movie thoughts … Captain America: The Winter Soldier

MV5BMzA2NDkwODAwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk5MTgzMTE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_[1]Whoa boy – lot to talk about with this movie!

This afternoon, in preparation for the tomorrow to come, we decided to take in one last movie as free adults before (hopefully!) bringing Christopher home from the hospital tomorrow morning.

So no pressure, Cap’n, but this had better be GOOD because it might be the last non-rated-G movie we see for quite some time!!! 😛

*** SPOILERS!!! ***

Overall, I did enjoy the film, which is convenient because I’ve been looking forward to this one ever since I started seeing the trailers for it. Since our first introduction, I’ve rather taking a liking to Captain America and arguably would probably call him my favorite Avenger, which is impressive in Iron Man’s wake, save the fact that 2 wasn’t as good as 1 and that I downright didn’t like the third installment.

Though maybe that’s just the way it goes with these types of films because I definitely ended up liking Captain America 1 more than this one. I can’t really speak to Thor because I wasn’t super crazy about either of his movies…

But The Winter Soldier definitely had some very cool, very intriguing moments! The chase scene where they were hunting Nick Fury down, the elevator battle was awesome even though it was the second time we’d seen it after watching it before Thor 2, watching Captain America take fall after fall like a champ. Good god, can that man fall – if anything, this movie certainly confirms for us that the serum worked at hardening Cap’s skeletal structure after we saw him plunging into the concrete again and again! 🙂

If I’m allowed but one complaint, it’s that I wish it would’ve been somebody other than HYDRA at the root of it all because when the evidence all started to unfold, it just felt like we were being forced back into a history that had been fairly well wrapped up in the last film. I mean, 70 years of sleep, frozen in the ice … why drudge up the past so that Dr. Zola can play Max Headroom in the most cringe-worthy scene in the entire film???

The rest of the plot was fine … some rogue force infiltrates and slowly turns SHIELD into something very different, planning to unleash a force of automated, predictive guns in the name of preventing terrorism before it happens … although admittedly the more I think about it, there is a striking resemblance between that notion and another movie that our new, bird-like superhero, the Falcon, was featured in a few years ago called Eagle Eye that I actually kind of enjoyed.

Anyways, the action sequences were great, and I especially loved even the outlandish ones like watching Captain America systematically take down a SHIELD jet all by himself! The battle scenes with our three heroes and The Winter Soldier seemed well spread out … my only real qualm about the second title character being that I would’ve liked to see his storyline resolved a bit more instead of being left hanging…

Although I did learn that apparently we missed out on a second end credits scene that showed a hint of a change of heart of The Winter Soldier as a teaser for his own future, so don’t leave the theater until they turn the lights on – WHY HAVEN’T I LEARNED THIS MYSELF WITH MARVEL MOVIES BY NOW?!?!?!

A few other minor critiques:

  • I didn’t care for Peggy Carter’s return as a dying, old lady in this movie, as much as I really loved her in the first one. Again, that ship had sailed and they could’ve told more of her back story with file footage rather than putting the Captain at her bedside, knowing that they were both once kinda-sorta in love.
  • If Captain America’s apartment was under surveillance, why didn’t they shoot Nick Fury long before the Captain returned home?
  • Or even a step before that, why didn’t the rogue agents follow Fury into the sewers?! Twice people got away by burning a hole through the concrete in this movie and nobody once thought, “Hey, we just blew up 20 city blocks in pursuit of these guys … maybe we should follow them down into the sewers…”
  • Army security must not be what it used to if veterans are allowed to just have classified documents laying around their apartments.
  • Dr. Zola wasn’t nearly as catty and Riddler-like in the first movie, and maybe it added to my dislike for that scene, but it seemed very out of character for him to be actively provoking Captain America in a very 60’s Batman sort of way!
  • Are there any actual police officers that work in Washington D.C.?! Ok, sure – the six cars in the immediate vicinity are all rogue SHIELD agents, but that chase went on for a while … seriously, not a single cop in the city said, “Whoa – explosions?! Machine gun fire in the streets??? Maybe we should look into that!”

Nonetheless, the movie had some great dialogue – both humorous and serious.

“Well it’s not like they write the floor numbers on the outside of the building!”

“Then what’s not broken?! Air conditioning is fully operational.”

I loved the Captain’s speech to rally the remaining good SHIELD agents before the battle, too – kind of cool to see him rallying his own army, so to speak.

Stan Lee’s cameo was hilarious as always.

Looking back, I guess it was a pretty decent movie overall – it’s just that glaring HYDRA stamp that I kind of could’ve done without. It does open up some intriguing questions for the future – if The Winter Soldier is still at large, will he end up being the entire focus of Captain America 3? Will we eventually see Bucky take up the shield if Chris Evans’ Captain dies off like he apparently did in the comic books … a strange possibility, considering that Evans has been quoted as negotiating only a 6-picture deal whereas they have his recent friend-turned-enemy down for 9 movies.

Who knows – there’s lots of speculation there because the same has been said about Robert Downey, Jr., too, and frankly it’s hard to imagine anyone as Iron Man after all that he’s given to that role. But maybe after we see Avengers 2 next year and Marvel tips its hand regarding the next phase of superhero movies (presumably Cap 3, Thor 3, Avengers 3, but also hinting at Dr. Strange and some other new faces), we could see the original fab four stepping back to only appear in the ensemble Avengers movies every few years.

Anything to prevent them from just rehashing the origin story incessantly like is far too often the common trend with this superhero-type movies… 🙁

So quick summary – I liked it … didn’t hold a candle to The Avengers, but it was still probably the best Marvel sequel to date … though Captain America: The First Avenger will still be the one that keeps me glued to the TV at 2:30am when I should be going to bed.

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