Classic Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

By: Daniel Chadwick-Shubat

From the moment Captain America kicked someone off a ship you knew this wouldn’t be a typical Marvel movie. As of late Marvel had been struggling with superhero movie fatigue and Marvel projects like Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D were not up to the standard that Marvel had established with Iron Man and Avengers. But The Winter Soldier not only brought a fresh grittiness to the Marvel Universe (that most likely influenced Marvel’s Netflix shows) but also completely altered the MCU with the reintroduction of Hydra.

Once again we’re introduced the epitome of soldiers Steve Rogers AKA Captain America. He’s slowly adjusting to his new life as a S.H.I.E.L.D agent in the 21st century. On his latest mission Steve and his team have to infiltrate the hijacked Lemurian star. This leads to a startling discovery and after a tragedy Steve and Natasha go on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D who might not be what they seem.

The Winter Soldier is meticulously made and the action is immaculate. The Russo Brothers not only reinvented the character of Captain America but also completely changed the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This movie makes it clear that the events that occurred in The Winter Soldier will have ripple affects for future movies and characters as well.

Normally a Marvel movie relies on the action to really get audiences into the movie but for myself the performances were what made the movie. Cap and Black Widow have fantastic chemistry as they develop an almost work-wife/husband relationship. It never really romanticizes the relationship between the two, which in the end makes you care even more for the two of them.

Alongside this was the introduction of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) who is to Captain America what James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) is to Iron Man. Sam and Cap develop a really great back and forth, with one of the highlights being the “on your left” sequence that started the movie. It was also interesting to explore their new found friendship when a figure from Cap’s past shows up.

As far as the story goes, there’s not much you can nitpick thanks in part to the cleansed script courtesy of The First Avenger scribes Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, who helped out the actors by writing the best script seen in the MCU to date.

Not much more can be said about the Russo Brothers, other than that they’ve revolutionized a character that was for many one of the more boring characters in the MCU. With The Winter Soldier they’ve probably made him one of the more awesome characters. There is also a bit of nostalgia that comes into play as Cap’s old enemies are back for round 2 and bring a surprise with them that nobody could’ve been prepared for no matter how many times you saw the trailer.

For the most part this is Captain America’s movie and the fantastic ensemble only enforces this more as all the characters look to Cap for direction. It packs a huge emotional punch and is without a doubt The Empire Strikes Back of this time. It brings a certain amount of seriousness to the MCU yet to be seen while still complimenting it with dollops of laugh out loud and nostalgic fun.

For a while this was my favourite superhero movie of all time and it still is up there. Even for someone who isn’t into superheroes this movie will blow you away for it’s tremendous stakes, mind-blowing action and surprisingly funny moments. Captain America was the star spangled man with a plan but now he’s so much more (including a Marvin Gaye, Star Wars/Trek loving nerd). What not to love!

Rating: 9.5/10

Are you excited for Civil War? Take a look at our review of The First Avenger as well!

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