Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America Winter Soldier meme - bucky barnes movie still

Sequel Winter Soldier turns boring Captain America into a real action hero

It ain’t easy to turn one of the less interesting Marvel titles into an action powerhouse, but somehow Marvel managed to pull it off with flying colours by focusing less on CGI and more old skool action. The 2-hour-plus film even features the UFC Welterweight legend George St. Pierre (as the villain Georges Batroc) in a man-to-man hand combat fight against the Captain at the beginning. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is, without question, a significant improvement from The First Avenger, and this is surprising coming from Anthony and Joe Russo, the directing brothers who had done only comedies that were widely panned by critics.

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The film takes place two years after the event in The Avengers, where Steve Rodgers a.k.a Captain America (played by Chris Evans) now lives in Washington DC working directly with SHIELD but still struggles with adapting himself to the present time. During a mission to save SHIELD agents, he accidentally discovers from Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) that many things are kept from their knowledge, including a soon-to-be-launched operation that he disagrees with, and he begins to wonder if he’s working with the right people to serve and protect the world. The plot thickens when he gets accused for murdering the leader of SHIELD, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who’s in fact attacked by the mysterious and strong Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who’s equal to his superhuman strength. He is left with a locked pendrive with no clue whom he could trust.

Chris Evans as Captain America & Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow in Winter Soldier movie still

Chris Evans won’t fail the fangirls with his extreme pretty face, charm and built body, as he continues to deliver playing the hero with compassion and natural leadership. Scarlett Johannson looks a bit unusual with her flat hairstyle here but she still kicks ass, especially when the camera deliberately focuses on her fine butt. The Winter Soldier, however, although plenty of awesome action sequences involve him, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with the performance of Sebastian Stan as he lacks menacing presence for the character. Nonetheless, the fight scenes and the choreography between him and the Captain are highly enjoyable. The film is epically filled with hard-punching, intense action sequences which it’s almost impossible for fans to be disappointed with. Hands down, way better than the first film Captain America: The First Avenger. I can recall that I complained how the Captain’s shield wasn’t quite fully utilised offensively in the first film, but in this sequel, it is, and I can deny that it’s fucking cool.

The film isn’t without downsides and to me it’s the formulaic plot, cliches and the corny moments. The audience could probably sense who the villains are and who’s not really dead even from the very beginning. Perhaps the worst typicality of all is introducing a character like Sam Wilson a.k.a Falcon (performed quite anonymously by Anthony Mackie), an African American co-hero or wingman for the titular protagonist, and not having much of a character development for him. Come on, isn’t it already enough to have a black co-hero in Iron Man? The film also have some minor plot holes that only people like myself would be bothered with. Example, [SPOILER ALERT!] the scene where Nick Fury’s being attacked and his vehicle has turned turtle seemingly trapped inside with The Winter Soldier approaching but he manages to escape by cutting a hole through to the sewer. And… the scene ends there. Why can’t The Winter Soldier just jump down into the hole and finish the job? Nick Fury’s obviously injured and even if he’s not, I doubt he’d be able to run faster than The Winter Soldier. [SPOILER ENDS].

Alexander Pierce Captain America Winter Soldier meme

One of the early reviews I remember reading said that this sequel is a game changer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Well I agree to a certain extend as the ending here is definitely going change how the story of the following Marvel film sequels are going to go. Well, we have had Iron Man 3Thor: The Dark World and this Captain America sequel, and all of them were fantastic. Just one more film to go (which is Guardians of the Galaxy releasing later this year) before it’s all linked up to the highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron comes (scheduled for May 2015 release). I can’t hardly wait.

What I would’ve named the film: Captain Hunk vs. Jason Re-Bourne with Eye-Liner On

Stan Lee’s cameo: Here’s hint, the museum.

Mid-credit and post-credit scenes? I believe Marvel has set to standardise the mid-credit scenes of their films to be more future development-related or worthwhile than the one after the entire credits. With that being said, I’m sure you can already decide if you’d wanna wait. [SPOILER ALERT!] The very short post-credit scene shows only Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier at the Captain America museum learning his identity of the past. I think there’s a small grin on his face right before it cuts off. Well, guess he’s going to be the anti-hero in the coming Avengers film. The mid-credit scene, which you don’t have to wait for long, features the first appearance of supervillain Baron Wolfgang von Strucker discussing plans while revealing that he has Loki’s scepter, and the Fenris twins, Andrea and Andreas von Strucker (thank you LowYat forummer erald06 for pointing out my mistake) the twins: Quicksilver, who possesses great speed, and Scarlet Witch, who has dreadful telekinetic powers. Guess who’s their father in the comics… Magneto from X-Men. No idea how it’s going to be like in Avengers: Age of Ultron if Marvel doesn’t regain the screen rights of X-Men back from 20th Century Fox. [SPOILER ENDS]

Censorship in Malaysia: I don’t think there was anything to cut at all.

To watch in 3D? The premiere screening I gotten wasn’t in 3D but I doubt three dimensional effects would add much to what’s already sufficiently enjoyable in 2D. Unless you’re a kid who gets excited seeing the hero’s shield flying out of the screen.

Second opinion: Fellow blogger Li Chuen said that she liked the film as well and that it’s different from the first Captain America film.

Verdict: Marvel have done it again, an absolutely entertaining film despite its corniness and cliches. Definitely surpassed the first film.

Rating: 4 / 5

Captain America Winter Soldier malaysia movie poster

Based on: Comics from Marvel by Stan Lee
Rated: P13
Genre: Superhero, action
Running Time: 135 minutes
Director: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Screenwriters: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannson, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford

Malaysia Release Date: March 27th 2014
Local Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Malaysia
Studio: Marvel Studios

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  1. Nana Eddy

    I loved it! hahah..
    The winter soldier looks damn hawt.
    And the flying guy, falcon, despite not having character development, he looks dam cool with his wings.
    And of course the cap is adorable as always.
    Black Widow… I love her. No need to say anymore.

  2. Ivan Chan

    Spoiler that is not really a spoiler.

    It seems that Scarlet Witch is responsible of the Avengers Disassemble arc and caused the death of one of the 6 Avengers we currently know 😛

    Also, not sure if you noticed but somewhere in the movie, I remembered the mentioned the name Stephen Strange, which *may* indicate that they might develop Dr. Strange (another Marvel character) as a standalone movie, who knows. Haha.

    1. Post

      Yes she is very involved in the Avengers storylines, but she is also the daughter of a significant character of X-men, one which Marvel now have no rights to even mention in their films. So… yeah it's gonna be Strange indeed =p

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