Somehow Laura was given the opportunity to catch an press screening of latest Marvel Studios blockbuster, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Find out what she thought of Cap’s second outing and whether Steve Rogers can handle the 21st Century without The Avengers to back him up.
Anyone that knows me will know that I’m more inclined to the DC Universe. I spend most of my time in the Bat-Universe but I’ve been slowly creeping into the Marvel Universe with the help of their new #1’s and their irrepressible movie franchise have been a quick way to introduce me to the history.
What I always like about sequels is that the groundwork has been laid and you can jump straight into the action itself without another drawn-out origin story. Which is exactly what Captain America: The Winter Soldier does; you’re planted right into the thick of it and reminded exactly why Marvel chose Steve Rogers as the poster-boy of the 70 year history in story-telling.
Chris Evans returns and does another amazing job in the role. At this stage there is no one else I could imagine for the job, not only does he look the part but everything from his mannerisms to the way he speaks are exactly how I picture the character in the comics.
Chris manages to uphold the well-mannered and contained appearance of Captain America that he grew into as a Soldier and hasn’t quite lost but he also plays off his determined and resolute personality rather well too. Showing just how much of a threat Steve can be if he feels something is not right but also showing how much of a protection and a presence he can bring if needed in a time of a reassurance – but even though he’s the title character, this isn’t the Steve Rogers show.
As we’ve seen with other Phase 2 movies, the supporting cast have becoming a necessity, both to keep the audience interested post-Avengers and continue to grow the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of the supporting cast in The Winter Soldier, the most prominent is Sam Wilson, The Falcon.
Another big player in Cap’s makeshift team-up, was Scarlet Johansson back to pick up her role as Black Widow. Marvel have obviously been listening to what the audience have been saying and it’s good to see them fleshing out her role and showing off her kick-ass fighting skills. She had great chemistry with Steve in this one and seeing their friendship grow and take a leap in the film was really enjoyable. It was refreshing to see a male and female character able to get along so well and maybe even flirt a little but know that nothing will come of it.
Along with the main characters we see a lot of familiar faces; Nick Fury, Maria Hill and so on which was good to see. Nick Fury was as awesome as ever and it was nice to see Maria kick some ass again. And really, who can ever refuse seeing a woman be a badass rather than a damsel? Plus we see Nick Fury finally kick some ass of his own and jump into the action himself.
Sebastian Stan returns as Bucky Barnes… Sort of. Only this time as brain-washed Hydra super soldier, The Winter Soldier. He easily plays out the emotion and the story of Bucky just with the strength of his gaze and it really is wonderful to see someone who can act with as much intensity as Chris Evans and be opposite him in a scene.
Another little tidbit that I enjoyed was the fact that they go back to the original Captain America suit. Rather than the “out with the old” mentality of Tony Stark and the constant upgrades to the Iron Man suits. It carries on the use of bringing the past to the present and s the perfect metaphor for Cap’s struggle to grasp the new world and let the injustice slide.
There are a few ups and downs, a few questionable bits like why they risk going into an Apple store for access to a computer. Sure, it’s convenient but when you’re friends with Tony Stark, I’m sure there’s easier ways. But hey, that’s just a cynic’s point of view. As well as a few fighting scenes that make you really think the physics through and some cheesy one-liners but you can easily overlook all that too.
The action scenes overall are fantastic though. It really did capture the audience in the moment and many-a-time I found myself admiring the actors’ abilities (and the stunt doubles of course!)
When the film picks up, Steve has been training and working within S.H.I.E.L.D for a while and his fighting style has vastly improved, I especially liked the evolution of the use of the infamous shield. It’s used a lot more and you start to really feel Steve’s familiarity with it, especially in those long-awaited fights with Bucky. It’s use is more offensive than the defensive strategy used in The First Avenger and it’s become an integral part of his fight scenes and it really just seems like an extension of his arm.
There’s also a couple of post-credit scenes hinting towards Marvel’s future plans with their characters and the Universe they’re building. There’s also a fair few name drops in the film itself as well as some new faces. One particular name drop had the room buzzing – care the hazard a guess as to who it was?
Make sure you wait for the post-credit Scenes, they’re definitely not something you want to miss, especially with two certain characters!
Overall I really, really enjoyed this movie and it’s left me with a deep feel-good feeling and a wide smile on my face. I always enjoy the Captain America films as I’m a huge supporter of the good guys and you don’t get any good-er than the ol’ Star-Spangled Avenger. I found myself wondering often through the movie why I’ve not picked up any Steve Roger’s Comics before now. Something that I hope a lot of people will do because getting more people reading Comics is never a bad thing.
Marvel’s last outing, Thor: The Dark World came away with some mixed reviews but don’t let that stop you from checking this out. You won’t be disappointed.