When I wrote up my review for Captain America: The Winter Soldier a week ago, I felt incredibly restrained. There were so many things I wanted to say about the general plot, the characterizations, the action scenes and more. But I just couldn’t bring myself to go into details because the rest of the world has yet to see it. I did my best to give my impressions of the film but it felt incomplete. So, this time, I’m re-reviewing Winter Soldier but this time, I’m letting loose and spoiling most of everything!
Like I said in my first review, I was disappointed with the film. Not because it was a bad film but because my expectations were incredibly high. Overall, it is a good movie with great action sequences and delightful characters. But no film is perfect and it’s time for me to be a little more specific as to what I did and didn’t like about the Winter Soldier.
Let’s tackle the bad stuff first. I didn’t really like the huge twist where it was revealed that Hydra managed to infiltrate SHIELD but I was okay with it. It’s something I can see happening in the comics and it sort of had as a result of the Secret Invasion storyline. But, in the movie universe, the twist just came out of nowhere. Still, it wasn’t a big deal for me.
The twist did have a lot of repercussions which I didn’t like. The first being the reveal that a lot of SHIELD agents have been working for Hydra all this time. One of them just so happens to be Agent Sitwell. Now, this should’t be a big deal but Agent Sitwell has been a minor fixture in the Marvel film universe. He’s even helped Agent Coulson in Agents of SHIELD and appeared in a couple of the Marvel One-Shots (The Consultant and Item 47). Making him a Hydra agent was unnecessary to the overall “big picture” of the universe. And I actually found the guy amusing! I guess I felt kind of betrayed by this reveal.
Also, it made SHIELD look incompetent! Hydra managed to build an entire facility to house Armin Zola’s sentience right under SHIELD’s nose since the Cold War? And they never found out? That seems rather ridiculous, especially for a group supposedly as good as SHIELD! I kind of lost respect for the organization when the twist was revealed! I guess the overall impact of this has yet to be revealed so I’m kind of stoked what the future films and their new television series will do with it.
I also mentioned that, while there were a lot of action sequences, they were just too many cuts for a lot of them. The car chase sequence with Nick Fury was extremely focused and the scene where Captain America chases after Winter Soldier through buildings and over rooftops were easy to follow and well shot. Even the fight sequence between Cap and Batroc was easy to follow.
But the latter fight scenes were hard to follow. I was very disappointed with the first fight scene between Captain America and Winter Soldier since they used a lot of quick cuts and shaky cam. It made the fight look for frantic but I really wanted to see the two go at it clearly.
Finally, I was also disappointed with the introduction of Agent 13 or Sharon Carter. In the comics, she is the niece of Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers/Captain America’s love interest in the first movie! I wish there was more interaction between her and the rest of the principle cast. She really didn’t do much in the film. Okay, she did have that one sequence at the end but she didn’t even prevent the launch, did she?
Now for the good stuff. I loved all of the characters but I especially loved how they portrayed The Winter Soldier. I was afraid the reveal that he was a brainwashed Bucky was going to be a mess but it worked out in my opinion. Sure there was a lot of foreshadowing because of that entire walking through the museum thing. But, considering he was the only one of Cap’s friends that died during World War II, I was okay with it. I think some people may actually be surprised by it.
I also like Falcon in the movie. His introductory scene with Cap outlapping him during their morning job was funny yet believable. I also like they way the explained how Sam Wilson got his wings: they didn’t. No complicated origin story as to how they developed it at all. He just so happened to know where to get one. Brilliant!
The climax was flashy but staged very well. I usually have problems with movies when they try to present several scenes at the same time (The Phantom Menace, anyone?) but the way Winter Soldier presented it was easy to follow and each scene was given the right amount to time to make an impact. I was interested with Maria Hill monitoring all of the chaos. I was interested with Captain America and Falcon trying to switch the targeting systems on the Hydra Helicarriers (Hydracarriers?). I was interested with the face off between Alexander Pierce (portrayed perfectly by Robert Redford, by the way), Black Widow and Nick Fury.
The mid-credits scene showing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch being held captive by Baron von Strucker made me excited to see Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron. It was an incredibly short scene but it was effective. Also, with the news that Chris Evans will be retiring from acting once his contract with Marvel expires, it good to see Bucky/Winter Soldier’s memory slowly returning. This is because, in the comics, Bucky will replace Steve Rogers as the next Captain America. I’m glad to see them planning ahead.
I guess the number of pros outweigh the cons. I was still disappointed but it was mostly because of the whole “Hydra pulled the wool over SHIELD’s eyes” twist and the treatment Agent Sitwell received. Besides that, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a good action film and the best of the Phase 2 movies.
Your move, Guardians of the Galaxy. Your move.
Have you watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Did you like the big twist of the movie? What did you think of the film overall? Post your thoughts on the topic by putting them in the comments section below.