365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

In a day and age where it seems like a new superhero movie is getting released every other week, it is hard for an average mainstream moviegoer to know which ones are worth watching, which ones should be skipped, and what order should you watch these movies in. This seems to be of particular importance with the Marvel movies and of even more importance with The Avenger movies. I have done my best to see The Avenger movies as they've been released, but there have been some that I have found to be absolutely terribly along the way including Thor: The Dark World and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It certainly has not helped that Marvel characters who aren't Avengers (like Spider-Man) are starting to show up in movies featuring The Avengers. It's only a matter of time before all of these other Marvel characters (Ant-Man, Deadpool, etc.) start appearing in each newly released movie. At that time, it just might be time to give up. Don't even get me started about the future when either Marvel or DC buys the other out and we get characters like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Thor, Captain America, Flash, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern, Hulk, etc. all end up in the same movie. It won't occur for awhile, but when this market becomes stale many, many years from now, there will be too much money sitting on the table to not do it. The purists will be upset as well those who write the comics (though they most likely already are), but, if I've learned anything, it's that money speaks.

But that is neither here nor there at the present moment. I will be honest when I say that I really enjoyed Captain America: The First Avenger, but didn't have much interest in seeing its sequel. My mind was changed when I saw the trailer for 2016's Captain America: Civil War which pits Captain America against Iron Man (my favorite Marvel character now after seeing too many reboots of Spider-Man) and in order to be best prepared for this highly anticipated movie, I knew that I needed to go back and watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I'm glad that I did. The Captain America franchise is by no means Jon Favreau's Iron Man franchise or Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise, but it might be in that next tier. I thought the most recent reboot of Spider-Man (the Andrew Garfield one) was going to be able to compete, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was so absolutely ridiculously bad that this particular franchise might end at two features.

I think I liked this movie as much as I did because it wasn't so over the top with its storyline and its action. Sure it's still a superhero movie and you have to temper your expectations quite a bit. But unlike Thor: The Dark WorldAvengers: Age of Ultron, or The Amazing Spider-Man 2, there was not a point where I wanted to turn the movie off and could physically feel myself getting sick watching the dribble that was presented to me on the screen. Not only did I enjoy Captain America: The First Avenger, but I am even more excited for Captain America: Civil War than I would have been. I love that this upcoming movie has two of Marvel's most marketable protagonists up against one another because of a personal situation that causes Captain America to disobey the orders of S.H.I.E.L.D. But that's neither here nor there yet.

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans - Snowpiercer, Marvel's The Avengers) is one the most likable superheroes out there. I guess most of the big time super-heroes are likable (Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Super Man, Wonder Woman, Thor, etc.), but there is something special about Captain America. He might be the most honest super-hero we've seen. His do right philosophy might actually be his tragic fall. In one of the film's earlier scenes, he is recruited to be part of a mission headed by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo - The Grey, End of Watch) that includes Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson - Match Point, Lost in Translation) to rescue some American hostages after a band of hostages hijacked a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel in the Indian Ocean. What Rogers isn't privy too, however, is that there is a secondary mission that involves extracting files from the ship's computer onto a flash drive. Rogers takes issue with this because he was told that the mission was to rescue hostages. Again, he might be TOO honest and this could come back to haunt him in later movies (or this one). In fact, when Rogers approaches Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson - Pulp Fiction, Changing Lanes) about why he was informed about this other message, he was informed that it was because Fury knew he would be uncomfortable with it.

Speaking of Nick Fury, this is his most action-packed Avengers movie to date. In this movie, Fury is in the midst of leading the Project Insight, an operation that connects the Helicarriers to spy satellites used to prevent any possible terrorist attacks, project. His connection with the World Security Council is former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and current Secretary Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford - All Is Lost, The Horse Whisperer). Because Fury's credentials have been locked and because he senses imminent danger, he asks Pierce to delay Project Insight to which Pierce agrees. We learn a lot more about each of these Marvel staples over the course of this movie. I'll leave it at that.

Aside from the stories above, there is an unknown assasin recking havoc. The mysterious killer who has been deemed The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan - The Martian, Black Swan) has been responsible for over 200 deaths over the last 50 years and apparently the flash drive secured during the earlier mission will help determine his current whereabouts. Adding Captain America and The Black Widow on this assignment is Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie - The Adjustment Bureau, The Hurt Locker) who we've seen briefly in other Marvel movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant Man. Like Nick Fury, Falcon gets more screentime in this movie than in any previous ones. Maybe we get his origin story on film. Maybe we don't. The Marvel Universe is insanely massive.

This is a solid action film that keeps you interested the whole time. The Captain America franchise is two for two while the Iron Man franchise is a legitimate 3-0. This, hopefully, will make Captain America: Civil War one of this year's must-see films. I am anxious and I am hopeful. I don't believe that this upcoming movie will disappoint. I wish I could say the same about some of these other future super-hero movies. Couple this with a great score and some awesome cinemantic effects and you've got a blockbuster right here that shouldn't be missed by any fan of super-hero movies.

Plot 8/10
Character Development 7/10
Character Chemistry 7.5/10
Acting 7/10
Screenplay 7.5/10
Directing  8/10
Cinematography 9/10
Sound 9/10
Hook and Reel 9/10
Universal Relevance 7.5/10

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