Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Review (Spoiler Free)

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-PosterSolid performances, characterisation and  action make Winter Soldier a lot of fun

This is one of my favourite of the Marvel films. It may not be as complex or intelligent as it verges on being, but this thriller delivers some great performances and an actual sense of peril within the action which makes it stand out.

There  is some great work going on here with characters and performance. The characters such as Nick Fury, Black Widow and even the Captain himself have some nice depth applied here and it’s lovely to see Samuel L. Jackson having a little more to him here than just barking orders for a few seconds. The casting of Robert Redford is excellent; he brings the exact right subdued approach to his role, and Chris Evans is reliable as the Captain as always. Although everybody does a good job here, Scarlett Johansson is the stand out. She excels both as an action star and when firing off oneliners and playing around with Evans. I came away wanting to see more of her and I hope her role is increased in size within The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Winter Soldier

As for the Winter Soldier himself, he has a great presence on screen when he is there, but he is a little underused. I found myself wanting to see more of him and I felt that the film skimmed over his character arc a little. However he is a real force to be reckoned with in the action scenes. The action may not always feel that perilous, we have the standard large fight scenes that you would expect in a Marvel superhero movie, but occasionally though I did actually worry for our heroes – and that’s a rare thing. It seems to me that there is a really great movie buried here, which if the studios had been a little braver, could have emerged. Instead we have a very serviceable and enjoyable blockbuster where a huge threat faces us all and naturally that demands an enormous CGI loaded fight to break out. It’s just a shame they couldn’t have gone small in scale with this one, but as they didn’t this is a very fun end result.

Summary:

What is the film’s greatest strength? It may just be Scarlett Johansson – she is really great here!

Its greatest weakness? Just how big it goes, it could have benefited from being smaller in scope.

Would I see it again? Yes I would. It was a solid, entertaining blockbuster.

Type out your thoughts in the comment box below!

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39 comments

  1. Good review Rumsey. Can’t go wrong with Marvel now. They’re just kicking way too much ass, and this movie only proves exactly why.

    1. Cheers Dan! Yeah they really are on top of their game right now. The real test will be whether Age of Ultron can manage to live up to The Avengers!

  2. Love that you’re thinking toward Johansson being the best it has to offer, I agree because it just might be true!

    1. Glad that you’re on board! She is just so great here isn’t she. I wasn’t completely on-board with people who said that she should have her own movie in the past, but I 100% agree now!

  3. I’d have to agree the movie could have been smaller – it felt like it was going for more of a personal, low-key sort of thriller – Marvel’s equivalent of a From Russia With Love or For Your Eyes Only, & it worked best at those moments. I’d say the Nick Fury car chase/shootout (although it wasn’t really either of those) was by far the most exciting sequence. Agreed on Black Widow though – SJ is just the coolest, hope Black Widow gets a solo outing (whereas who cares about Hawkeye?).

    1. Yes, Marvel’s version of FRWL is an excellent way of describing how it felt, and where it should have gone.

      Yes that was a great one, although any of the action sequences which wasn’t the generic end one were very solid.

      Agreed, I would see a Black Widow film in a heartbeat!

    1. Ah yes, I’ve had a look. Interesting review!

  4. Nice review. I quite liked this one. Agree on Redford and the Winter Soldier. I missed the retro aspect of the first one, but the action in this one is phenomenal.

    1. Cheers buddy! Glad that you agree. What about Johansson? I think she was great!

      Yeah, although it still had a little touch of that retro adventure feel – although it was largely gone. Did you see Sky Captain years ago?

      1. Yep, I liked her too. I read a review where it aid this one was almost like a buddy flick between Cap and Black Widow and I have to agree. Great chemistry there.

        No, I didn’t see that one. How is it?

        1. Yeah that’s a great description. It was as much her movie as it was his!

          I have a fondness for it, although many don’t think it is all that. It is another film which harks back to, and tries to replicate a retro adventure film feel, and I rather like that. Despite any of it’s shortcomings.

          1. I completely agree. It’s also my favorite Marvel movie, right after Iron Man 3.

          2. I have to admit, I still haven’t seen Iron Man 3!

          3. Get on it. Obviously, I think it’s fantastic.

          4. I’ll be honest, your recommendation makes me want to see it a lot more. I just wasn’t very bothered before.

          5. I don’t want you to get insanely high expectations, especially since not a lot of people thought it was very good and you vould be one of them, but I LOVED it.

          6. Hmmm OK, well I’ll go in expecting it to be average and then hopefully I shall be pleasantly surprised!

          7. That’s a good way of approaching it! 😉

          8. Haha I shall do it then!

  5. Good review!

    1. Cheers! Have you seen the film yet?

  6. Agree with all of this; the only criticism I have is that the Winter Soldier arc that gives the film its title feels underexplored. Other than that though, it’s a near-perfect combo of comic-book silliness and paranoia thriller brilliance.

    Great review! =)

    1. Cheers Jay!

      Yeah the arc you refer to could indeed have been fleshed out just a little more, but still it was much better than I was expecting.

  7. Going to watch it soon, hope this one better than the last one and nyc review Mr Rumsey

    1. I hope you enjoy it, it doesn’t really have the retro feeling that the original did. Whether that is a good thing or not in your eyes I don’t know…

  8. Nice review mate. I think that the inclusion of more of Johansson’s Black Widow was probably the best part of this one. Good to see the secondary characters get some quality screentime.

    1. Cheers buddy! Yeah it really was good to see a number of them having a decent amount of time on screen. I’m thinking Nick Fury as well as Black Widow of course.

  9. Nice one, Rumsey. I didn’t think I’d like this film, but I sort of do; and I think you’ve hit on the probable reasons why 🙂

    1. Cheers! That’s good to hear, I had a lot of fun with this one!

  10. The Winter Soldier was my favourite part of this movie! It was just…. amazing! Definitely one of my top films this year so far! Great review James!

    1. Glad to hear that you liked it a lot to Zoë, and thank you!

  11. Great review. I loved the film and thought the new thriller aspect of the film took Marvel into a new Genre even if in a relatively small way. Very much looking forward to the next one 😀

    1. Yeah same, I love how they play with genre and style – it really helps keep things fresh and interesting. Thank you!

  12. Awesome James! I saw this twice on the big screen and loved it both times. I love the first film but this second one is a heck of a lot of fun as well and I really like Mackie as Falcon, what a great addition to the sequel tho I still miss Agent Carter!

    1. Hey Ruth! Yeah it is good fun isn’t it, and I too was very pleased with how Falcon turned out.
      Are you with those who are saying that this is one of the absolute best Marvel films?

      1. Yes I’m definitely one of those! I think both Cap movies would be in my Top 5 MCU films for sure, I just love that character. Iron Man is fun for a while but over time I have a much softer spot for the honest-to-goodness Steve Rogers 😀

        1. I know what you mean. Iron Man is a little much after a while.
          I still love him in The Avengers though!

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