Review: Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
This review will be filled with spoilers and major ones at that, so if you just want my overall non-spoilery review, scroll down to the last paragraph, otherwise you’ve been warned 🙂 Also, if you are a fan of the Agents of SHIELD show, then I advise you stop watching it now until you see The Winter Soldier. It changes everything. On with the review.
Where do I even begin? Great comic book movie? yes… Great action movie? yes… Greatest action movie of all time? Maybe… You can tell where I’m going with this. There is not much (other than the suspension of disbelief) that is not great about this movie. Sound, music, dialogue of characters, plot, Everything was nailed perfectly. Slight issue? well, let’s just say some of the things like Captain America breaking his fall with a skylight and his shield probably wasn’t realistic… let’s just say that the pounding his brains took from Winter Soldier’s bionic arm probably would leave his brain in mush… let’s just say that Falcon jumping from a building and perfectly landing in a tilting helicopter without being chopped into a million pieces, falling to his death, or breaking any bones is probably not realistic, BUT… it is a comic book movie, so that kind of nitpicky stuff is allowed in small doses.
Let’s touch on the characters:
Captain America/Steve Rogers: Chris Evans really makes this character likable and realistic. It is as if Cap has jumped straight from the books onto the screen. His dedication to his country, and defending what is right, while maintaining his core values is what makes him so perfect. Some of his fight scenes were a bit too “Bourne Identity” for me, where the camera was too shaky or close, but there was enough choreography in them, that you still got to see plenty of great action shots. What really hit a soft spot for me was that this out of place guy finally begins to feel at home and make new friends (Sam Wilson), and then his past comes back to haunt him. What he deals with physically only shadows in comparission to his mental struggles.
Black Widow/Natasha Romanov: Scarlett Johansson is gorgeous, yes, but she really stepped up the game here with her acting ability. I originally was opposed to her being in this role, as I didn’t think she fit the profile, but she has redefined the character while staying true to the comic book roots. Her role in this movie alone put her on an almost equal playing field with Chris Evans. She was basically the sidekick with tons of screen time and a great purpose for being there. If you even noticed, she had an arrow necklace around her neck that she wore, hinting at the relationship her and Hawkeye have. It will be interesting to see where she goes in future movies now that everyone knows about her shady past.
Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes: Sebastian Stan had such a minor role in the first movie, but now that purpose has been revealed. They did the Winter Soldier justice by making him a deadly threat. A little foreshadowing to the character’s future was even thrown in when he stood holding Cap’s shield. (in the comics Bucky becomes the new Captain America after Steve Rogers “dies”). He plays a deadly villain, and his look was perfect. The bionic arm was really cool, and better than what I’d pictured from reading the character, and his realization at the end of his past was the perfect set up for the next movie.
Falcon/Sam Wilson: Anthony Mackie took a second rate character and amplified him to stand with the top brass. I always liked Falcon, but after this movie, he no longer stands as a B character for me. The lack of red and white in his “uniform” is fine with me because the wings he had were designed like a military design. Since they were destroyed, and he is moving on with Cap to the third movie, I only assume they will probably paint his wings a more vibrant color. Time will tell, but the hunt for Winter Soldier is on.
Maria Hill and Nick Fury: Faking deaths, finding the moles, and doing what they do best all came into play here. Fury’s “death” was a bit far fetched for me, as he is very lucky to be alive. I do like that he programed (I only assume) his bad eye into the system as a backup plan to take down Pierce’s operation. Hill’s role, although smaller, supported him, and at the end we even get a glimpse of her at Stark Towers. Maybe they are setting up a new SHIELD now that it has fallen. And what can I say about Nick Fury without a patch now? I’m cool with that. He doesn’t need it with the shades. Oh, did anyone else notice the Pulp Fiction quote on his headstone?
Sharon Carter/Agent 13 & Peggy Carter: I’m glad they closed Peggy’s story here. Hayley Atwell is a wonderful actress, and the makeup and CG of her elderly self was convincing 100%. Sharon being introduced as a potential love interest for Steve was a welcome addition too.
Alexander Pierce: I half expected Robert Redford to rip his face off and reveal that he is the Red Skull, but I’m SOOO glad they didn’t go that route. Skull still exists, we know that. The character of Pierce was a good way to show a reflection on today’s society. He reflected as many politicians in office do today. people think they are good, but have ulterior motives. To hear Redford say “Hail Hydra” sent chills of excitement down my spine. It was perhaps the BEST moment of the movie because of delivery alone (and the fact that Redford will not say any lines that he feels are ridiculous). Clearly he approved.
Arnim Zola: Okay, his role was brief, but that’s all it needed to be. Like his comic counterpart, he uploaded his awareness into machines. Yes they were destroyed, but do you think he is dead? I don’t. Remember, they grabbed the flash drive, and I’m sure he downloaded himself onto there or somewhere else. He was connected to a network after all. The way he was designed was really cool too. I do believe he will be back in some form.
Agent Sitwell and Senator Stern: I never liked Sitwell as a character, and Stern was Gary Shandling’s character from the second Ironman movie. I’m glad they were revealed to be Hydra operatives, because I most likely wont have to see them again. (no offense to the actors) I like Shandling a lot, and I think Hernandez acts well, I just was not keen on the characters.
The Leaper/Georges Batroc: Remember what I said about Falcon being a B rate character upgraded to an A? Well it applies here too. The intense fight scene and brief subplot with Batroc upgraded this lame D rate character to a B in my opinion. I’d like to see him appear in Agents of SHIELD to follow up with his role. I don’t think he belongs in any more big budget movies, but they should follow up with him.
Brock Rumlow: He was badass, and dedicated to Hydra. With him being badly scarred at the end, I can only assume that this was a setup for him to return in part 3 as Crossbones. (Crossbones btw was the one who killed Captain America in the comics). It is fitting for him to do so in Cap 3 so that Bucky can take over.
Stan Lee: Always a welcome cameo, so I had to include him. Do you think he lost his job at the Smithsonian?
Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver & Baron Wolfgang von Strucker: What a mid credits scene this was. The Baron apparently has been trying to use Loki’s staff to control others with abilities. He mentions the others died, and that the two in the cage were Miracles. Trial and error to make the staff work right? Who knows… all we do know is that this sets up all three of their roles for Avengers Age Of Ultron, and after seeing this scene, I am even more eager to see Age of Ultron.
Stephen Strange: Okay, so Doctor Strange is not IN the movie, but his name was mentioned as a potential future threat to Hydra, hinting at what we are going to get at some point in the near future. Awesomeness.
So there you have it. My little breakdown has come to an end and definitely had an impact on EVERYTHING in the Marvel Movie universe. If I gave Avengers the score that I did, then I can only rate this on even playing ground. Avengers was the perfect movie, but a lot of that thrill and excitement I think comes from seeing all of those characters on the screen at a time. With Captain America The Winter Soldier, it not only redefined an entire movie universe, but set a standard for action movies and comic book movies alike. Will the sequel stand well against Batman vs Superman when they are released on the same dates in 2016? I absolutely think so. I personally will be seeing both, and can’t wait, but DC really needs to step up their game to keep up now, and I hope they do because I enjoy DC and Marvel. Cap 2 gets 10 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins from me. I’m not sure anything could have been done to make it better.
Editorial: Overwhelming Comic Movie News
This has been a week of news that may even surpass that of comiccons. Fox, Sony, Marvel, and Warner Brothers continue to compete with each other to see who can get the most news to us, and most memorable. Here is a quick summary of what we know about the upcoming films/shows, and my own speculation/suggestions as to how it should happen or may happen.
X-Men Days Of Future Past: The Wolverine leads directly into this (you’ll know what I mean if you saw the end credits scene). The cast of the original cast (well most of them) and the First class cast (most of them as well) will be taking on the classic story from my child hood. We know that Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the main villains. We also know that newcomers Bishop, Sunspot, Warpath, Quicksilver, Ink and Blink will be in it. Wolverine will be sent back in time to “possess” his younger self, and try to prevent the events that lead to mutant prejudice. This event is probably the assassination of JFK, which Magneto is assumed to have been responsible for, and mystique having some sort of role in it. —— This will be a reboot, sure, but what will it mean for the past cast? Will they kill off Logan? He’s not getting any younger.
X-Men Apocalypse: All we know now is that Apocalypse will be the villain. —— They should bring back Angel for this story. It’s only logical. I believe that the events in DOFP will change the future in a way where Age of Apocalypse will begin. A darker present will emerge, with the first class characters and possibly a recasting of some of the veterans. Cyclops should be brought back. We never saw a dead body in X-3. He could have been taken by Mr. Sinister and made into one of the horsemen along with Archangel, and two others.
X-Force: All we know at this point is that the writers like the current run in the comics, and are working on it. —– Who should be involved? I personally want to see Domino, Psylocke, Cable, Deadpool, and Archangel. Maybe even fantomex or a cameo by logan, but I really think this should be fresh and not use Wolverine.
Wolverine 3: Hugh Jackman is back with the same director who did an outstanding job on The Wolverine. He’s now got bone claws, which may be corrected by magneto being an ally in DOFP. Either way, it’ll be fun. I want to see Alpha Flight and Logan going up against Omega Red and Department H. I can’t think of a more fitting storyline for them to tackle, and they can end his run here respectfully. Unless they want to do an old man logan storyline, which would be awesome.
Fantastic 4: It will be a reboot, and exist within the same universe as the other Fox owned Marvel properties.
The Amazing Spider-man 2: Electro is the main villain. Gwenn Stacey dies. Rhino and Hobgoblin (Ultimate versions) are in it. Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Venom and Morbius were all hinted at in the trailer. —- This needs to be done VERY carefully. As much as I want to see Sinister Six on screen, and Venom done right, I can’t see how they can cram it all. If (Mecha)Rhino and Hobgoblin are in it as small roles, then it’ll work. Having it set up for the third film, which is planned already with Rhino at least returning, and introduce Black Cat would make the most sense. Then they can taper off into 4, which is also confirmed as in the works and bring in Mysterio as a singular menacing villain. There are various spinoffs in the works too… I can only assume (and hope) that one of these is Venom, and will feature Carnage as the villain. Make it dark and gritty.
Thor 3: It is all but confirmed. The Dark World has grossed over 600 million worldwide, so it’s inevitable. —– thoughts? I believe Loki died in 2, and made a deal with Hela for Odin’s soul, so that he could come back and assume the throne. Loki teaming with Enchantress and Executioner and a reference to Surtur and Hela would be a great way to keep it going.
Guardians of The Galaxy: What we know is that it might take place slightly in the future, that the Collector is the villain, that Adam Warlock’s cocoon was in Thor 2. We also know that The Mind, Space and Soul gems have all been used in the movies, and that there is a good possibility we will see the Time gem, and maybe another gem make their debut, setting it up for Avengers 3 with Thanos.
Avengers Age Of Ultron: Quicksilver and Scarlet witch are new additions with Ultron as the villain, and the original cast returning. —- This will probably be an epic movie, though I’m a little leary about not being about to call Pietro and Wanda mutants. I have faith though, and am interested in seeing Ultron on screen and how they will transition from phase 2 to 3.
Captain America The Winter Soldier: Bucky survived the fall, and we all knew it was going to happen. Crossbones and Falcon also will make their debut on the big screen. I’m excited to say the least —– I believe that Robert Redford’s character is actually the Red Skull in disguise (or perhaps Baron Zem0), and other than the SHIELD characters involved, I dont think it will really tie into the other movies, and will seem more stand alone.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ——- all I can say is this…. I enjoy it, but have many issues with it. In order to survive as a series, they really need to start adding people from the comics. This half assed SHIELD team just isn’t going to cut it for long. The ONLY reason I’m hanging on at this point is because I want to know what Coulson’s deal is… is he an LMD? Did Magic ressurect him? They are hinting at both robot and magic, so I’m interested. I want to see it survive, but even I am having a hard time staying.
Marvel Miniseries’: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil are all getting their own thirteen episode series’ where they will then tie in to forming a Defenders type group. —- I’m all for this, but wish they’d do heroes for hire instead of Cage and Rand separately. Jessica Jones holding her own will be tricky; however I do think that by using the Kingpin as the main antagonist for ALL of these, it would be fun and exciting.
Phase 3: Dr. Strange and Antman are the only two confirmed to lead into Avengers 3. Rumors of Black Panther and Inhumans still circulate. — Make it happen and add a new Hulk movie in there. We never got to see the Leader, despite the setup.
Batman vs Superman: Batman’s costume will be more like the traditional black and grey and less armored. Lex Luthor is one of possibly 2 villains (the other being Metallo). Wonder Woman has been cast. There will be cameos by other JLA members. ——- I’m dying to see Affleck in his role, and I think Gal Gadot is beautiful, but she really needs to gain a few pounds. I don’t want Wonder Woman as a main character. Instead, I’d love to see Diana Prince as a potential love interest for Bruce Wayne. Her role could be as simple as observing the other two Trinity heroes and deciding whether to trust man or not. In the end, revealing her true identity would be a great way to kick off JLA. The cameos by other heroes is nice, but I’m hoping it is a quick reference to other people with abilities, and that is all. maybe a flash (pun intended) shown on a monitor or something quick in a news feed.
Justice League: —– not much is known. Please, for the love of God, have Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow and Gary Gustin’s Flash in it. learn A lesson, DC. Superman Returns would have been better with Tom Welling in a Smallville spinoff. Not that Smallville was perfect (it was far from it) but it was established. No one wanted to see someone else in the role. Arrow is doing EVERYTHING right. Tie it all together; otherwise you will have some seriously confused audiences, and countless irritated fans.
Arrow: What’s to come? Clock King, Ra’s Al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, Flash, possibly the real Black Canary, references to AMAZO, Red Arrow donning the hood, Oliver finally using an eye mask, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad…. the list continues to grow. It’s established. It’s having a Flash spinoff…. Make it part of the movie universe. I can’t stress this enough. Oh, and one other thing. Get rid of Laurel (Dinah) Lance’s sister. Laurel needs to be likeable again, get her crap together, and become the real Black Canary.
There you have it. My two-cents, and hopefully someone will listen out there. Bring me in as a writer or consultant. What do you think? Which movies are you looking forward to? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my comments? Chime in. The bottom line? I’m a comic book fan. I want to see both DC and Marvel succeed. I want the best of both worlds.
Update!! SDCC 2012: Marvel News
I won’t be able to cover ALL of Marvel’s announcements for this year’s San Diego Comic Con, but I will include the key points of interest in my book.
First off, A deadpool video game has been announced. From the looks of the trailer, I’m betting it is going to be something that makes every Deadpool fan happy. The official website is here: http://deadpoolgame.com/
Next we go to the Disney/Marvel merger. Anyone remember a few years back, when rumor was that there would be a crossover between companies that was bound to happen at some point? Well, the moment has arrived. “Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel” has been announced. In it, Ironman, Hulk, Thor and Spiderman lose their powers and must enlist the help of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. Also guest starring are Venom, Redskull, and Whiplash as confirmed villains. The coverage of this can be found at www.disneyabcvideo.com
And what about Marvel on TV? Well, “Avengers: Earth’s mightiest Heroes” was said to have been cancelled, but the new series “Avengers Assemble” is being seen as a continuation of that series.
Footage was shown from the new animated series coming soon “Hulk and the Agents of SMASH.” It included Red Hulk, She Hulk, Skaar, A Bomb, and of course the title character.
There are a series of Marvel Knights motion comics coming. These include: Inhumans, Eternals, Wolvering: Origins, Wolverine: Weapon X, and Ultimate Wolvering vs Hulk.
Ultimate Spiderman has been considered the #1 animated series on Disney XD. Therefore, it has been renewed for a second season and will include Rhino, Beetle, Lizard, and Electro.
According to www.comicbookmovie.com, Thomas Jane has made a return appearance as the Punisher in a short movie called “My Movie”. Here is their description. — The film, entitled “My Movie”, starred Thomas Jane and his good buddy Ron Perlman who was also in attendance.
The film begins with Thomas Jane trying to do his laundry at the local laundry mat, while a group of thugs begin making trouble. Once he’s had enough, he picks up a bottle of Jack Daniels from Ron Perlman’s liquor store and proceeds to deal out his brand of “justice” with said Jack Daniels. Yes, he uses the bottle to take out the entire group of thugs, except for their leader, who gets “punished”. VERY violent, VERY bloody, and VERY well received by those in attendance. When the young boy Thomas Jane rescues tries to return a shirt that fell out of his laundry basket, Thomas Jane says “Keep it. It’s got a hole in it.” and throws the shirt back to the boy, revealing a black shirt with the new Punisher skull on it, which was designed by Tim Bradstreet. — I wished I would have gotten to see this as I love his incarnation of the Punisher. He of course was asked about possibly reprising the role now that Marvel owns the rights to the character once again. He was enthusiastic with interest.
In the world of the Avengers Alliance game on facebook, it has been announced that the Avengers vs X-men storyline currently in the comics, will be coming as an expansion to the turn based game.
Now let’s take a look (I’ve included the official title cards) of the Marvel Phase 2 movie slate. Antman footage was shown. It is unclear as to who is playing the part, but from reactions on Superherohype.com, and other comic book movie websites, the reaction was exciting. No release date has been given, but Edgar Wright begins filming this next year.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be released on 4/4/14. I guess that gives us an idea that Bucky did indeed survive, and he will become the Winter Soldier. Rumors are still flying about Falcon being a part of this movie as well.
Ironman 3 footage was debuted, and people are claiming it is HOT HOT HOT. There are a few bits of coverage of Q and A panels, and a LOT was talked about. Even the possibility of Pepper Potts becoming Rescue. Ben Kingsley is definitely the Mandarin complete with robe and rings, and a surprise appearace by RDJ rounded out the event.
Guardians of the Galaxy will come out on 8/1/14. Drax, Groot, Rocket Raccon and Nova are all confirmed as part of the movie, and it is speculated that Thanos will indeed be the villain after his introduction in the Avengers. There is concept art of the characters available online as well.
Finally, Thor: The Dark World has an official release date of 11/8/13. The Dark Elves will be playing a role in this movie, but it is unknown to what extent.
I’m going to add a few more bits of coverage, including a DC coverage, and other categories.