Captain America: The Winter Soldier (NO SPOILERS)

Posted: November 15, 2017 in Movies
Tags: , ,


At the end of Captain America: The First Avenger Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finds himself in a world he doesn’t recognize. In the sequel, Captain American: The Winter Soldier, Rogers has ajusted to the twenty first century but learns that sadly, for the safety of the world, some things never change. The deadly Hydra is still a threat and are about to launch their most devastating assault on freedom yet. Said threat coming from the least likely of places. Adding fuel to the inferno of chaos is a ghost from Rogers past, a deadly assassin of myth-like status and one who will stop at nothing to eliminate his targets.

Anthony and Joe Russo,  known for TV’s Community, make their MCU directorial debut with The Winter Soldier. The duo made a big impact with this movie, directing with style, confidence and (through collaborating with a world class stunt team) put on film some of the best action sequences you are likey to have seen. No hype. From white knuckle car chases, ground to air combat and close quarters. In my review for the first film I said the action is great and easy to follow. In The Winter Soldier the action HURTS. It’s darker, more kinetic and on a totally different level. That is because The Winter Soldier is a different kind of film.

The first movie was a celebration of Captain America, his era and his comic book legacy. The Winter Soldier is a film that continues that celebration. This time mixing it with the political thriller/spy genre. For better and for worse. While The Winter Soldier’s plot is more mature (hate to use that term as I don’t feel the previous movie was silly or immature) I found it to be, at times, needlessly dense. There is a lot to take in, twists, turns and a request for the audience to pay attention. Add to that a wave of characters, each with their own agendas and it shows great ambition but at roughly two and a half hours the film is long! It doesn’t drag. The pace is great but it just makes you work in between the brilliant. Nothing wrong with that but by the end when all the cards are on the table the plot is really straight forward and I felt like the film could have been stronger if it had shaved even twenty minutes off the running time.

Chris Evans is brilliant in this film. He puts everying into the role of Rogers/Captain America.  He is joined on his mission this time out by Black Widow and Nick Fury. Scarlett Johansson revealing a harder edge to her mysterious Black Window character. Jackson’s Nick Fury has quite a lot to do in the film besides show up for a cameo and that was boss to see. I’d love to see Fury take on more prominent roles in these movies.

Newcomers Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo and Emily VanCamp are welcome additions to the MCU. Mackie is very good as Sam Wilson. Falcon has some of the best and impressive action scenes in the film. Both Hayley Atwell and Sebastian Stan return from the first film as Peggy Carter and Bucky Barnes. Atwell as Carter has a heartbreaking reunion with Rogers and it’s a shame they couldn’t find a way of keeping Peggy young and action ready like a certain other face from Rogers’ past. Stan does terrific work in The Winter Soldier. In a lot of ways the film rested on his shoulders and without his commitment to the role the film may not have worked.

A lot of people list Captain America: The Winter Soldier as their favourite MCU addition. No counter point from me. This is a brilliant film and one that’s  directed the hell out of. Is it my favourite out of the MCU? I would say no. It’s a bit too dense and just a tad overlong but those are tiny issues. It will no doubt stand the test of time and be shown as one of the best examples of what a awesome comic book movie looks like for years to come.




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