Thursday, April 10, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

I've had a strenuous relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe for quite some time. I've never seen any of the First Phase movies like Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America, so I went into The Avengers blind. I loved that movie and I still hail it as being one of the best definitions of an action blockbuster and it convinced me to follow the Phase Two movies when they were released. I saw Iron Man 3 and hated it. I hated it so much that I flat out skipped Thor: The Dark World just because the content didn't interest me in and I was too burned by Iron Man 3 to even care. But now we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a movie that redeems my faith in the Phase Two movies if not solely because of the world building in here.

Our story follows Captain America, who is adjusting to the modern world while working for the government organization S.H.I.E.L.D as an agent. His life is relatively fine, and S.H.I.E.L.D is trying to adjust itself to a post Loki attacking New York world by building a fleet of Helicarriers to act as eyes over America, which Captain America views as infringing on the rights of American citizens (coughpoliticalmessagecough). However, it soon becomes apparent that someone or something wants to throw a wrench in the system, and leads to Captain America not being able to trust anyone and trying to find out who is trying to manipulate S.H.I.E.L.D and their Helicarriers into doing their bidding. It's a spy thriller for spy thrillers.

What stuck out to me most about Winter Soldier was the balance it had between being a smart thriller and a good action movie. Scenes were usually balanced with having hand to hand combat and giant explosions countered with quieter scenes where motivations and secrets are revealed. It gave for a fresh taste that I yearned for in a good movie. It's been too long since there was a mash-up on genres that I really did enjoy, and Winter Soldier does a remarkable job of doing it.

Everything about this photo just screams YES
I'm going to be perfectly honest here and say that there really isn't that much here to talk about. It's redundant to say that this is a good movie because most likely, people have gone to lengths on end about how good the movie is. People have said how this movie ranks up there with some of the best comic book movies ever made, and while I definitely DO NOT share that sentiment (Scott Pilgrim, Watchmen, Avengers, The Dark Knight, and Superman prove that point abundantly), I still think it belongs in the Top 10 comic book movies. It has it all. It has action, it has intelligence, and it has some phenomenal world building going on.

Actually, what's most interesting about this movie is that when I left the theatre, I wasn't so much thinking of how good the movie was, but instead it got me more hyped for Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. The status quo has officially been shifted by this movie, and it's going to be very  interesting to see just how the events of this movie will play out in the later movies. Alliances have changed, characters have left, some are off to do their own things, and the mid credits sequence has me interested at what they're going to do with three new characters, one of which looks absolutely menacing and the other two being people that can either be good or evil, but whichever they are is yet to be seen.

I'm sorry if I'm not going into a lot of detail about why they movie is good, but that's just kind of the nature with my reviews. I started this review going into a point by point analysis of why this is a good movie, but instead I felt that it seemed pointless. It's not what I felt passionate about. I felt passion about how this movie is going to changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and how much I want to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and even for when Thanos shows up. I mean, they're building up the Infinity Gauntlet story, which is going to be so intense and great that it's going to be awe inspiring. I have my interests elsewhere in this review, which I suppose is good, but at the same time it can be interpreted as bad. I'm not talking about the movie, but instead of what the movie will do. So does that make this movie filler or even worthless except for changing S.H.I.E.L.D, Captain America, Black Widow, and Nick Fury?

Whee! Look at him fly!!!
I say no. A good movie can provide a great experience, but have the viewer walk out of it without feeling much motivation behind it. It's like when I walked out of The Grand Budapest Hotel; yes I can say it was a good movie, but not much of it has stuck with me in the two weeks since I've seen it. A great movie can give a great experience and still be felt by the viewer days after seeing the movie. I saw the movie yesterday, and I'm still processing all of the Earth shattering events that happened. This movie is for people that are definitely going to see Age of Ultron and all of the other Captain America movies. Hell, I may just stick with the Captain America movies just because of how good this one was and that plot threads will most likely be resolved in Captain America 3.

I'm going to keep this short and sweat. Go see this movie. It does nearly everything right in a superhero movie. It makes me interested in the hero, it's smart, it has great action, it has a phenomenal villain, every character is enjoyable and done right, the twists are huge yet make logical sense, it sets a new standard for everything in the MCU, and most importantly, it understands that it's a superhero movie and has fun with itself. Despite it being the darkest of the MCU movies to date (that I know of), it still has heart and a lot of fun to it. You kind of have to have a sense of fun when you make a character who for military operations flew on Falcon wings. Complete side note, but Falcon and Black Widow, who are both featured heavily in this film, are expertly done, with one character getting more depth than her previous appearances in Marvel movies, and the other being a newly introduced character that feels like he belongs in Captain America's ensemble.

Bottom line, go see this movie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier redefines that Marvel universe and sets the standard for individual Marvel movies. It may be hard to rank it, but given how much potential this movie gives, I'm going to give Captain America: The Winter Soldier a 5 out of 5 based solely on potential. The movie is really 4 out of 5 worthy, but it has me so interested and so pumped for future movies that I can't help but give it a 5 just out of how expertly this movie was handled.


Also, they put Crossbones in the movie! $10 to anyone who knows who Crossbones is...

1 comment:

  1. You should still see Thor 2, it's not bad at all.