I FINALLY got to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night. I had heard wonderful things about the film from both critics and comic-loving friends alike. So my expectations were very high…and they weren’t just met, they were exceeded! This movie is not only an incredible comic adaptation, but it is a brilliant piece of film making!
I went in thinking I would get a darker, grittier Cap movie (which would not have been a bad thing). What I got was a darker, grittier spy movie with Steve Rogers as the main character. The decision to go that route was a stroke of genius. It allowed the Marvel Cinematic Universe to really ground itself in reality. We get a glimpse into the more real-world style threats and dangers that inhabit Marvel Comics. It’s not just a bunch of super-powered beings in spandex beating each other up; there are a lot of non-powered beings on both sides of the line that are every bit as dangerous (if not more so) than those with supernatural abilities.
There are plenty of plot twists along the way to keep things interesting. They also delve deeper into Cap’s extensive list of supporting characters with Falcon, Sharon Carter, Crossbones, and Batroc the Leaper all appearing for the first time and playing important roles in the story along side established characters Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and The Black Widow. They even give a clever nod to the Arnim Zola of the comics…possibly laying the groundwork for a possible return.
While the visual effects are absolutely incredible and the story was amazing, the fight scenes (especially those between Captain America and the Winter Soldier) are the real crowning achievement of this film. They were intense and visceral. The stunt/fight coordinators did a marvelous job of telling a story in each fight. It wasn’t just violence for the sake of violence. It was high-level artistic storytelling.
With this film, Marvel Studios has raised the standard of what a superhero movie can be, and made one of the greatest comic book movies ever in the process. They are weaving an ever-increasingly immense tapestry to create the MCU (especially with the recent events on television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and after this movie, I’m not sure where they’re going (though I have a few theories), but wherever it is, it sure seems ambitious. If Captain America: The Winter Soldier is any indication, they are more than capable of pulling it off.