'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' hit theaters this week, and, of course, I made sure I got out to see it as soon as possible. And I have to say, I left the theater extremely glad I made the journey. The film both successfully integrated Cap into modern day, while managing to keep ties with the original film quite well. Warning: there will be some spoilers following.
The movie wastes no time getting you started, with a quick introduction to Sam Wilson, before plunging you right into the action with a pretty awesome introduction to Cap's new job, finishing up with a fight between Cap and Batroc. It continues at this pace, never slowing, keeping you interested. Despite the large amount of action, the film manages to have a strong storyline as well, albeit certainly not that of your regular superhero film.
Despite the film's title, the Winter Soldier is not the big enemy. The movie isn't a superhero story of a hero and a villain. The movie has a lot of action, and it's all great, but it's plot is still well-designed, feeling more like a James Bond movie than a superhero film.
Each character manages to be interesting. Instead of being overshadowed by Steve, Falcon and Widow manage to be interesting characters who hold their own. While the film ultimately belongs to Steve Rogers, Falcon, Widow, and Fury all have their own equally important parts to play, managing to avoid falling into sidekick territory. The relationship between Falcon and Rogers, albeit a little rushed, works well on screen, and Evans, Johansson, and Mackie play off each other very well.
On the villain side, Robert Redford leads the charge quite well as Alexander Pierce, the Hydra leader posing as a WSC member. Backing him is, of course, Sebastian Stan's brainwashed Winter Soldier, who is both terrifying and exciting to see in action. Despite the title, Stan's role in the film isn't major, but he does bring the action to a climax, and we will certainly be seeing more of him in the future. Additionally, Frank Grillo steps in as crossbones, a Hydra member and a colleague of Steve, providing another antagonist for the team to deal with, and one whom we haven't seen the last of. Even Batroc is fairly interesting, despite his shaky background in the comics, and despite how minor his role is. We even get an appearance of the real Arnim Zola, who was possibly revealed as the mysterious 'clairvoyant'.
But overall, where does CA: TWS leave us in regards to the rest of the Marvel Universe? We can only begin to guess. Certainly, the events of the film will shake the rest of universe significantly. Shield is gone. Fury is off the grid. The country is severely lacking in any form of organized defense, and Steve has left to search for Bucky. As the credits scene showed, Hydra is still alive and well, and with Shield reduced to shambles, nothing stands to stop them now. Baron Von Strucker is in control of Loki's scepter, and possibly one of the infinity gems, and seems to be using it to create superheroes. If what he suggested is true, Hydra gave the Maximoff twins their abilities, possibly using the scepter. In fact, the Maximoff twins are apparently the ONLY successful experiments, leaving us wondering what Hydra is up to, and suggesting that the new Hydra will play an important part in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035). What else? Well, there was a small, but VERY poignant reference to one 'Stephen Strange' as a possibly enemy of Hydra.
Overall, [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973) was one of the better movies I've seen a while, and certainly one of Marvel's better offerings. It was well written, it was slick, and it knew what it was trying to do. To those who haven't seen it: I highly recommend you do. To those who have: What did you think? Do you agree with my thoughts? Would you recommend the movie to your friends?