Welcome back to yet another part in our Marvel Cinematic Universe series where we watch and analyze the movies. Today we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a movie that stirred up the most discussion in our pre-watch rankings, as I only had it 8th. The first time around I didn’t feel it stood out as much as some others. However, with a rewatch, let’s see what I think.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
No Boring Scenes
One of the best things about this movie is the extreme lack of downtime in it. It feels like in most Marvel movies there are a few scenes that are washroom break scenes. Some of this has to do with lots of MCU movies being well over two hours, but it happens nonetheless.
In this movie, however, it feels like almost every scene has something important or exciting going on. Whether that is an important plot point like Captain America reaching out to who will soon become “Falcon,” or an insane action scene that is high-paced and exciting.
This movie seems to do it all with keeping you on the edge. The elevator scene where Captain America beats up multiple bad guys is one of the coolest in the MCU. As well, the developments after they get caught are also one of the most exciting parts. Not knowing where Hydra is going to take them just for a surprise rescue was very well done.
Nick Fury Death
While fake deaths start to get worse and worse in the MCU because of how many there are, this one was still cool. It felt somewhat convincing that maybe Nick Fury was actually killed after all. However, we later find out that he had to convince Hydra that he died, so he tried to make it look as real as possible.
Either way, this death gave the perfect motivation for Steve Rodgers to find out what is really going on. It drove the character to be better and get to the bottom of what was happening. This development of Rodgers was fun to see and was even helped by Black Widow, a character I’m usually not fond of.
Another cool thing about this movie is how the plot advancement is handled. It is one of the earliest examples of the MCU truly needing you to watch the previous movies to get this one. While we will get to some down points on it in a bit, it was still neat to see.
The movie itself has lots of twists and turns. While it seemed relatively easy to see who the bad guys were, the extreme length of Hydra still being around was a cool twist. The final idea for Hydra of using S.H.I.E.L.D.’s giant aircraft to wipe out whoever they need to is interesting as well. It seems plausible enough that something could be built. And it was a scary realization, especially given how they planned to use it.
The Final Fight
Some movies completely change based on how the final fight was. The first Iron Man took a bit of a hit because of this. However, this movie nailed the ending fight scene. The first two carriers where Falcon and Rodgers battled it out were entertaining enough. The real action came when Rodgers had to fight the Winter Soldier or his best friend Bucky.
You could tell that he didn’t want to have to hurt him, especially because he knew it wasn’t truly him who was acting. However, when faced between the task of possibly killing his closest friend ever or saving the people, he took the hard route and went through Bucky. Once the mission was completed he quit the fight and tried to change Bucky. While this didn’t appear to work, Cap fell into the water and Bucky ended up saving him.
This was a very good way to wrap off the fight as it showed that there may still be some of his old friend in there. Not knowing who was going to save him and seeing it was Bucky was a great moment too.
Winter Soldier Reveal
One of the downs was how the production tried to hide the Winter Soldier. If this wasn’t based on a comic this could have been a cool reveal. However, it felt like just about everyone who has read the comics or had internet access knew who the Winter Soldier was going to be. It’s why when they tried to delay it for so long it just made it feel more drawn out than anything else.
Even when the reveal does happen the reaction from Rodgers doesn’t quite do it. The confusion is understandable but it just felt underwhelming. Especially because immediately after that, they separate.
As well, while we’re on the topic of reveals, the Black Widow reveal in the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters was good, but was made much worse when you realize you have seen pretty much the same thing in Mission Impossible.
This one doesn’t fall just to this movie but rather the issue with almost all stand-alone movies now that The Avengers has come out. The biggest issue here is that we know all the Avengers live in the same universe, yet are not called when insanely dangerous situations like this occur.
It gets worse when you realize who they battle in the next Avengers. However, even for this movie, the fact that just two of them are fighting and neither the Hulk or Iron Man is even thought of is troubling. The movie didn’t have the budget for that and it’s understandable, it’s just an issue for this movie now that we know the other Avengers are in the universe.
However, something the movie can help is the logic of the Fury escape. Yes, the movie has to go on, but simply carving a hole in the ground was lazy and non-practical writing. The Winter Soldier should have easily been able to chase him down the hole. Instead, he just turns around and gives up. Despite knowing that Fury can barely even walk. This just felt like a lazy piece that didn’t make any logistical sense and needed to be included.
Overall, this was a very strong movie. It will no doubt increase when we do the post-watch rankings. The action and plot made this enjoyable from start to finish. It’s over two hours, yet didn’t drag on even a little bit.
If you need a movie to watch, this is absolutely at the top of the list. Just make sure you are up to date on the events of the first Captain America and Avenger movies. Tune back in for our next MCU movie review!