make right, Fury introduces Steve to Project Insight: three Helicarriers linked to spy satellites, designed to preemptively eliminate threats. If you are one of those whose mind turns to the words “power abuse”, “fascist”, “evil”, you’re on the same page as I was. S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to be the worst good guy in the MCU, constantly balancing on a thin line between good and evil. In this film, they’re finally getting questioned by someone, and it pleases me very much that Cap has the same feelings I have.

The data obtained by Black Widow isn’t able to be deciphered, making Fury doubt the success of Project Insight and goes to ask senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce (a wonderful Robert Redford) to give him more time (and thus delay the project). After careful consideration, he too decides that the project should be placed on hold.

It is here were the movie turns to a combination of fast hitting action and a detective story. Fury gets assaulting by the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), which leads to a lot of unanswered questions. Luckily there is the Cap and Black Widow to help him solve some of the mysteries.

Captain America - The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier does a couple of things really well. The action is spot on and always engaging. The assault on Nick fury by the Winter Soldier is nerve wrecking and professionally framed. The other thing it successfully achieves is investing time in the little ‘moments’. The great thing about this movie is that it also allows itself to have some quiet moments. Sure, the action is pretty stellar but one of the best moments in the movie occurs when Steve visits Peggy (a friend from the first movie, who did age) in the hospital. It’s a wonderful little scene and the movie is sprinkled with such moments. The whole movie becomes a whole lot better thanks to the correct combination of fast action and little cool down moments such as that.

There’s a lot happening story wise in this Captain America, however the directors (Anthony and Joe Russo) always make sure you are able to follow (and sadly, predict) the flow of the story. There’s isn’t a lot of trust in the attention span of the audience and important plot points can be seen from miles away.

Lastly, some words of advice. If you’re not really into the whole Marvel world, it might be interesting to (re)watch the first Captain America, since there are quite a lot of callbacks in this sequel. As always, watch the credits if you are interested what’s going to be featured in the following MCU movies.

Captain America - The Winter SoldierConclusion:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a big step up from its predecessor and continuation of the efforts put in the Phase Two movies. The acting is pretty decent. Sure, Samuel L. Jackson is just phoning in his “I’m a badass” routine, but he’s still better in doing it as a lot of the others out there. Robert Redford out acts everyone he is in a scene with, but that’s also allowed, since he’s Robert Redford. All in all an enjoyable movie, however if you didn’t like any of the MCU films, this one won’t be the exception. Simply put for fans: grab your Captain America shield but just don’t throw it at the tv out of enthusiasm.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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