Monday, April 7, 2014

Captain America – The Winter Soldier

First, the quick review: HOLY SHIT WHAT AN AWESOME MOVIE!!!

Now the long: As you can probably glean from the above, I managed to actually see Captain America 2 in the theater on opening weekend. That, in itself, is an achievement, and a testament to my status as a Captain America fangirl. Of course, I would have seen it had it looked like crap. But, it didn’t, so I feel justified.

Suffice it to say that, like many reviewers have stated, this film ups the ante for Marvel movies. The bar is set high on many levels. Story, action, cinematography, acting…it’s all top notch. I’m no film reviewer, so I can’t really go into the nuances and subtleties of what makes a great film great. I can only give you my visceral, gut feeling.

And that feeling is that this has supplanted The First Avenger as my favorite superhero movie.

The story and character development in this one were amazing. In the end every major character goes through a character arc, and comes out changed in some way. And I really liked that, even though it was a Captain America movie, both of his partners got major screen time and some good characterization. The villains were suitably subtle and evil, and the overall plot was well-executed, and worthy of the best of what makes comic books great.

And then there are the Easter Eggs. I know I probably missed a lot of them, but I also know I caught a lot of them; names mentioned, places mentioned, quotes strategically placed. I even liked that a lot of details were put out there for the fans of the comics, but they didn’t require any previous knowledge about them to make the movie work for casual fans of the films. The fact that I knew who certain characters are in the comics, just made it that much cooler for me.

In the end, it’s a great action movie, with a strong “political thriller” vibe. There’s some surprises, some gasp-worthy moments, and even some deep feels. Seeds were planted for Cap3, as well as other Marvel movies, and I am really looking forward to those.

So, yes. At this point, a “perfect” movie. 5 Stars. A 10/10. Four enthusiastic thumbs up. However you want to scale it, this movie is awesome. And well worth seeing on the big screen.


Keith West said...

While I thought a couple of the superhero stunts were a little over the top, I loved this movie. You're right, it raised the bar.

Charles Akins said...

They're superheroes Keith, it should be over the top.

Tom Doolan said...

That's true. But even I can admit there were a couple of shots that stretched it a bit. Like Cap throwing the his shield at the aircraft left-handed from his motorcycle. But, it didn't detract from the experience in the least for me. :)

Keith West said...

I don't mind over the top to a point, but what a character does should be consistent with that character's powers compared to those of other characters. The thing I had the most problem with was Cap jumping out of the elevator and dropping all those floors. It may not have been as many as it looked, but it seemed to me that this was more a move for Thor or Iron Man. But then they weren't in this movie.

Still, it was a great film, and I'll be buying it when it becomes available.

Andre R. W. Schmeichel said...

Keith, I think part of the problem there is that Captain America's powers have never really been well explained to the audience. The focus was always on his shield, on his image, and on his leadership with his powers left to the 'better than most' category without a lot of detail. When Captain America fights in comics, you mostly see conventional fight scenes with him trading blows and using his shield like a professionally handled cue ball in high stakes pool.

But Captain America is ... really really strong and resilient. There are comic panels of him bench pressing 1,100 pounds while having a casual conversation. Another of him taking Cyclops full power blast on his shield and being thrown backwards or deflecting punches thrown by The Hulk. I don't care HOW cool your shield is, kinetics transfers a lot of that to Cap. Need I remind you how he took a full on body powered overhead slam of Thor's hammer in The Avengers. I guess the point I'm making is that while he doesn't have the KIND of immunity we're used to seeing in the strongest of Marvel's heroes (he can still be shot, he is not able to stand supernatural trauma without the buffer of the shield), there is little in the world of conventional athletics taken to extreme levels that he couldn't pull off and remain believable. Dropping off a roof many stories up and hitting the ground running isn't that far out of the way of what we've seen him do in the past or in other movies.

Keith West said...

Andre, I'm more than willing to go along with your explanation. It's been a while since I read the comics. And I had forgotten that bit with Thor's hammer.

Tom Doolan said...

It boils down to the shield being made from Vibranium, and absorbing kinetic energy. That, combined with Cap's physical abilities, made his 10 story drop about as difficult as a 10-foot drop for a normal person. And he still staggered to his feet afterwards.

Charles Gramlich said...

I had pretty much decided not to worry about this movie much but I sure am hearing great things about it.