Saturday, March 29, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Movie Review)

I watched this on the second day of release to avoid the weekend rush of moviegoers. It seems SM Megamall had its eleven cinemas dedicated to this movie plus another one shown on their new IMAX Theater.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the sequel for Captain America: The First Avenger which was released on 2011. This is also the ninth movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) developed by Marvel Studios.

(Warning! May contain spoilers!) Set two years after the events on The Avengers, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is in Washington, D.C. and is currently working for S.H.I.E.L.D. He is still adjusting to normal life since most of the friends and people he knew are dead except for Peggy Carter who is already on a nursing home.

During a rescue mission on a S.H.I.E.L.D ship taken over by pirates, he found out that Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is doing a side-mission unknown to him. After the mission, he confronted Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) about it, and he showed a new project S.H.I.E.L.D has been doing after the Battle of New York, called Operation: Insight. 

Fury was then ambushed by armed men including a mercenary known as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). As he escapes them, he entrusted USB flash drive to Steve, before being gunned down by the Winter Soldier. Fury 'apparently dies' in the emergency room and soon afterwards, Steve Rogers has become a target of all-out manhunt by S.H.I.E.L.D through the orders of Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford).

Rogers and Romanoff uncovers what the flash drive contains as they evade S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives after them. They team-up with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who used "Falcon", a flight-exoskeleton he once harnessed, to stop HYDRA's plan of world domination. This will prove to be difficult for Rogers because he has to fight his friend Bucky who is now the Winter Soldier. 

After The Avengers, I was always wondering how the individual characters will endure independent story lines. It seems that once they have "Assembled", getting adventures on their own will be boring. Even when I watched Iron Man 3, I was like why can't he call the other Avengers, then the movie won't be called Iron Man or Captain America. Maybe I am not familiar with it since I was not able to read some of their comics. I think every Avengers or any member of a superhero group entitles to their own solo adventures.

This movie shows the side of having an espionage organization such as S.H.I.E.L.D to be infiltrated by a terrorist group, HYDRA. Having Robert Redford on a Marvel Comics movie adaptation is somehow surprising but since movie's theme is espionage which most of his movies are makes him comfortable with the story.

For my rating I will give this movie an 8 out 10. There are no special-powered characters in the movie but yet I was able to enjoy it thus making me more excited for upcoming MCU movies particularly The Avengers: Age of Ultron that will be shown on May next year.

(More Spoilers)
  • Steve Rogers' clearance level at the time of the movie is Level 8. He was not allowed by the elevator to access entry on Operation: Insight until Nick Fury allows it with S.H.I.E.L.D Director's override privileges. If he is Level 8, he must have knowledge that Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is apparently not dead.
  • As a S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Nick Fury's clearance level is 10. I was just a little curious why he cannot override the decryption of the flash drive if he authorized the encryption. Maybe just made by Arnim Zola to protect the information.
  • Arnim Zola appears much more similar to his comics’ counterpart with only his face showing up on a monitor. It seems he might be powerful if his consciousness was stored on a modern supercomputer.
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. Senior Officer Alexander Pierce is a combination of several Marvel Comics characters. His appearance from a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with that name, but the character was from Alexander Lukin which is a Winter Soldier agent possessed by Red Skull.
  • Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who used to be Steve Rogers' neighbour and appeared to be an agent to guard him. Steve is somehow angered knowing that S.H.I.E.L.D. is watching him calling her 'neighbour' after meeting Pierce regarding Fury's 'death'. 
  • In the comics Sharon is Peggy Carter's niece but it seems that the movie did not show that since Peggy is visited by Rogers on a nursing home.
  • Sharon Carter is also known as Agent 13 in the comics. She is a love interest for Steve Rogers. She also shot Captain America 'dead' during the last part of Civil War story line.
  • Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) character seems to be next to Nick Fury, Maria Hill and Phil Coulson to appear on both MCU's movies and TV Series, Agents of Shield.
  • Jasper Sitwell is member of HYDRA on this film. His status is unknown after being thrown out of the car. He might be dead but it is not shown on the movie.
  • Just some questions unanswered. Is Jasper Sitwell's loyalty with HYDRA? Or is this part of Fury's complicated plan to get HYDRA. In the comics, Sitwell is one of Fury's trusted agents and it is somehow sad that he was with HYDRA for the whole time.
  • With the current situation of S.H.I.E.L.D., this will also greatly affect how the TV series, Agents of Shield storyline will proceed. Maybe that's the reason why the series was on a 2 week hiatus so that the new episode will be in sync with the movie.
  • As usual, there will be post-credit scenes for this movie. If you are not familiar with Marvel's villains, the one talking during the post-credit scene is Baron von Strucker, a HYDRA officer and one of Captain America's nemesis. 
  • It seems that HYDRA is in possession of Loki's scepter/spear he used during the The Avengers movie. How did they end up with that thing?
  • The twins which they have experimented showing power of speed and telekinesis are Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, of Kickass) and Scarlet Witch.
  • Technically the twins are mutants and also their father is Magneto, but since the term mutants are currently owned by 20th Century Fox studio for the X-Men franchise, their powers was shown as experimentation by HYDRA technology.
  • Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are regular members of Avengers in comics. This means that we can expect them to appear on the next Avengers movie which is the Age of Ultron including Baron von Strucker.
  • Coincidentally, Quicksilver will also appear in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past coming this May of this year. He will be portrayed by Evan Peters. It seems that Quicksilver can be used by either film studio. I assure you there will be comparison and Peters will have the first attack on the character.
  • And then there's another post-credit scene showing Bucky looking at the film shown on the museum where he fights with Captain America during the war. This might mean that his memory might have been back and he can be a possible ally in the future. Take note that in the comics, Bucky become Captain America for some time during Steve Rogers apparent death.

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