Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Of all the current batch of Marvel studios movies Captain America: The First Avenger was my favourite.  It was a great pulp era adventure.   So I was really looking forward to the sequel (even more than the Avengers)

The Winter Soldier was a great movie it brought Cap firmly into the 21st century and teamed him with Black Widow (who had previously appeared in Iron Man 2 & The Avengers) and The Falcon.

Each of Cap's allies gives us a nice contrast with Cap.  Steve Rogers is a super soldier thanks to the serum he received in the first movie. Black Widow is a spy and their methods are nicely contrasted in the first mission.  Captain America uses non lethal force to knock out enemy agents, The Black Widow shoots and presumably kills.

When Black Widow and Cap go on the run it is Black Widow who takes the lead teaching Steve spy craft, such as "when on the run don't run".  The Black Widow is very very good at what she does.

Sam Wilson is a former soldier, Steve literally runs rings around him (as Sam points out "I do what he does only slower")  The Falcon exo suit is awesome to watch in action and I couldn't help but to be reminded of The Rocketeer (the wings taking the place of the finned helmet) *

The Russo brothers have wisely kept CGI to a minimum and it pays off in the fight scenes.

I'm really curious to see how the fallout from this impacts the other Marvel movies (Guardians of the Galaxy won't be impacted being set in space) and The Agents of SHIELD TV series.

Marvel seems to be really leading the race in the cinemas with trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy, The Amazing Spider-man 2 and X Men Days of Future Past all showing before the movie.  Lego Batman told us to turn off our phones. (Having said that I prefer Arrow to SHIELD so maybe they should focus on TV more.)

*Actually if you replace Howard Hughes in The Rocketeer with Howard Stark it makes perfect sense.


  1. Nice review. I will agree with several more critical reviewers in that TWS tries to ask some very pointed questions about 21st century American foreign policy...and then immediately takes a hard turn away from it in favor of a "comic book enemy" plot. Understandable, but disappointing.

    And for the record, I'm pretty sure a number of guys who take on the Captain aren't walking away, especially a few that he knocks over the rails of that ship in the beginning. There are a few others (the bullets ricocheted off his shield, jedi-lightsaber style) whose survival is dubious. Captain America might not use a gun, but he hits like a sledgehammer and throws a shield hard enough to punch it through metal - I'd use the term "less lethal force" rather than "non-lethal". I think killing doesn't really bother him when it is needed - it's just not needed as often when your fist hits as hard as battering ram.

    1. Thanks Jack.

      That's a fair point about less lethal. Cap is a soldier and wouldn't have a problem with using lethal force.

      As you say it did try to make some interesting points before it veered into "comic book enemy" territory.