Before and After: The Winter Soldier

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Courtesy of AncoraDesign / Tyler Wetta

Courtesy of AncoraDesign / Tyler Wetta

I usually go on and on about how sequels are inferior to their predecessors. Rarely does a film prove me wrong. However, this spring I am hopeful because Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a solid chance of being that film.

As soon as the first teaser for The Winter Soldier was released I was ready to hand over my $12 dollars.  My first thought was that there is no way I wasn’t seeing this on opening weekend.  Since then not much has changed.  However, I started to get a bit worried by the amount of promotional footage that is being released for the film.  To an extent that you rarely see, the film makers seemed set on releasing what felt like 75% of the film through its numerous trailers and TV spots.  My simple solution to this has been to avoid as much of it as possible.  I stopped actively seeking out any and all of the teasers, trailers, or TV spots weeks ago.  Based on what I have seen, (as its almost impossible to avoid completely) I have come to the conclusion that this film may actually surpass its predecessor in almost every way.

I was a huge fan of the way they incorporated the costume in the first film.  The use of the layered gear look made it very believable attire.  The costume change that was used in The Avengers, was a step in the wrong direction.  Though it was a little more streamlined and a true to form look for Cap, I felt like it stuck out in the film.  Everything I have seen of the updated costume for The Winter Soldier has me confident that they have captured an iconic modern look for our timeless hero.

The casting of Robert Redford may be my biggest interest going in to the film.  I am very eager to see the role played out, and think that Mr. Redford will lend the film a serious bit weight in his portrayal of Alexander Pierce. The rest of the returning cast members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are going to undoubtedly shine in this film.  At this point I am convinced Marvel somehow hit the nail on the head with each and every casting decision that they’ve made since going into Phase 1, and that they have been reaping the benefits ever since.  Heck, even the swap of Mark Ruffalo for Edward Norton worked out perfectly.

Even though I have had my fears about the over abundance of material Marvel has released with this film, I don’t think its going to make much difference come April 4th.  It looks to be another amazing entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I like many others am clamoring at the chance to throw my money at it first thing Friday morning.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Directed By Anthony & Joe Russo – Starring Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson.

I try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible but with a film this “universe changing” it may be hard to do so.  Consider that a spoiler warning.

I not going to do a big recap of the plot.  If you haven’t seen it then you should be doing that before reading this anyway.  What I will say is that as a whole Captain America: The Winter Soldier aims to add a deeper layer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it successfully hits its mark.  The action sequences were visually stunning, and the conspiracy thriller aspects of the film were spot on.  I have to give a lot of credit to Anthony and Joe Russo, for delivering a solid film to Marvel Studios.  My expectations for the film, were met, and I’ll admit those expectations starting getting a bit lofty as the release date approached.

Robert Redford was great in the role of Alexander Pierce, but really the cast as a whole was very well put together.  New comers Emily VanCamp, and Anthony Mackie both impressed.  Mackie’s performance of Sam Wilson/The Falcon was solid.  VanCamp had considerably less screen time, but excelled in what little time she did receive, and I’m sure we will be seeing her again.  All the usual suspects brought their A game.  The one exception here is Scarlett Johansson.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but her performance seemed just a bit off from The Avengers.  Though, this may have been how she was directed, and in turn, entirely out of her hands.  Sebastian Stan was great in his role as The Winter Soldier.  Which if you didn’t already know, or couldn’t deduce from the over abundance of trailers and TV spots, is none other than the thought to be deceased best friend of Steve Rodgers.

There were a couple of really cool Easter eggs in the film that I thought were a nice comedic touch.  One of which is a cameo by a fan favorite from some of the Russo’s TV work, and the other notable one is seen as an epitaph in the late stages of the film.  And of course, the Mid Credits sequence, which is almost required now thanks to Marvels heavy use of this type of teaser, gives us a look at the coming Miracles of the MCU.

All in all the movie was every bit of the “must see” film that I thought it would be.  Its easily a 4 star offering from Marvel Studios, and might just be one of the rare film sequels that out shines it’s predecessor.

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