Title: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
By: Marvel Studios
Seen on: April 12
Plot twists, explosions, chases, and chaos. That’s basically CA:TWS. In the best way! With Marvel Studios creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), they have made one of the best decision they could have. After The Avengers, everything ties together – even with Agents of SHIELD – and every character can be used in the separate franchises. Even just as a passing mention, but in the case of Black Widow, as a supporting character with a much bigger role than in The Avengers. In this case, good move!
I liked Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow from the start, but it wasn’t until this film that she really got to be a fleshed out character with a real personality and skills. I like knowing the filmmakers decided not to also use Hawkeye in the film, because they felt they couldn’t give him enough screen time to make him into a proper character and he deserved more. Props to Marvel, although I would have loved to have seen him in this! Anyway, Black Widow is badass, skilled, a little ambiguous, and at the same time very human. She has emotions, she’s not just an assassin, but she isn’t a sniveling damsel either. Again, kudos to Marvel.
Anthony Mackie is great as The Falcon. They made him into a soldier, someone with a real past and a real skill, who understands Steve and can relate in a way no one can. It is easy to see why they hit it off so easily and why Steve trusts Sam. And vice versa. “I do what he does, only slower”. That is exactly what Sam is, just a man with a military background, but without the superpowers Steve has. In a way, he is us, the viewers. He is human, but he fights the good fight.
The story is amazing. Full of plot twists (seriously, I did not see some of it coming!), good side stories and a great “resolve”. Despite the title, the Winter Soldier is not the main story of this film. It is about so much more than just Bucky and Steve and their missions, this is about SHIELD and Hydra and Fury’s lies, and Pierce (loved Robert Redford!). It is about cover-ups, secrets, deception and pasts, and it is all bundled in an exciting 2 hour film. There were some silly things that really tests the limits of your suspense of disbelief (really, glasses and a hoodie as a disguise, and it works?), but mostly it’s good writing, good directing and good acting.
And of course I have to talk about Steve and Bucky. Captain America, who is still adjusting to his new world, and The Winter Soldier, who has been brainwashed and is being used as a killing machine by Hydra. This isn’t just a plot device, but it is also a story in itself. As you know, in the first Captain America film, Bucky Barnes fell from a train and was presumed dead. It now turns out he was “rescued” by Hydra and the experiments on him were resumed. They turned him into The Winter Soldier, a killing machine brainwashed out of his memories with a metal arm and mad fighting skills. The meeting is, as you can imagine, painful and emotional and entirely satisfying from a fangirl point of view 😛
Sebastian Stan is fantastic as The Winter Soldier. He has all of ten lines in the whole of the film, but each one is poignant and painful and right on the mark. The rest he does with his body language and his eyes. He manages to get that exact balance between story and action, soldier and mindless fighting machine. And what I really, really like is that they don’t give it an easy solution. There’s no sudden moment of Bucky regaining all his memories, there’s no tearful reunion between old friends. There’s just an open ending – on all parts.