Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

April 3, 2014
After the release of Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, Phase II of the MARVEL Cinematic Universe continues with its political suspense thriller, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the return to the big screen, Captain America's standalone film delivers one of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, delivering an intense, political, spy thriller as well as expanding the characters and the world it has created.

Set two years after the events in The Avengers, Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America, struggles to adapt and embrace the role that the he is given to the modern world. Throughout the film, Rogers starts to discover a conspiracy looming in the S.H.I.E.L.D agency. Captain America joins forces with Black Widow and a new ally, the Falcon, to expose the truth to the world. But the trios are soon up against an unexpected formidable new threat known as The Winter Solider.

This is one of those rare films where giving enough of the plot detail may spoil the experience, as this is a film where the less you know, the better. One thing that could be said is that The Winter Soldier is an epic thrill ride. The film is able to bring many interesting twist and turn of events, as well as developing an interesting plot that keeps the audience intrigued at all times. Many of them involve the political commentary. This film is able to showcase the importance of the political themes found in this film and is able to make it relatable to the world that we live in. It goes deep into how government agency works, and whether or not the reasons behind the actions that they do are justifiable. This just comes to show the great directions that the filmmakers had in mind in order to make it original and intelligent.

This film is able to find a great mixture of espionage and crime to fit into the superhero role that is created, as well as delivering many suspenseful scenes throughout. The amount of suspense can be found in many of the action sequences. Unlike the other films in the MCU, this film uses more practical effects instead of visual. Nowhere is the strength of practical effects used precisely than in this film. The action in this film is created and articulately crafted, creating many suspenseful and breathtaking action sequences. The film still uses some visual effects to its action scenes, but it creates a beautiful balance in order to make the action sequences feel more real than before, as well as keeping the audience intrigued and interested. This is because the pacing in the film is excellent, never dragging on and never making the audience lose interest in the story.

One of the reasons why we are intrigued to the action scenes is because this film makes us care about the characters. The character of Steve Rogers has the most development out of his entire Avengers counterpart, as he must find a way to adapt to the real world. But they take this fish out of water cliché and make it work. Seeing him compare between the two different worlds that he has scene makes him reflect on how the world has changed. But despite seeing the change, he is still able to keep his morality and his sense of goodwill and freedom. This is one of the reasons why Captain America continues to be the most relatable superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Add that to the fact that he is easily the most vulnerable and most human, when he goes against other foes, it creates a sense of how we want him to survive and battle the consequences.

The returning characters in the film, such as Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, goes through more character development than before. By the end of the film, the audience will find a sense of knowing more about the characters than before, as well as seeing a huge amount of growth from the previous installments. But they are not the only characters that each has character development and growth. The supporting characters each have their moment to shine and have enough material in order for us to care about them. Anthony Mackie as The Falcon was able to deliver an exciting presence in the film, and created a great alliance with Captain America. Robert Redford as Alexander Piece in an important character that is able to serve its purpose in the political aspects in the film, and shows the acting range he can have. Each of them is able to expand throughout the film, and we get a sense to know them.

But the greatest thing that Captain America: The Winter Soldier does well is that it not only improves from its predecessor, but from the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first thing it improves on is the villain known as The Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier is a force to be reckoned with, as he makes every bad situation into something worse. Every scene The Winter Soldier is in are some of the most exciting and intense scenes in the film. He was able to deliver a terrifying presence, as he serves as both a physical and emotional match for our titular hero. He was also able to tie into the main storyline that the film was trying to come across. The only problem is that he is not featured in the film enough. But with all of the political themes and spy espionage, The Winter Soldier was able to serve its purpose.

Another thing where this film improves upon is its great balance of humor and action. This film is one of the most serious Marvel films to date, but it still has enough humor to make the audience laugh. Unlike other MARVEL films, the humor doesn't become a distraction and fits well into the scenes that they were created upon. The humor in this film is cleverly written into the story, and even though the film may be a serious, political drama, it never forgets to makes us laugh.

The last improvement that this film has is that it was able to expand the MARVEL Cinematic Universe and the world that it has created. It was able to set up what could be the potential route that this universe will make, as well as reassuring back to old plot devices in other films. But it does it in a way where unlike Captain America: The First Avenger, it wasn't able to take away from the main factor of what the story was trying to say. It instead blended the potential set-up of the MCU and made it work for the story and tone to the film. Lastly, DONT FORGET TO STAY FOR THE TWO END CREDITS SCENES FOR THE FILM!!!! They are one of the best end-credits scenes so far in MARVEL Phase II.

The biggest credit that this film deserves is through the directors, Anthony and Joe Russo. These two men are famous for directing episodes for one of my favorite comedy shows, Arrested Development and Community. These men have never directed an action movie. Naturally, many fans were worried that they weren't going to deliver, and that it was going to be more comedic. But they have shown that with a great script and a plethora of unique characters, they can deliver greatness. This is easily one of the main strength of the film. They were able to deliver from a great script and characters that has been set up before, and blend it with excellent political commentary. And for this to be the first action film they have helmed, and deliver with excellent actions scenes that are well choreographed and well executed, these men went above and beyond to deliver an excellent film in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an excellent, intense, political spy thriller with exciting action scenes, great humor, and a great commentary to how government works. Add that to the fact that it was not only able to expand its characters, but also the world of the MARVEL Cinematic Universe, The Russo Brothers were able to deliver one of the best MARVEL film to date. This film certainly is AWESOMETACULAR.

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