A 100% spoiler-free, quick and honest review
In 2011, when I saw Captain America: The First Avenger, I enjoyed it overall, but I couldn’t help but think there weren’t enough signature Cap moves (more shield throwing, please) and awesome action sequences.
Fast forward to 2012, and The Avengers assemble on the big screen for more Marvel theatrical greatness. But once again, I was let down by the amount of action Cap got onscreen. It felt a bit more like Iron Man 2.5 and less like The Avengers.
Now it’s 2014, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier recently hit theaters and pretty much gave me everything I’d ever hoped for in a Captain America film. Shield throwing: check. More fighting: check. More deflecting bullets with his shield: check. Cap standing up for what is right: check. I can’t praise this film enough. It’s a much darker, more visceral outing for Cap, and it places him in the middle of a taut political thriller chock full of deceit and plot twists.
If you read the comics, you’ll see similarities in the storyline. Many key players and events have been altered to fit into the cinematic canon, but the overall tone remains the same. One big change concerns who was actually controlling and using the Winter Soldier for covert wetwork missions through the years, and for what. This turns out to be a significant moment that changes the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward—and it’s awesome.
Also, instead of Sharon Carter working with Cap throughout the story, we get Black Widow in her place. The dynamic between them is great; I loved their banter and interactions throughout the film and the character archetypes’ juxtaposition. I also loved the introduction of The Falcon, and I appreciate how they’re building up Cap and Falcon’s friendship. I can’t wait to see how they continue to build on that relationship.
As always, there are post-credit scenes. One takes place after the graphic sequence and one at the end of the closing credits. One is worth seeing because it introduces some key players in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. The other one is just a short, quick scene to show progression in a character arc, which is cool but not as interesting as the previous one.
I highly recommend this film to anyone, not just comic nerds. It’s an amazing film that deserves all the praise it’s getting. When it’s available on DVD/Blu-ray, it will be guaranteed and welcomed addition to my collection. Now see it, dammit!