Captain America – The Winter Soldier: An Ice Cold Review

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Note:  There are TWO extra scenes after the movie.  If you leave at the initial credits, you’re an idiot.

From the moment I found out that Ed Brubaker‘s storyline was going to be the basis of the Captain America sequel, I knew this was going to be something special.  However, I really didn’t know what to expect from the next installment.  It was with much joy and excitement that many of my fears were put to bed once the first trailer was released and Winter Soldier caught Cap’s shield in that now iconic pose.  Then the screenshots of Falcon pretty much told me that Marvel Studios knows their product and was going to give us something special.  Expectations were high and it is with great pleasure that I can exclaim that expectations were more than met!

Let me first get this off my chest – there are WAY too many trailers now.  Geez!  There were so many trailers that I actually forgot for a minute which movie I actually came to see.  After the seventh trailer, I looked around and asked myself, “What movie am I watching?”  The MPAA needs to seriously get a grip and limit the time and number of trailers.  It’s ridiculous that a 10p start time means that the actual movie starts at 10:40p after all of the ads and trailers.  I didn’t end up getting home until around 1:30a – that’s crazy, man.

You know I rarely give out spoilers, so I won’t start now but there were so many little Easter eggs in this flick I posted a good little synopsis on the Facebook site, so please go over there to see some cool stuff that I’m sure comic book heads went a little goo-goo over gaa-gaa after noticing.

This is not a kid’s movie.  There was a serious body count in this flick.  This a hard PG-13 to a mild Rated-R flick based upon the violence.  That was good news as well as they didn’t have to gloss over the seriousness of what was transpiring. Steve is in a tricky place in his life.  This 96 year old man is literally a man out of time.  He’s so out of his element that he has to walk around with a notepad to list all of the things he needs to get caught up on while he slumbered in the artic.  He also now has to come to grips with the fact that his past is gone and the only thing he has left is his present and future.  The problem is, he isn’t sure about his present and has a lot of trepidation about his future.  On top of that, S.H.I.E.L.D., the only seemingly stable aspect of his life is becoming less certain and he starts to question its mission and more importantly – its leadership.

Nick Fury and Black Widow are hiding things from him and he’s not sure who he can trust.  Also, Nick’s boss, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) aims to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. into the future and is losing faith in Nick as its Operations Director.  What unfolds is a story that is as much about Steve finding his way and The Winter Soldier as it is about the future of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. That element is the other really neat part of the overall story because the line regarding who is good, bad, evil or indifferent becomes really blurred and knowing who trust literally becomes a matter of life and death.  In fact, the story regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. was a storyline that ran through The Secret Avengers v1 comic book series about 6-7 years ago.  So they took two major storylines and made one cohesive story.

The Winter Soldier is a ghost.  A ghost that the spy community tells each other about to send shivers down their spines at night – a clandestine boogeyman.  However, this ghost is very real and very, very deadly.  So deadly that this is by far the most challenging (emotionally and physically) that Steve has ever faced.  More deadly a force than S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever faced.  In fact, his arrival is so significant that it could signal that the landscape of the Marvel Universe could change forever.

The fight scenes between Winter Soldier and Cap were one of the highlights of the film. They went for it.  There was no quarter neither given nor spared between these two warriors.  You got the chance to really see why Cap is one of the most deadly and capable heroes in the Marvel Universe and why Winter Soldier was every bit his equal in that respect.  Even the opening fight scenes were something to behold.  He was a badass through and through.  Black Widow, for all her prowess and tactical genius was even tested to the brink going up against Winter Soldier.  THIS was the movie we fans of the comics and the movies deserved.  Marvel Studios made Captain America more than just an ideal, but showed how IMPORTANT he is to the future of the Marvel Studios franchises.  If Robert Downey, Jr. was important to the first phase of this shared universe, Chris Evans is as important to the second phase of the universe.

While I still consider The Avengers and Iron Man to being the two most important films of the phased project, Captain America – The Winter Soldier has become as important to the shape of the phased universe to come.  Kudos again go out to Marvel Studios for showing FOX, Sony and Warner Brothers that when you respect the characters and story as much as you respect the legacy, you can literally bring your fans a product that respects them and doesn’t take their loyalty for granted.

Marvel Studios once again brought their “A game”, and that “A” doesn’t stand for France.

LOL…  I’m sorry.  I couldn’t resist.

9.25/10 Geekgasms.

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