Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Review

Kieran Daly, Entertainment Editor

The first comic book film of the year has just launched, and it did so in the best way possible. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, both the second Captain America film and part of Marvel’s Avengers Phase 2, released on April 4.  With a budget of an estimated $170 million, the film has brought in a total of $371 million worldwide so far, and for good reason: it’s amazing!

Following the events of Avengers, Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans) is still struggling with his transition from the 1940’s to the present day. So much has changed in the world: technology, politics and threats to the world. Steve, now a special agent for S.H.I.E.L.D (the government organization responsible for the Avengers Initiative), starts to struggle with the moral grey area the organization is now working in and its goal to create peace by limiting freedom.

But forces inside S.H.I.E.L.D are at work that have a very different agenda than the safety of the world. Before long, S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury (once again played by Samuel L. Jackson) feels that the organization is compromised and before long events are put into motion that will change the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe. A new threat arises in the form of the terrifying and powerful Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), an assassin that seems more like a ghost than a man. The combined forces of corruption and an unstoppable threat force Captain America and Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) to go on the run and team up with new comer Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), better known to comic book fans as the Falcon.

The film has a fantastic cast, Evans plays the soldier lost in time fantastically, and brings a new depth to the character that was missing from Joss Whedon’s Avengers. What was really amazing about the films’ cast though is that we finally got to see some more of the minor characters, including Johansson’s Black Widow. The character that was finally given some time to shine this time around was Jackson’s Nick Fury.  We got to learn a little more about the characters past while also seeing him participate in the action.

This time around, there were some new additions to the cast, including Mackie’s Falcon, who in the comics is the best friend to Evan’s Rodgers, and we got to see the start of this friendship. Also new to the cast is Academy Award Winner, Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, part of the world defense council and longtime best friend to Fury.

My favorite member of the cast though, has to be Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier. I can’t say too much about the character, or I would be going into major spoiler territory, but the Winter Soldier is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters, and to see him brought to life as an equal, if not better, to Captain America was something close to a comic book fans’ dream come true. I cannot wait to see what they do with the future of this character.

The fans service given by the Russo Brothers (the directors of the film) is astounding. There is so much in the film, that I constantly found myself gasping or grinning ear to ear. I loved the constant references to other Avengers like Hulk and Iron-Man along with the references to future characters like Stephen Strange (AKA Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme!!!). The film included the usual funny Stan Lee cameo, along with a cameo from the creators of the Winter Soldier character.

All in all, the film was fantastic, and, in my opinion, better than The Avengers. Most of the film was done using live action sequences, rather than the usual CGI, which makes the film look more realistic and vibrant. This film was truly one of the best comic book adaptions to date. Be warned there are not one, but two after the credit scenes, the first will directly lead into The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the second hints at the future of Sebastian Stan’s character. The film is must see and I’m giving it a 4.5 out of 5 stars!