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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

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Movie Specs (courtesy of IMDB.com):

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus (screenplay),Stephen McFeely (screenplay), 3 more credits »

Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson

Taglines: In heroes we trust.

Genres: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

 Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout

Runtime: 136 min

This movie was fantastic! Great action scenes, great storyline and a great message to the story.  After the Avengers saved the world, Captain America has begun to look for his place in it and throws himself into what he knows best, being a (super) soldier, but the world seems much more complicated than it used to be and its beginning to become difficult to know exactly who to believe and who to trust.

The action scenes in this movie are very well done and tons of hand-to-hand combat for those of you who love flicks like the Bourne series and Transporter.  Image There are explosions, gun fights, fistfights and a couple of goo goo eyed stares in our Spangled-Clad heroes movie.  Not only is the action great but also the story is fantastic.  When a group starts running for control of SHIELD (the greatest and most powerful intelligence agency in this movie world), Captain America comes face-to-face with the ghosts of SHIELD’s, and his own, past and they all seem pretty keen on wiping out Cap in protection of their goals.

Some great parts of the movie are Falcon (aka Sam Wilson) and his new friendship with Captain America (aka Steve Rogers).  They have good repartee (“On your left”) and fight well together on film.  Cap’s friendship with Black Widow (aka Natalia Romanoff) has nice development over the course of the movie.  They are two very different Agents of SHIELD.  Cap wants trust and co-operation while Widow is a little more comfortable with spinning the truth to whatever is needed at the time.  Both want what’s best but they have very different ways of going about it.  She also has a habit of trying to set him up with a girl the entire movie which is pretty funny (“I’m multitasking”).  Cap and Nick Fury butt heads at the beginning of the film but even Fury takes Cap’s concerns seriously (delaying the launch of the new SHIELD armada. More below.).  Fury is also a person who wants to do the right thing but has a little more underhanded way of getting that done, but he wants freedom just as much as anyone.  Also, keep an eye on Cap’s beautiful blonde neighbor. A few romantic sparks fly.

Themes to Look For: 

Control vs. Freedom: SHIELD has amassed an armada capable of wiping out thousands of people a minute in case a group of terrorists becomes a threat. They can target individual people and use DNA tracking satellites to keep track of known offenders.  This fleet hasn’t been set afloat around the world yet and Captain America boldly states, “This isn’t freedom, this is fear.” You cannot trade in freedom for the control of all threats.  People then have no choice in life to stand up for what is right; they are merely slaves of fear.

Truth vs. Lying to Protect: SHIELD has a lot of covert missions and doesn’t tell the whole mission to all agents at all times.  To Cap, this creates a team who cannot fully trust each other because you don’t know what someone else’s mission may be and it could jeopardize your own.

You Stand on What is Right, No Matter the Cost: Captain America has become one of my favorite superheroes over the years for many of the same reasons I live Superman, he tries doing what is right and that’s the end of the conversation.  It doesn’t matter if its a schoolyard bully or the greatest government division in the world, Cap won’t back down from what is right and that inspires some others to do the same.

Technology isn’t always a good thing

You Will Always Need to Fight for Freedom

Sacrifice Anything for a Friend: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Some Things to Watch For:

The Winter Soldier- big comic big story. He’s an important character. For those of you who don’t know who he is, you’re in for a treat.

Senator Stern from Iron Man 2- Knew there was a good reason not to like this guy.

Cap’s neighbor is more than just a pretty face- Her name is Sharon Carter.  Remember that cause she’s mentioned a couple times in the film (“Her name’s Sharon.  She’s nice.”)  She has her own journey of discovery and Cap actually plays a big part of who she decides to be. She also mentions her aunt (comic trivia!).

Listen (and watch) for the names of those that threaten “Order”.

The guard at the Cap museum, Stan Lee himself!

“Captain’s orders”

Also, THERE ARE TWO CREDIT SCENES AFTER THE CREDITS!  You don’t want to be the guy (or lady) who missed them.

Agent of SHIELD, Agent of Nothing, and finally (I hate these guys) Hail Hydra.

*SPOILER WARNING* Turn back now (or skip) if you don’t want to hear spoilers.

My Thoughts: Really loved this movie.  Had some great things going on, especially in light of what’s going on in the real world today.

As it turns out, Hydra infiltrated SHIELD long ago and has been slowly planning a takeover which ending in control of the world.  They have realized that bringing order to the world only comes when you take people’s freedom away but they will fight, so instead you need to create a situation where the people hand over their freedom for security.  I thought it was a huge pat of the movie because it rings with today’s audiences when we look at the media and the news.  We see death and disease around the globe and we think that we can bring it all under control if only people would give up some of their rights to make it happen.  This movie strongly argues against that and I’m with Cap, freedom is where it’s at.

Colonel Nick J. Fury wants to do the right thing.  At first, that means making a flying armada that could wipe out any threat before it happens, but when he thinks about who may be in control of these airborne warships, he delays launch until he can make sure that this is the right thing to do and that nothing will go wrong. He is shot, and seemingly killed because he won’t launch the carriers which Hydra secretly wants to eliminate anyone who falls under a category of “chaotic” using an algorithm (created by Zola, the evil scientist of the first film, who is now a computer A.I. mind helping Hydra within SHIELD) to determine who may stand in Hydra’s way based on their electronic footprint on social media, bank accounts, etc. Bruce Banner, Stark, and a few others you might know are on this list.  Technology can be a wonderful thing, but in the wrong hands, it can be disastrous (watch what you post on the Internet).

Cap and Widow have different ideologies but they learn to trust each other through the movie while.  I love when Cap takes a car and Black Widow thinks she has him, “Where did Captain America learn to steal a car?” “In Nazi Germany. And we’re borrowing it, so feet off the dash.” Cap is the best.

Agent 13 (aka Sharon Carter aka Cap’s neighbor) is one of Cap’ love interests in the comics and you can see a spark between them when she is first introduced.  You see a little of her story of the kind of agent she wants to be.  When Cap calls out to all of SHIELD that Hydra has infiltrated it’s ranks, everyone has to think about what is right and who to take orders from.  Even a computer guy says we will not launch Hydra’s death trap, and before a Hydra agent can kill him, 13 pulls a gun to the bad man to protect the world (and said computer guy). When she’s told, “You’re on the wrong side.” She beautifully replies, “Depends on what side your standing on.” Making her stand that she wants to be a person who upholds what is right.

Winter Soldier (aka Bucky Barnes. Cue the “WHAT?”). I knew who he was because I’m a comic book junkie but still, its rough seeing Cap’s best friend brainwashed into killing and destroying everything he believed in and cared for.  I love the scenes when they flash back to a part of their friendship when Steve has just lost his mother and Bucky tries to comfort his friend. He tells Steve, “I’m with you till the end of the line, pal”.  Cap sparks his memory and he begins to finally question what he’s been doing.  In the end, after having shot Captain America three times (once in the gut), he is pinned down in rubble while a helicarrier is plummeting from the sky and what does Cap do? Saves him even though he’s been told this is no longer his friend and he needs to be stopped, Cap won’t give up on his friend.  He pulls him out and Winter Soldier begins to attack him anew.  Steve tells him, “I won’t fight you, Bucky” drops his Shield, and lets Bucky wail on him, not lifting a finger.  Winter Soldier tells him, “You don’t know me. You are my Mission!” Steve comes back, “Then finish it. Cause I’m with you until the end of the line, pal”. It was touching.  He was literally going to sacrifice himself to save his friend who everyone believed to be beyond saving. Total Christ-like mirroring. Loved it.

One of the end credit scenes features Baron Strucker (basically the Nick Fury of Hydra and one of Fury’s archenemies). He’s got the glow-stick from Avengers and he’s creating his own super powered folks to implant into the superhero world to then turn and take them down, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch!  Look for them in Age of Ultron along with Captain America

Can’t wait for Captain America 3!

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One comment on “Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

  1. Good review. Such a fun movie that does take a bit of a pause when it decides to pay attention to its confusing plot. However, after awhile, everything gets back to normal and a whole lot more entertaining.

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