Happy Monday everyone!
Today’s collaboration promised to be fun the second we established when it would take place. Zoë and I had a very important mission the last time I trekked over South-Africa to see my bestie – We HAD to watch The Winter Soldier for the last part of our promised collaboration in Marvelous Mondays. We had earlier reviewed The First Avenger (there’s a link below in Zoë’s part of the post) so here is our second and I hope you like it.
I really love Winter soldier. As a sequel it is just as good as the first movie, something that never ever happens. Marvel finally showed that they could write intricate story lines, compelling villains and a meaty story.
Plot: As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with another super soldier, the black widow, to battle a new threat from old history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.
There are several reasons I enjoy this movie, and they are:
1) Chris Evans is the perfect America. He is so American, the boy next door. I think he fits that character perfectly and also that he is a very good actor. I love the depth he gives Steve Rogers – it is clear that he is struggling with who he is and how firm he is about what he believes in. There are no grey areas for this guy, and I enjoy how easily he takes on Nick Fury when Nick does something questionable.
2) The fight scenes: They are incredible and you don’t get whiplash from the constant CGI.
3) Sebastian Stan: I think Zoë likes him much more than I do, and for different reasons, but he is a great cast member and works that dark look of the Winter Soldier perfectly.
4) Robert Redford: He is iconic, a brilliant and hardworking actor and I fangirl about him all the time because he set out early on to not just be another pretty face in Hollywood but to make a real difference to the art of film making – did you know he started the Sundance festival?
4) The Winter Soldier wasn’t too long. I HATE movies over 2 hours, and will only enjoy them if they are particularly good.
5) Black Widow is more human in here. She’s a bit too tight-pant-kickassy for me to really enjoy – I think female superheroes are way too objectified. In the Winter Soldier Natasha Romanoff has to deal with some disillusionment because she’s realized something is up with S.H.I.E.L.D, the people she believed in and the institution gave her something to clean up her dark past with.
6) Captain America friendzoning the Black Widow.
7) Steve Rogers visiting Agent Carter as an old woman. I will be honest, it broke my heart, but it shows the goodness of his character and how he can’t let go from his past.
8) The Falcon. His costume was wicked cool and Anthony Mackie gave him a fun persona while always reminding you that he had also lost a great deal during his military career.
9) Nick Fury’s escape scene in the car. This guy is so badass and Samuel L. Jackson is perfect to play him.
10) This prick getting arrested:
11) Chris Evans is fiiiiiiiiine
I freaking love this movie. It is no secret. And if you don’t know this, then I didn’t express my adoration for this properly. When Natasha started up her Marvellous Mondays, you must know how I was all over the Captain’s movies. He is my favourite Avenger (so honourable and fair and brave and sweet), and I really like Chris Evans, and it all just works. It was soon established that Natasha and I would be doing these two films in conjunction (you can totally check out the first collaboration here) and this one we saved for her visit in December so that we could actually discuss it while perving watching.
The Winter Soldier just has so much going on for it. I am a big fan of the fight scenes, they were so well choreographed, and a lack of CGI just made them all the more amazing (seriously people, sometimes less in more). The soundtrack suited everything down to a tee, and the pacing was excellent. This felt like an old school spy thriller that just so happened to feature a superhero, and I liked that (because really, I am always front and centre to watch superhero movies, but lately they have all felt so… recycled). The cast all handled their material really well, and I absolutely loved the tension that was worked in perfectly between Evans and Stan.
Now… on to Sebastian Stan. Could we just stop here for a minute? Or two?
Alright, I am done. Totally not the only reason I thought this movie was good. Besides the fact that he is absolutely fucking edible, all long hair and leather and badass, the Winter Soldier also happened to be the one time Marvel got the villain right. He was not some cheeseball dufus, and his character was consistent, which was also great. He was not playing around, he was on a mission, and he would do whatever it took to complete it. I liked how the cracks start coming through, but it still does not hinder him from going with all he’s got to complete the mission. Watching Bucky Barnes peeking through when the Winter Soldier asked about Steve Rogers was very rewarding, too. The character definitely goes through some changes, and the struggle he and Steve face is quite a difficult little conundrum.
Let’s also talk about how successfully the movie tied the last two movies together with this one. For instance, the Captain has not just woken up, joined the Avengers and carried on. He is really struggling to fit in with modernised society and everything and everyone he knew is gone. He is lonely. The scene with Steve and Peggy Carter is an absolute killer, and was just executed so well. Not too much, not too little, but enough to really get under the skin. Also, I liked how (unlike Iron Man 3) The Winter Soldier did not hang too much on the events of The Avengers, because that would have annoyed the hell out of me.
The action in The Winter Soldier was handled phenomenally. Edge of your seat and entertaining as hell, I could not take my eyes off of anything that was going on – from big fights in the sky, to ramping motorbikes and a lot of gunfire, knife fights and everything going wrong on the highway, it is well worth checking out. But never once is the action really the focal point, the movie manages to balance out some story, too, and I thought they did that really well.
I know some people are freaking out because this was a S.H.I.E.L.D. issue and surely the other Avengers should be there and blah, blah, blah. Let me just tell you, I was thrilled that they were not there. I thought it fitting. S.H.I.E.L.D. was created by those linked intimately and closely with Captain America and fighting Hydra, I just thought that it was suiting that this was just for Captain America. We totally didn’t need more superheroes. Scarlett Johansson didn’t bug me nearly as much as usual, like she works better with Captain America because Steve Rogers isn’t leering at her the whole time, and they have a better camaraderie going on. Anthony Mackie was also just awesome as the Falcon, and I really liked the way they kept that flight pack contraption a secret until the very last moment. It made for a splendid reveal.
As you can tell by now (I hope), if you didn’t know before, Captain America: The Winter Soldier rocked my socks off. It is the first movie in years I went to repeat viewings for at the cinema. I will usually watch something and wait. This one needed to be experienced again. And again. And it loses none of its charm, and that’s wonderful. If you somehow managed to miss this, find it and rectify that immediately! It’s a really fun film 🙂