Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

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At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Feige introduced to the world that the sequel to Captain America would be inspired by Ed Brubaker’s incredible Winter Soldier story arc. However, when it was announced that director Joe Johnston would not return to helm the sequel, people wondered who would continue the adventures of Captain America on the big screen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The answer is Joe and Anthony Russo, primarily known for their work on NBC’s Community. As you might expect, fans scoffed at the idea of television directors, let alone sitcom directors, handling such a massive action film as Captain America: The Winter Soldier. However, do the Russos bring a film that’s worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or do the Community directors deliver Marvel’s first flop in an otherwise clean track record?

Not only do the Russos hit it out of the park, they have created a film that’s easily Marvel’s best solo film to date. Yes, it’s even better than the first Iron Man. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a perfect film from beginning to end. It still has its signature Marvel humor and action but the film has much more to offer.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier follows Steve Rogers as he’s trying to adjust to the modern world after the events of The Avengers. But when a conspiracy arises within S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America must join forces with Black Widow and Falcon to uncover those behind the conspiracy before they put the world at risk.

Although Marvel has been known to frequently switch directors for their feature films, Marvel Studios’ head honcho Kevin Feige has a keen eye for hiring talented directors. With Joe and Anthony Russo, they are clearly unafraid of the grand task of directing their first big-budget action film. The Russos gives us a film that is different and unique compared to the other Marvel films. Their grounded, handheld camera style approach to the film adds to the realism of Marvel’s grittiest story to date. The action scenes are breathtaking and the film is incredibly well shot as well. Not to mention, they balanced the right amount of screen time for each main character. The brothers also do a great job of mixing together the intimate, engrossing moments of a political thriller with the grand scale action of a summer blockbuster. Not bad for television directors.

Despite The Winter Soldier being Marvel’s second longest film to date, the pacing of the film is perfect. At no point throughout the film did a part feel as if it dragged or felt unnecessary. This is partly due to the riveting story that screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have written.

The amazing thing that Marvel is doing is that they are taking sub-genres and wrapping them around a superhero film. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Markus and McFeely created a political spy thriller that would make the late, great Tony Scott proud. The film has a lot of depth to it, complete with twists and turns that will undoubtedly change the facet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years to come. In addition, the audience is taken through Steve Rogers’ emotional journey as he comes to grips with living in a fearful world that we live in now.

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Although Chris Evans is adamant about not re-signing with Marvel after his contract is up, I will miss him when he leaves the role. He has encompassed every characteristic that makes Steve Rogers who he is. The emotional journey that Rogers goes through in the film is all enhanced by the acting ability of Chris Evans. In this film, he digs deeper into the character and adds more layers to the character.

When it comes to Nick Fury and Black Widow, we finally get to see just what makes these two really good at their job. Sure, we’ve seen Widow kick ass before (see: The Avengers) but this time, we get to see more of the spy aspect of her character that’s been lacking in the previous films. We also get to see more of Nick Fury in action, a much bigger role than what we’ve seen in the previous films. In the comics, Nick Fury has been known as a master tactician and in The Winter Soldier, we finally get to see those character traits here.

Fans of Brubaker’s Winter Soldier arc can sleep easy knowing that The Winter Soldier is as badass on screen as he is in the comics. There are those that might complain that he doesn’t get as much screen time as he deserves but he gets just the right amount of screen time. The Winter Soldier’s time on-screen only enhances the complex relationship between Steve Rogers and [name withheld]. It makes their screen time together much more special.

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Marvel newcomers, Robert Redford and Anthony Mackie, are great in their respective roles. The relationship between Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson never feels forced and their friendship comes naturally. Not to mention, Falcon is amazing to watch when he finally gets his wings. As for legendary actor Robert Redford, it’s not surprising that his presence on screen demands attention. And for his particular role in the film, he’s the perfect actor for the job.

I tried to find something negative to say about the film but honestly, I can’t. The strong performances from its leads, its gripping story, and the great pacing will keep the audience invested in the film from beginning to end. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is truly one of those rare game-changing films for Marvel. Unquestionably, Captain America: The Winter Soldier raises the bar for all future Marvel films, and we’re excited to see the results of Marvel trying to top this fantastic film.

Grade: A+

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1505 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.