WARNING!! THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOTH THE WINTER SOLDIER AND POSSIBLE UPCOMING MARVEL MOVIES.
1) It is brave: In the first trailer for this movie Robert Redford who plays Alexander Pierce says ‘in Order to build a better world, sometimes means tearing the old one down,’ I had no idea they meant this literally. Winter Soldier is as much about the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D as it is about Captain America himself. Essentially S.H.I.E.L.D has been infiltrated by hydra and the only way to stop the infection spreading is to pull it apart and expose it to the world. S.H.I.E.L.D have been in the background of most Marvel movies to date some more than others so this is a big change that will come as a shock to many moviegoers. Having it gone (not forever I am sure) going into Age of Ultron is an interesting, smart and in my opinion brave move.
2) The Winter Soldier: The Winter Soldier himself had to be good. Viewers had to relate to him and his relationship with Steve or this movie and the future of the Captain America movies just wouldn’t work. The directors Anthony and Joe Russo have already stated that they see this movie and Cap 3 as a two-parter regarding Steve and the Winter Soldier. Also Sebastian Stan who plays him is locked into a 9 movie contract with Marvel so it is safe to say we will be seeing a lot of him, (no hardship if I’m honest). For those who don’t know (although it is the worse kept secret ever) The Winter Soldier is actually Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers best friend from the first Captain America movie. He was taken by the Soviets after falling from a train during World War 2, given a mechanical (and awesome) arm, brainwashed by having his memories striped, frozen and turned into an assassin. The reason I thought he worked so well here is because physically he is almost unstoppable. Captain America and Black Widow have a real hard time when they go up against him. He is stronger, faster and better than them but mentally he is fragile and vulnerable. There is one scene in particular that was just heart breaking to watch and if you didn’t want to hug him then you just can’t be human. I can’t wait to see what happens to this character in the future. Maybe he will remain the Winter Soldier as there is a comic book series devoted to him, or maybe he will become the next Captain America, an idea that I could get behind.
3) Black Widow: For the first time Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow really had something to sink her teeth into. She had a huge part to play in the Avengers but the spy thriller genre of the Winter Soldier suited her a lot more. Black Widow has not always acted for the greater good and she is sometimes more spy than hero so it made a lot of sense that she was featured in this movie. Scarlett Johansson really stands out here and I think it is time for her to have a solo movie of her own. The fact that so far there has not been one solo Marvel movie about a female character is pretty terrible.
4) Sam Wilson: The Falcon could have been better but Sam Wilson was awesome. Cool, friendly and funny, Sam is a great addition to the super hero line up. He also has some great chemistry with Steve Rogers and there are the building blocks in place for a great friendship between them in the future. Anthony Mackie hasn’t gotten as much hype as Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan (probably because he is new to the franchise) but I really hope that we will see more of him in Captain America 3 and other Marvel movies in the future.
5) The Ass Kicking: There is a lot of action in this movie and most of it is good but what really stands out is all the fighting. The hand to hand combat in this movie is awesome. It is sharp, well-choreographed and really adds to the movie. From Captain America fighting STRIKE in an elevator to Winter Soldier and his famous knifes, all of it looks amazing. It is less about brute strength and more strategic which is a nice change.
6) Hints of the future: After watching the movie and the post credit sequences my mind is racing with where things could go next. The introduction of The winter Soldier, Brock Rumlow, Agent 13 AKA Sharon Carter and the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D points towards the story arc of the Death of Captain America where Chris Evans would bow out and Sebastian Stan would step in. The reintroduction of HYDRA who is in possession of Loki’s spectre could signal all sorts of future conflict for the Avengers and a way to bring mutants into the Marvel Movie Universe (the rights being owned by Fox). There are many ways this could all go and to be honest I don’t know what will happen but with Kevin Feige revealing that marvel have set out all their movies up until 2028 there are sure to be some interesting things up ahead.
Loved or hated this movie? Have an idea where this is going next? Let me know in the comments.