Business Insider / Winter Soldier
Marvel movies have had the general public and huge comic book fanboys amazed for years now; they’ve done an effective job of telling stories true to the heart of their characters while pulling just snippets from the comics’ source material. Some fanboys, like myself however, have been annoyed that the studio wasn’t pulling from their 70 year plus history to make true to form comic book movies. The Winter Soldier, however, pulls right from 2005′s Ed Brubaker Captain America run and is all the better for it. This movie has it all, action: suspense, spy intrigue, humor and lots and lots of shield throwing. Marvel Studios has started the summer of 2014′s movie race with a bang.
RopeOfSilicon / Winter Soldier
Most of the original cast from 2011′s Captain America: The First Avenger returns to fight evil where ever it may nest in this sequel. Chris Evans reprises his role as the Star Spangled Avenger, Samuel L. Jackson dons the eye patch again and Scarlett Johansson squeezes back into her jumpsuit to save the world. There are some new faces to help these heroes on their quest; Anthony Mackie joins the cast as Sam Wilson a.k.a. The Falcon, and living legend Robert Redford gives a stellar performance as Alexander Pierce, a member of the World Security Council. There are a few newer and returning cast members that make an appearance, but for spoilers sake, I will let you experience the surprise for yourself. There is no weak link in this ensemble cast; the actors, both old and new, make their parts feel lived-in. They give it their all, never dropping a delivery in their organic exchanges. My guess is that it’s because they had to stand toe to toe with Robert Redford. If it were me, I’d want to give my best performance with him in the room.
The story takes place after The Battle of New York, as seen in the Avengers, and relied upon more heavily in Iron Man 3. Steve Rogers is still trying to acclimate himself to the 21st Century and find his place in the world. You’re given a nice re-introduction to Rogers in the first scene, and you also get to meet one of Roger’s best friends in the comic books, Samuel Wilson. The movie doesn’t linger for long though. After you witness that moment, you’re whisked away to action scene after action scene. Enjoy this first scene of serenity, for the movie doesn’t relent much afterwards. The Russo Brothers show off their action direction in the first big action sequence, Rogers takes on a boat load of baddies and comes away unscathed, because he’s Captain America. This scene is amazing and sets the groundwork for the bigger action scenes to come. You can see and feel the force behind Captain America’s punches like no film before it, giving you the feeling that he truly is a super soldier. Even if you are not a comic book fan the diverse action scenes alone should make you salivate at the mouth for more.
The Verge/ Winter Soldier
The people who worked on this movie, really dove into the comic books from the past few years, as you can see in the picture above Rogers is dressed in his uniform from the Secret Avengers comics series. Notice the dulled color of his shield and his mostly singular colored costume. Comics literate fans will notice that this costume foreshadows at the beginning of the movie, where this scene took place, that espionage and spy gaming would be at the forefront. In Secret Avengers Rogers does a lot of spying ops, so having a flashy costume and brightly colored shield would be a detriment. Here, directors Anthony and Joe Russo took that costume and ran with it. The spy stuff takes place in between the huge action scenes and add to the intensity of the film, you never really know who the brain behind the evil is until the Russo Brothers lay it out on screen during the endgame. The twists and turns keep you on your seat, and the Easter Eggs will give you the chills, in a good way of course.
The production design for the film is top notch. When The Winter Soldier makes his explosive entrance onto the screen I got chills once again. His costume is perfect and the robotic arm looks amazing. That is once example of page to screen that went flawlessly. Unfortunately, The Falcon didn’t seem to translate as well. The Falcon’s costume in the comic book is a nice contrast to Cap’s, in the movie it lost something in the translation. Instead of wearing a white and red costume, Wilson wears a t-shirt and his backpack with the wing attachment. His action scenes flying through the air look great, but for some reason my mind kept flashing to the Spider-man villain The Vulture – they resembled those wings more than a falcons. While this little misstep doesn’t ruin the movie, the comic book fanboy out there like me will notice it and critique, because that’s what we do.
It is very hard to talk about this movie without giving away any spoilers, I went into it knowing only the title and what I had read almost a decade ago in the comic book. Knowing nothing I had very high expectations for this movie. I loved the first one and saw it in the theater five times – that’s rare for me. What drew me to the first was the time period and my love for history, what will draw me to the theater over and over for the sequel is the story and the action sequences. Even though I’ll know the twists and turns on repeat viewings, seeing those action scenes again and getting to watch Evans hurl that shield in the faces of the enemy will definitely make it worth it. Many people and reviewers are saying that this is the best Marvel movie since Avengers but I disagree. While this is a great Marvel movie, it doesn’t top the magic that Joss Whedon brought to the Avengers. It is, however, definitely worth the price of admission. Or two prices of admission. Or five. Fly right over to your theater and watch this before the summer movie choices get too crowded.