Captain America: The Winter Soldier review by Jarrett Rodriguez

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Plot:After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Capt. America (Chris Evans), lives in the nation’s capital as he tries to adjust to modern times. An attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague throws Rogers into a web of intrigue that places the whole world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new ally, the Falcon, Rogers struggles to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, but he and his team soon come up against an unexpected enemy.

Review: It’s a New Year, ladies and gentleman and with the New Year comes new marvel films to delight their audiences. Captain America, the Winter Soldier, it leading the pack this year and if this is the way they start us off… well, then we are truly in for something incredible.

The Winter Soldier is not only the first Marvel film of the year, but maybe one of the finest Marvel movies to hit the scene since the very first Iron Man or dare I say it, The Avengers. That’s how good this film is. People may remember the Captains first movie as a little lackluster and more people seem to dislike that film than the others (though I personally found it my favorite of the bunch).
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Moving to the present day, Captain America is working with S.H.E.I.L.D to take down criminals and save the world. But trouble starts to brew that will change the way people will view old and upcoming Marvel films. It is hard to talk about this movie, because there are so many spoilers I do not want to ruin for the fans out there. Just expect betrayal, politics and amazing action scenes in this film. The movie itself is more akin to ‘70s spy thrillers, which works great with the Captain seeing how he doesn’t have a lot of superpowers to display.

In fact, it seemed like marvel decided to go a more realistic take here than past films. Yes, Captain America has super strength and agility but it is not overpowering and he is really put to the test with the Winter Soldier, who matches him in almost every way. The highway fight scene is so epic that you don’t want to blink in case you miss it.
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Captain America is again played by Chris Evans, who does a phenomenal job bringing the Captain to life. He is really good at playing the Boy Scout but unlike in the Avengers, where it was all “we must do the right thing” here the Captain is placed in a area of mistrust, where everyone is the enemy. He is also great at breaking the seriousness with humor, him and Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) play off each other well. Scarlett Johansson also did a great job, with a more screen time she had more of a chance to show off her skills at fighting and some the funniest scenes are because of her (“Would you like to play a game”). Joining these two superheroes is a new addition to the team, Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. Sam is where Marvel tried to step up the realism a bit, as anyone who read the comics will remember the first African-American Superhero as someone who actually had wings and could fly. Well in the film he is actually part of a covert military operation called Falcon, which involved a flying suit. I was worried about how that would turn out but damn, it came off bad ass, next to the Winter Soldier, the Falcon has some of the best action scenes in the film.

Speaking of The Winter Soldier, he has to be one of the most badass assassins to be put on the screen since Bobba Fett was introduced in Empire Strikes Back. Sebastian Stan did a terrific job of bring the character to life, he was cold and calm, but you knew he was struggling with who he was. I won’t ruin it in case you have never read the comics but he has a mystery behind him that is a great loose end from the first film.

Samuel L. Jackson again plays Nick Fury, not much has changed with the character over the years, though in this films we do learn more about him than in past films. But it was the addition of veteran actor Robert Redford who really knocked it out of the park playing Alexander Pierce, the top leader of S.H.E.I.L.D. It was a highlight to see such a weighty actor bring life to such a great character, surpassing Anthony Hopkins as Thors’ father in Thor and Jeff Bridges in Iron Man.

Cinematography wise, Captain America Shines. The movies is filmed beautifully with excellent CGI that perfectly captures the essence of the film. The final fight scene in particular left jaws open as the conclusion finished it off. Kudos go to Joe and Anthony Russo for doing such great work and proving they know their stuff around movies, seeing how they’re responsible for such amazing shows as Community and Arrested Development.
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I mentioned the final fight scene but of course, this is a Marvel movie after all which means there is bound to be a after credit sequence (it still blows my mind that people still leave after the first part ends without knowing it’s not over, but that is just me nitpicking.) All I can say is wow, they do not disappoint in any form, leaving us excited as to what is coming next. Speaking of that, there are Easter Eggs all over the place as well, be sure to look for Agent 13, a form of the villain Crossbones, a possible computer link to Age of Ultron, and a certain Doctor who is strangely mentioned.

All in all, Captain America maybe Marvels best film to date, as it perfectly blends superhero action with political intrigue and thriller like sense. Even if you are not a fan of the Marvel Universe, it is still worth taking a look as it holds up on its own as a great film. As we prepare for two more Marvel films to release this year (Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Fox’s X-Men, Days of the Future Past) one cannot help but be glad to be a nerd. With Captain America Leading the pack this year, we have a lot to look forward too. 9/10

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