Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to the section titled Why Should You See This Film? where you will find no spoilers!
Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. (via IMDb)
What I Liked
- I love superhero films, and I especially love Avengers films (my favourites are the X-Men films, but the Avengers run them a close second). It makes liking each individual film a lot easier, because I like the characters and the stories and the style of the films going in. All that being said, I think it’s clear that The Winter Soldier is one of the superior films in the series. It feels a lot different to its predecessors, more of a conspiracy theory thriller than and out and out superhero film. Robert Redford, he of very famous seventies conspiracy theory thrillers, just adds to this feeling.
- I always think that I’m not really a fan of Samuel L. Jackson, and then I see him in a film, and I think “What are you thinking? Of course you’re a fan!” He’s so very prickly as Nick Fury, but I still love him. I’m 100% convinced that he can be trusted, or that what he’s doing is in the best interests of our heroes, rather than his own interests, but he usually comes through. I particularly liked him at the end of this film, when he was incognito, with his hood up. I just thought he looked cool!
- I like Scarlett Johansson a lot, and so I was pleased that she was here in a starring role as Natasha Romanoff. I like watching her fight, because she (or her stunt doubles) is so very good at it. I also like that there is very little romance going on between her and Steve; although it’s alluded to in a roundabout way, they agree to be friends, and then have each other’s backs throughout the whole film. I also really liked the moment when she revealed herself to Redford’s Alexander Pierce towards the end.
- I really, really liked the introduction of Sam Wilson, or Falcon, as I presume he’s better known in comic book circles. Anthony Mackie is not an actor I am all too familiar with, (although I noticed on looking him up afterwards that he is in The Hurt Locker, and I’ve seen that), but I thought he did a fabulous job here. I really liked his relationship with Steve; it was very quickly established but they became firm friends, and I liked Sam’s line, “I do what he does, only slower.” I’m looking forward to seeing him in future Avengers instalments.
- I enjoyed the moment when Steve spoke to all the workers at S.H.I.E.L.D., even if it was a bit cheesy, and that they responded to his rallying call, to the point where the worker at the computer was prepared to do as he suggested and pay the ultimate price for freedom. It also provided Emily Van Camp with the opportunity to be a bit awesome.
- It’s always nice to see Toby Jones pop up. It’s his signature move, popping up in films. It was also nice to see Cobie Smulders again (I have a reasonable sized crush on her), Stan Lee making his now requisite cameo, Alan Dale, Jenny Agutter, and Danny Pudi.
- I thought the end credits were great, with the black, white and red. And I enjoyed the mid-credits and post-credits scenes (I’ve never understood why people get up and walk out at the ‘end’ of a Marvel film. Do they know nothing?).
What I Didn’t Like
- Captain America isn’t my favourite Avengers superhero. I mean, he’s fine, but he’s not the most exciting man in the world, is he? I guess I like how he’s dependable, and steady, and principled, but he doesn’t make me laugh or make me swoon like some of the others do.
- For all the callbacks to the previous Captain America film, was there no room for a Stanley Tucci flashback? Really?
- I generally have no real problem with the gender politics in this film, except for the one thing: Natasha is dressed in a nice suit when she is pretending to be Jenny Agutter, and then she finds the time to change to get in the helicopter to retrieve Sam from the 41st floor. Fair enough, I suppose, though why bother? More to the point, does it have to be into a skin tight jumpsuit that is unzipped low enough to give us a flash of the side of her boob? No. It doesn’t. Except it’s Scarlett Johansson, so of course it does.
- I couldn’t help but think that the issues that Steve and Natasha were dealing with were significant enough that they might have picked up the phone and called Tony Stark, at the very least. It felt like a job for the Avengers as a collective, rather than just relying on two people to get the job done.
Why Should You See This Film?
Despite four bullet points for What I Didn’t Like, they are very nit-picky. I did really, really enjoy Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If you’re a fan of the Avengers films, chances are you are either already planning on seeing this, or you’ve seen it already. So maybe you don’t need me to convince you! But if you aren’t generally a fan of comic book films, you might be interested in this, because it does take things in a slightly different direction; it feels more of a conspiracy theory thriller with a lot of comic book action sequences thrown in. Or maybe you should see it because you think Chris Evans looks good in a vest (he does).