526 of 564 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps the best Marvel Studios film to date,
This review is from: Captain America: The Winter Soldier [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not only a great sequel but perhaps the best standalone Marvel Studios film to date. Trust me, I don't say that lightly. I wasn't overly fond of the Captain's first feature, and my reaction to most of the Marvel Studios films has been mixed. With that in mind, coming out of the theater I have to say 'The Winter Soldier' isn't only a great superhero movie, a great standalone Marvel Studios film, but that Captain America: The Winter Soldier may even be better than The Avengers!
At the start of the film Steve Rogers (AKA Captain America) is still acclimating to modern life after having been frozen since WWII, and is working under the orders of Nick Fury and SHIELD. Already having doubts about SHIELD's motives and methods Rogers suddenly finds himself at the center of a conflict festering at the heart of SHIELD and must fight alongside other agents to stop a villainous plot to establish a new world order. Along the way he'll have to face a dark figure which may be connected to his past and decide what freedom truly stands for.
The Winter Soldier is arguably the smartest Marvel Studios film to date. While still providing the fantastical set-pieces, humor, and over the top action spectacles one would expect from a Marvel film The Winter Soldier's antagonist is grounded in real-world fears, and possibilities. For this reason I felt more invested in the film's action than any other Marvel film to date. While movies like The Avengers and the first Iron Man were fun superhero romps The Winter Soldier actually feels like it is addressing real-world concerns regarding government secrecy and drone warfare in a way which made me feel invested in the characters, and the stakes they were up against. The decision to make it an internal, spy-movie type struggle also quelled any questions like "Where the rest of The Avengers?!" While that constantly bothered me in Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 I never asked that during The Winter Soldier because the nature of the villain makes it believable that most of the film's events are covered up and kept from the other heroes' knowledge.
Then there's Rogers himself who truly defines himself as a superhero in this film. In his first outing and The Avengers Captain America always seemed like a wet blanket, coming across as a giant flag draped Boy Scout. While he was likable enough he never warranted in-depth analysis. That all changes in The Winter Soldier. Here Rogers' reflects on his past, question his own values and whether or not he can uphold them in this cloak and dagger modern world. He is a fish out of water and he knows it. His commitment to remain true to the values that carried him through WWII becomes his character's greatest strength rather than holding his character back. Through clever writing, and tender character moments The Winter Soldier transformed Steve Rogers into quite possibly my favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (sorry Tony Stark).
What ultimately sets the Captain's new adventure apart from other Marvel Studios films is that The Winter Soldier is the first standalone Marvel movie since the original Iron Man I've felt actually stood proud on its own two feet. It features everything we know and love about this universe without feeling burdened by references other Marvel Studios films. While Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World had me saying "Can't wait to see the next Avengers" The Winter Soldier had me leaving the theater saying: "I can't wait to see the next /Captain America/ movie!"
For this reason I am giving my full recommendation for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
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Showing 1-10 of 45 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 6, 2014 12:00:40 PM PDT
J. McQueen says:
N. Journey, excellent review, my friend. While I also think this is the best effort this far of any Avenger solo story, I also wondered why other Avengers did not show up to assist in this international crisis. Three Helicarriers are disintegrating in mid-air and no stateside heroes besides those with Cap respond? While Thor may have been in Asgard, certainly Tony Stark (Iron Man) or War Marchine would have responded to this emergency.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2014 12:05:40 PM PDT
It does take some suspension of disbelief to figure why Tony wouldn't show up, but I was able to accept it because the conflict occurs so fast and *spoiler* the carriers were stopped before their attack could begin.
*mild spoilers below)
At least the plot allowed me to suspend my disbelief more than Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World where the action took place in very public places that would have surely caught the attention of other heroes. The Winter Soldier's conflict only goes "Avengers Assemble" level public in the final act and even then the conflict is resolved in a reasonable time... although it would have been funny if Iron Man flew in right as it was resolved and was like: "What did I miss?"
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2014 12:42:44 PM PDT
J. McQueen says:
How classic would that have been to have seen Iron Man do that?
Of course, Tony Stark should be on Nick Fury's speed dial. "Hey, Tony, I have an encryption issue." Tony would have gotten access to what was on that flash drive before you could say "firewall."
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2014 12:59:58 PM PDT
Yeah. Maybe it was because he didn't want to call, email, text, or whatever since he didn't know how far SHIELD was compromised. Captain America is an "analog' hero so perhaps Fury figured the Cap'n would be harder to track.
Naturally in a world with multiple superheroes one does have to suspend their disbelief as to why some of them aren't taking part in the action, but I do think The Winter Soldier's lack of other supers was more plausible than the other post-Avengers films. :)
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2014 12:25:01 AM PDT
Prince Arthas Menethil says:
Ah-ah-ah, remember that Tony Stark removed his chest-piece AND destroyed it and all his suits...? THAT's why Tony isn't there.
Thor returned to Earth to be with Jane Foster and had no intentions to join in conflict anytime soon--- if you saw the teaser at the end of Thor: The Dark World that you'll know what I mean...
And as for the Hulk, well, Bruce Banner made it perfectly clear that he didn't want to be in a fight or "protect the Earth" as Tony Stark seemed to be pushing him to do.
Wrap those three reasons with the fact that SHIELD wouldn't call government help in a secret mission gone bad, and that they wanted to keep this covered, I think it is very plausible.
Iron Man 3 made no sense at all... (it being so obviously public, even involving the US government - plus the joke they made of the Mandarin...) and, IMO, is the worst Marvel Movie in the franchise. Only the acting and the characters' dialogue made it forgivable. Story was s**t. Two stars at best...
Thor 2 was good but I felt the acting was sub-par compared with the first Thor (especially Natalie Portman) and the action was kinda lazy (that is until the climax).
I knew from the moment I watched the trailer for this movie that it would be much better and I have very high hopes for this... and with these positive reviews, I'm sure that I won't be disappointed (God willing).
Posted on Apr 7, 2014 7:12:31 AM PDT
M. Bouchard says:
Great review, asking this question because I couldn't find anything online at this time. Again, SPOILER:
What happened to Cap's shield? It fell off the helicarrier at the end, and after Cap fell and then was helped to shore, he did not have it. It was not shown for the remainder of the movie.
Posted on Apr 8, 2014 12:09:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2014 3:55:36 PM PDT
Prince Arthas Menethil says:
There seems to be quite a few questions about where the other supers are...
Well, did anyone forget that ......................................SPO
Tony destroys his suits and takes his chest piece out?
As for Thor, he returns to Earth to live peaceably with Jane Foster.....
And lastly, Bruce Banner made it perfectly clear that he "actively tries to avoid" conflicts and "global catastrophes".
I don't understand Hawkeye's absence, though. I mean, HE is a SHIELD agent and would definitely be in on the secret. I think the plot just got crowded with characters and they couldn't add another one without extending the time for longer.
Till I see this within the week, fellas...!!!!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2014 8:57:13 AM PDT
Thanks for the insightful response, Prince Arthas Menethil! You are correct on all those counts. I only meant it took some suspension of disbelief to buy that Tony Stark wouldn't have gotten involved in someway when it hit the fan. I didn't mean he'd actually show up as Iron Man.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2014 8:58:02 AM PDT
Well, M. Bouchard, I guess we'll have to wait for the Marvel short film "The Search for America's Shield" when The Winter Soldier arrives on Blu-Ray!
Posted on Apr 9, 2014 10:12:04 AM PDT
Kurt Russell says: