Captain America the Winter Soldier: Spy Thriller Against Government. A True Whirlwind

I know our fellow writer Cris published his own review, but his interpretation of the film is quite different from mine. Beware of spoilers under the cut.

Let me start this review by saying that I did indeed read the comic the movie was titled after. I am a huge fan of Captain America and I loved the Winter Soldier comic written by Ed Brubaker. So I knew a little more than the average person when I went to see it and then I saw it again. 

With that in mind, let’s talk about Cap2.  Undercut for length and possible spoilers. 

Now the comic starts off much different, obviously, and the Winter Soldier is a much bigger mystery with Agent 13 aka Agent Sharon Carter playing a much bigger role in the film than her glorified cameo in the movie. Nick Fury ends up creating a rift between Cap and him in the comic because of his knowledge of the Winter Soldier. Natasha Romanoff, was a lover and partner with the Winter Soldier when they both worked for the KGB. There is a reason their ship name is Soviet Spouses and its because they were both Soviet Agents. Bucky was turned evil and brainwashed by the good ol’ USSR, and not HYDRA, as seen in the film. Now that this bit is over, let’s jump to the movie.

The reason I titled this Whirlwind is because that was how I felt. Granted I was watching this movie in Imax 3D (which was SO worth it) and later 3D, but the movie literally made me jump in my seat and more than once. Captain America the Winter Soldier kept viewers on their toes with its surprises, twists and turns. The funny thing is that even when I saw it the second time, those same scenes that made me jump the first time made me jump again, despite the fact that I knew they were coming. 

If you love a good old fashioned spy thriller then you will most definitely love this movie.  Captain America blends just the right amount of comic book with spy shenanigans. The music accented the movie excellently to the point where my brain hardly noticed the music in the first place because it complemented the movie so well that it was almost as if the music wasn’t there. The music did a great job in that effect and the movie did a great job of keeping me at the edge of my seat and completely glued to the screen. 

There were a lot of great close up shots that provided a sense of urgency and intimacy. The camera shots were close up  just enough that the viewer felt almost completely immersed in the story…or was that just the IMAX experience. The areal shots of DC and the detailed Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space museum made me want to explore that world more. 

The acting,as usual was phenomenal from everyone in the cast from Chris Evans as Captain America down to Stan Lee and his fantastic and ever amusing cameo as the poor soon-to-be-fired security guard of the Smithsonian. 

There was a good balance of humor and action, there was some witty banter thrown around, but not during a mission or a key action scene. Because let’s be honest, unless you’re Peter Parker, generally when people are shooting at you, it is NOT a good time to rattle of some quip. There was a great sense of urgency and realism in the film. 

The surprises were another reason I loved it, there was even a flashback or two, a return of a couple of people from the first movie (one obvious, and one not so obvious), and great chemistry between Chris Evans and Scarlet Johanssson who have worked on multiple films together.  But don’t mistake my use of the word chemistry, I’m not talking about romance, oh no, Romance is for losers. What we have here is even better; its bromance. Steve and Natasha had this great BFF kind of relationship that was incredibly amusing to watch, though I can see exactly where people see a ship and jump onto the Cold War.

Sebastian Stan, while not having a lot of spoken lines was very expressive with this mannerisms and emotions, and his attempt at speaking Russian was far from the worst I had ever heard. So good for him. 

Now for the politics. 

One of my favorite phrases is “Freedom isn’t free.” And its not, freedom comes at a price and achieving freedom requires hard work. This movie shows  the concept of  “big Brother.” Big Brother is watching you and big brother will kill you before you even think about doing something bad. That’s pretty creepy. This movie, to me, came off as Captain America being a conservative poster boy because he’s fighting against this big brother figure, and trying to keep the idea that we cannot give up our freedom for safety and security. —Sound familiar? 

I was trying not to scream at the screen at that moment. It just felt so founding fathers, “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”-Ben Franklin. One character even states that the world is prime target to give up freedom for security. That is such a great wake up moment. This movie had a very anti-big government message, the idea of SHIELD being bad guys. SHIELD is clearly, to an extent a government or government-like organization and that it could be infiltrated. SHIELD, a supposed organization for the protection of the world had been infiltrated and taken over by HYDRA and the only way yo destroy HYDRA was to let out SHIELD’s dirty laundry for the whole world to see. 

The fight sequences, watch out for them, they are done in a very specific way. They are very different and feel real, the way they chose to film it speaks a lot about the mood they wanted to set for the film. The fighting is very serious, and action packed, obviously, quick, and you can feel the stress and anxiousness that comes with a fighting. Its not fluffy so that the viewer sees everything. I didn’t expect to like this part, but I really loved it. It made it more real to me.  

I loved the fast pace, and action of this movie, I also really loved the fact that they destroyed or crippled SHIELD and here is why. In the comics, the Avengers came together on their own, not because of SHIELD. In the movie it made them have to report to SHIELD. Cap 2 set up the idea of the Avengers being an independent entity from the organization that assembled them, allowing them autonomy from its large, influencing hand. 

There were a few things I did not like, but they were easily overshadowed by the things I did. I had wished that the movie had more focus on the Winter Soldier, but its understandable why it did not. That’s a small thing to complain about in a movie that kept you completely engrossed. But the reason this movie was called Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was likely for a very simple reason, because they did not want everyone to know that this movie was really Captain America 2: The Return of Hydra. This little snag would remain a secret and managed to shock quite a few fans in the theater. Though it also bummed me how hard they try to disassociate Hydra from the Nazis. Captain America fought Nazis during WWII and there’s nothing wrong with that, I still adored this movie. 

But this movie has been heralded as the best Marvel film so far, and better than Avengers. I think it is better than the Avengers, its more nitty gritty, its more real, and its more in depth. I love how realistic this movie was, despite the obvious comic book elements and I loved the little Easter Eggs that were thrown in as well. Anthony and Joe Russo can pat themselves on the back for a truly terrific, interesting, and best of all complex movie with little to no plot holes. 

Final Grade for Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Five out of five Elementary magnifying glasses.  

Magnifying Glass

Magnifying GlassMagnifying GlassMagnifying GlassMagnifying Glass

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