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[Movie Review] Captain America: The Winter Soldier (w/ a heaping side order of spoilers sweetie)

Spoiler filled post hidden behind the more and images. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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I told you there was a heaping side order of spoilers.
Taking place some years after Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans as the titular WW II hero, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, now unfrozen living in DC and an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D is Marvel’s version of suped up alphabet agency founded during World War II to combat the Nazi menace known as Hydra. Hydra was the Nazi’s science division run by The Red Skull and was soundly defeated at the end of Captain America #1 only to see Captain Rogers having to ditch a huge flying wing into the ice never to be seen again until he was defrosted.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Winter Soldier is based upon Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run from 2009 where Steve Rogers and Co come under attack from the Red Skull and several other non-powered enemies including the aforementioned Winter Soldier.
It’s fairly weird, having seen the movie and now reading the arc and seeing a Hasslehoff’s Nick Fury.
Replacing Captain’s Howling Commandos are a few fresh faces like Sam Wilson played by Anthony Mackie, Brock Rumlow played by Frank Grillo, Jack Rollins played by Callan Mulvey, Alexander Pierce by Robert Redford and Kate / Agent 13 played by Emily VanCamp returning characters like Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Natasha Romanoff, Jasper Sitwell and even Senator Stern played by Garry Shandling.
Now, before I go any further let me say this: This is not another Iron Man 2 debacle with a crap top of characters and backstory with no plot.
If you’ve read Brubaker’s run then you pretty much know what’s going on to a point.
The fact that maybe one third of the audience I was with on Thursday night had no clue says something about how the trailers for this movie didn’t reveal how much Steve and his plucky heroes are screwed. The rest of us were like: Yep, it’s him.
And thank god because Captain America: The Winter Soldier is really the best Marvel movie to date. Avengers in my book was the high water mark but this edges it out due to there’s very little disaster p04n and the plot reveals are so big it alters everything in Phase 2.
Forget what they say about the movie being too long, it isn’t. I like long movies.
Forget about what they say about how Scarlett barely acts in this movie. She acts, learns and goes toe to toe with the Winter Soldier and she is not the T&A eye candy of this movie.
This was an awesome movie. Why is this an awesome movie?
“Hail Hydra.”
Bringing back The Red Skull wasn’t done. That would have been overkill and cliche. And, either Hugo Weaving really didn’t want to be in another Marvel Movie or they’re holding him for #3.
Instead, they decide to bring back Hydra by using some real history called Operation Paperclip.
Paperclip in the Marvel Verse brought foreign scientists over to the US to establish a great deal of services. Dr. Arnim Zola played by Toby Jones being one of them. Zola appears in The Winter Solider but only as a plot device buried in S.H.E.I.L.D.S basement. Buried in the basement because that’s where he’s been growing. Inside tape drives from the fifties/sixties. He’s been controlling S.H.I.E.L.D forever. And is probably the Clairvoyant.
The technology used is establish this artificial intelligence of Zola is pretty good. And even gets a War Games shout out which I think me and two other people got.
Oh, right, lemme back that up, Hydra is S.H.I.E.L.D. They pull an Order 66. They pull it off a whole hell of a lot better than Lucas took 3 movies to set up. Even Sitwell. I mean he was just as jovial as Coulson was.
Gary Shadling folks. A throwaway from Iron Man 2 comes in and says those 2 little words and my audience just went: Wow.
Someone already mentioned if this doesn’t bolster Agents of SHIELD ratings.
I’ll do you one better, Captain America 3 and Batman vs. Superman are going head-to-head on the same weekend so long as DC doesn’t blink. I don’t need to tell you which one I’m going to.
The great thing about this and using the Winter Soldier is that the Marvel Verse doesn’t focus on mutants or the capes or the weird clone plot lines that makes everyones eyes roll. They don’t have the copywrites to X-Men/Spider-Man due to Sony and Twentieth Century Fox.
Instead, it focuses on Marvel’s Intelligence Community and what their R&D Departments have been working on since World War II. Something the Brubaker arc covered a great deal. Each country setting up post-war operations, the super soldier serum in Germany and the USA and what it’s done. The Redroom is not mentioned but Winter Soldier’s training as an assasain is shown in great detail as his master dispatch him to take down Nick Fury and Captain America.
The few downsides to this movie are nitpicky: No Alan Silvestri on the music. He’s a fave of mine and I enjoyed his Captain America soundtrack better than The Avengers. Joe Johnston’s saturated color palette was sorely missed.
I do hope if they continue with these Marvel One Shots to do something to fill in the Winter Soldier’s backstory. I felt he got the same short shift the Dark Elves got in Thor 2. Just a few more scenes would have been cool.
In close: Go see it! Wait for all the credits to be over! Bring on #3!

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