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Captain America, the Winter Soldier (2014)


Captain America The Winter Soldier

Marvel excited us with individual films to introduce all of their Avengers before bringing them together in a full-on, big heroic, action-packed film appropriately called The Avengers. Now prior to a follow-up sequel that will feature all of the awesome superheroes for a second save-the-world outing, the all-American soldier Steve Rogers is back for another chapter in his own story. 

Trying to adjust to his life working as an S.H.I.E.L.D agent and living in the modern world hasn’t been easy for Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Instead of embracing everything, Steve spends his days visiting the WWII museums where he can remember friends he lost – the world he knew was the 1940’s fighting to protect his country from the horrors of WWII and regret he missed his plans for a dance with the best girl, Peggy. Now that normal is no longer possible and Steve has to learn what it means to protect his home land in a whole new way. His latest mission nearly goes array when fellow S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Natasha Romanoff – also known as the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) goes off course of the carefully executed plan. Upon Steve’s retuning in confronting his superior Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), he learns that in fact his mission wasn’t a rescue mission at all and Steve was kept in the dark as to the real reason for the covert operation.   

Feeling betrayed and unhappy with what he's being asked to be a part of, Steve learns Nick has more than one secret and when he appears in his apartment, injured, begging for Steve’s discretion, he is shot before Steve can react. This event reveals that his pretty neighbor is actually Agent 13, Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) assigned to protect Captain America. Dying from his injuries Nick’s demise leads to a series of events that proves there is a myth of a villain in their midst and traitors inside S.H.I.E.L.D and the only one who can save them is Steve… even if it means he has to become a fugitive to accomplish this.

Action movies don’t mess around in their genre – they seem to take that title very seriously, using the "bigness" their frames to pack in one too many near-climaxes instead of taking time to develop the characters a bit and show us who they are, there is a focus on what the next big stunt will be, how to plot, accomplish and shoot it. This is the one Marvel franchise that cares about its protagonists; they also minimize the damages which is a plus for those of us who feel like the destruction of people or cities goes a step further than it should. There is a plot that can be followed because it’s not obscured by things that go boom and those of us who have seen all of these movies we know the importance of that. To be honest, I don’t remember everything about ‘The First Avenger,’ partially because what I do recall was it being longer than need be (ironically this runs longer though didn’t seem it) and also it’s been too long since last I saw it. With that out of the way, forgive me for possibly forgetting any explanations in the first film.

FILM REVIEW | Captain America, Civil War (2016)

Captain America The Winter Soldier

Even if I didn’t realize it, this superhero film was the most anticipated at my house. What started in The Avengers is followed up in ‘The Winter Soldier’ regarding Steve searching to find his place in society; it was amusing for the script to play with this especially since it never turned inappropriate. Adding a nice element of camaraderie was the introduction of the man who will be known as “Falcon,” Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) who not only rises to the occasion of volunteering to join Steve, he also is the kind of person Steve needed to relate too. These characters are some of my favorite in this Marvel universe and also include returning favorite Cobie Smulders as Agent Hill and in its star-studded cast Robert Redford – one note about the cast, I must confess to being surprised Emily VanCamp didn’t play a larger role, though if her final scene is any indication, she’ll be back fighting fit in future. Seeing so many characters crossover from multiple franchises is in itself an awe-inspiring event, mainly because they “fit” so well into any story even if they aren’t a solo act at the box office.

Keeping in tune with the script being gold, the interactions between Steve and Natasha was adorable – that banter between them was leading down a road unexpected yet always stayed on the ambiguous side of things. In terms of the plot, as with everything before it, it does rely on ‘The First Avenger’ however I was aware of the “big reveal” though there were gasps from audience members so perhaps the “twist” was concealed from most reviews. That being said, this film is still tops. If it hasn’t been as full of torrential happy thoughts as reviews past, never fear, my mind is fully engaged and gushing! Even though all of the Avengers are favorite heroes, I’ve always had a soft spot for its first one. Maybe because he’s a moral person with a heart of gold or maybe I admire his loyalty and the way he respectfully questions everything – even when it means the right thing will end with painful realities, either way, Steve Rogers probably tops the list at the end of the day. With spectacular action sequences (including a climax that limits itself to an area that “had” to be destroyed), another engaging cast and scenes that inspire in us an emotional sense of patriotism, this installment is nothing to sneeze at. It’s done its job in whetting our appetite for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and with a promise of seeing the Captain again in a third titular installment in 2016, (thank you record-breaking box office weekend) we’ll anticipate seeing him again when he assembles with fellow Avengers next year – and maybe by then he’ll have worked up the courage to call a certain someone. *wink*

(Parental review; there are three-four “major” action sequences. Nearly all of them result in casualties and another beats up a man badly, he is shot at with machine guns [he shoots back] before his car is flipped over leaving him in bad shape. The climax topples a building and blows up a fleet of flying ships; also in this sequence, men are stabbed, burned or suffer from gunshot wounds. There may be some minor sexual innuendo and a rare instance of a general profanity. The film is rated PG13.)
 
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32 comments:

  1. I love this sequel. So often I'm afraid that the second won't be as good as the first, but ah! You can't go wrong with Cap'n. Loved this one. And he was such a boss in the elevator scene;)

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    1. Ditto! Same here, Raquel. Adored this movie better than the first - which was quite good; it set the "tone" for this follow-up and did well building off of Steve's character from The Avengers. Ahhh... the elevator scene - go Captain America. ;)

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  2. Loved this movie! (Just came here directly from reading your Thor 2 review- I loved that one too, but this one was my favorite of the solo Avenger movies, I think.) Captain America is just awesome, and I'm SO glad that they didn't change his character. He was still the good, morally steadfast guy he was in the first :)

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    1. ME TOO, Hayden. While I love all of The Avengers, the Captain has to be the favorite. He's really the "perfect" hero all-around in my opinion. ;) (Yay for Thor also - he IS cool.) Bring on the third film and of course, Avengers 2. Glad you commented, Hayden.

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  3. Oh. My. Goodness. This is a new favorite for me. I don't think it's possible for me to love this movie more than I do. Marvel has done it again!! :D

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    1. Right!? My comment is echoing yours, Rosie. New favorite. New level of epic. New best hero. New... everything! Cannot wait to get the DVD. ;)

      Marvel is brilliant. 'Nuff said.

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  4. I'm watching it on Saturday with my mom.

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    1. Yay! Hope you enjoy lots, Dawn - it's worth the theater trip. :)

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  5. This one sounds much better than the first! I will have to take the hubby on a date!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Aw, fun. Hope you guys enjoy - and that it works better for you than the first movie. :)

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  6. Captain America is my favorite avenger too (even though I love them all)! I always loved his morals and patriotism. I saw the movie opening day and thought it was fantastic!! I think it was just as good as the first. I'm actually looking forward to seeing it again. The new joke in our house is "On your left!" haha. Thanks for the great review, Rissi!

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    1. Ditto, Bekah - each time I see an individual Marvel film, I think the hero is the favorite but at the end of the day, Steve is the BEST. His character is just the ideal hero yet he's not afraid to stand up for what he believes if what he's being told is wrong. Love him. I'm already waiting for the DVD. And that is no joke - I want it. ;)

      Thanks for reading.

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  7. It's an awesome movie. :)

    Although I hope they don't go down any romantic paths with Cap. It would be too soon and I don't like any of the women well enough to imagine him with them, not even Natasha since she's meant for Clint.

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    1. It was a very awesome movie, Carissa. Loved it - new favorite. :)

      I think by the time the third movie rolls around they may put him with someone... then again, they may not. Perhaps this will be the one Marvel installment that doesn't have a romance which is okay as it's awesome as is. I don't feel like I got to know Agent 13 at all, so I cannot say whether or not I liked her and as for Natasha, their flirting rather surprised me as like you, I always thought she had a thing for Clint. Hmm... we shall see! Thanks for visiting.

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  8. Nice review Rissi. It is a much appreciated installment with a significant amount of intelligence, as well as some damn fine hand-to-hand fight sequences. And it's always fun to watch.

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    1. This one did had great action (that we could follow) and yes, the plots are defiantly the most intelligent of the Marvel universe which makes the viewing experience all the better - like, seriously, where is the DVD already!? I want it. :)

      Thanks for reading, Dan.

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  9. I am so envious that you have seen this one!!! It is definitely one of my top movies to see this year! I really love him and I was reading some stuff on Tor about his list of things to become familiar with that he missed when he was sleeping and it was just sweet. I am so glad that they haven't ruined his character or made these obnoxious. Now I REALLY can't wait to see this! :D

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    1. Usually any new blockbuster, I see the second week out because some of the excitement has died down and the theater isn't so busy, Tressa but... well, it worked out to see this on the first weekend and I'm SO glad to have seen it. The character morality is still in tact and I loved the opening, the character building and the interactions between them all. (Writer's do a nice job of bringing in the more poignant moments of all that Steve missed and I love his reaction to it all.) Cannot wait to see what you think - let me know what your conclusion was. :)

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    2. That's what I love about this set of movies - the humor, dialogue, and plots are all well intact. I'm sure I'll love it, but I'll let you know when I get a chance to see it. :)

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    3. Cool. If you liked the first movie - or just liking this character in general, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one, Tressa! I'm ready to see it again but I'll be patient. The DVD won't be that long. ;)

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  10. Nice review, Rissi! I really really appreciated the lack of innocent destruction in this movie. Nameless people in big action flicks dieing and no one caring makes me so annoyed. Cap wouldn't stand for it! :)

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    1. Hi, Sarah! Thanks for reading. You know much as I loved The Avengers, all of that destruction in the climax felt more overplayed than it should have been so seeing this movie confine its climax and still provide grand excitement was VERY refreshing. Here's wishing for a similar outcome in the third installment. :)

      Captain America is awesome - and its his moral character that makes him so.

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  11. It was a good film. I did feel it was a little long, but the social commentary about technology, spying, and relevant issues in the modern era made up for it. Gotta say, though -- Natasha is my favorite. I kind of hope she winds up with Steve -- they're adorable together.

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    1. Yay - you liked it too!? So glad. Funny, I felt like the first movie was overlong (which was actually shorter than this one) and didn't notice that this one was. Maybe it was because I was distracted by the countless trips the kids made out of the theater to get new snacks. Like, really, little girl... you need a bag of cotton candy that is nearly as big as you!? ;)

      That line Steve has in the film - about S.H.I.E.L.D and their idea of protection not being freedom, was spot-on great. Loved that.

      Natasha and Steve... awww... I thought they were darling together! It just surprised me since she got her flirt on with Hawkeye in The Avengers so if anything, I was expecting that pairing and had read rumors that Agent 13 was Steve's new love interest. Hmm... what will movie number 3 bring!? :)

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  12. This one had a lot of long fight scenes in it, which don't interest me as much as human interaction, so that's when I tend to notice if things are long. (I felt the same way about "The Avengers.")

    Natasha's status as an ISTP makes her a natural flirt. That's kind of their default function. Agent 13 -- that chick down the hall from "Revenge"? Eh... nah. Natasha's way more fun. :D

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    1. Oddly enough, I didn't feel the action scenes were overlong or numbered too many but again, I may see it differently with a second viewing. I remember how destructive The Avengers was so I was just impressed that The Winter Soldier chose a more "contained" version of excitement. The film earned my respect in that regard for being more interested in limiting the damage.

      Overall, I think this (Marvel) franchise is the best at characterizations... the others are more action-focused. Or that's what my memory says.

      Ah, well, that makes sense then! Her being a natural flirt doesn't make me like her any less - I think she's awesome. Love her no-nonsense way of dealing with things (really I liked her from the moment she first appeared on screen in the Iron Man movie) and the ease she has in bantering with people (those scenes between she and Steve were adorable!) so I'm glad she's still a familiar face in the Marvel world. I guess there is talk she may even have her own film. ;)

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    2. I get bored easily. Short attention span. =P

      Yeah, I think the Captain America series has some pretty awesome characters / development. I still think my favorite "world" in the Marvel universe is "X-Men" though -- I love that everyone has a different ability.

      If I could trade in my personality type for a new one, I'd want to be an ISTP. They're funny and flirtatious, but also "doers" who enjoy living in the moment. That being said, if Black Widow gets her own movie -- I am ALL OVER THAT. Much as I like Steve, I like Natasha more. :D

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    3. That's okay. Sometimes I'm bored with something where I haven't been in the past and sometimes I get lost in a story that I expected to detest. :)

      Oh, heavens! I always forget that X-Men is Marvel! On the way to seeing The Winter Soldier I was putting Spider-Man in the DC Comics branch, too and then, what pops up in the advertisements as "Marvel"!? ;) X-Men is epic with characters too. They've really gotten stronger in that since the movie with Michael and James released and I'm hoping that continues this summer with 'Days of Future Past.'

      The ISTP does sound fun. And that explains why Natasha seems so comfortable in whatever situation she is in - the opening when she and Steve raid the ship she's busy trying to get him to ask someone out or the scene when they're on the run and she adapts by kissing him. All so fun and cute. Like, really, I think people will now be rooting for this pairing. ;)

      ...heck, yes! I'm all for Natasha getting her own film. It'll shed some light on her mysterious past.

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    4. I like the impact Steve has on Natasha... but I should probably write up a post about it. :) But yes, Natasha is at ease in her own skin. I admire that. She can think fast on her feet and act quickly, which is useful as a spy.

      We got the Spiderman, X-Men, and Maleficent trailers. Much as I can't wait to see X-Men... I think the movie I'm most looking forward to this summer is Maleficent. So. Awesome. Looking.

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    5. A blog post on Marvel heroes?! That sounds like a fabulous read to me. I would agree with you. It's fun to "know" a person/character always at ease - makes me wish I could always be list that. Either way, it's a great personality to know even if only at the movies.

      Yes, we did! Spider-Man looks more fantasy/action-packed than I remember the first one being (what else would I expect!?) and X-Men always looks great - I'll likely just rent those. As for Maleficent, most likely I'll see that in theaters! That looks epic and mom is interested too, so we'll make a girls day of it. :)

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  13. I want to see this so badly! Every review I've read has been positive.

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    1. I'm pretty sure you'd enjoy this one Ivy! It's really entertaining. :)

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