The story continues with Steve Rogers, Captain America(Chris Evans) acclimating himself to life in the present day. Since the Battle of New York, Captain America is a level six operative for SHIELD and has been on many missions for the organization. SHIELD has been working on a new project called 'Insight' which involve three new bleeding edge helicarriers. These helicarriers will have the ability to eliminate targets before they become threats. Cap is not happy with the direction SHIELD is going and is rebuffed by Nick Fury(Samuel L. Jackson) for his principled stance and idealism. Even though Fury took a strong stance on supporting Project Insight, he does have reservations about the project. As Fury begins to try to explore his concerns, he is attack by a team of operatives, led by The Winter Soldier. What is Project Insight really about and why is someone willing to kill to prevent the truth from coming out? This is what Captain America has to find out before everything falls apart.
More like on Fire than Ice
Again another movie from the cinematic universe is firing on all cylinders. Like Thor and The Dark World (check out my review here.), the movie is a joy to watch. Captain America comes flying off the pages of the comics and is brought to life in a way that feels just right. The character's ideals and moral compass remains unchanged. If you are a fan of the character in the comics you will feel right at home. Even, if you are new to the character he'll seem like a breath of fresh air. After all of the dark, brooding and gritty antihero types that have been dominating the superhero genre, this is a welcomed change of pace. Evans makes you believe a person can be that idealistic and function in this cinematic universe. The use of characters from Cap's rogues gallery like Batroc the Leaper and Brock "Crossbones" Rumlow was very well done. Black Widow(Scarlett Johansson) was also a great mirror for Cap's principled hero versus her more questionable moral super spy. Widow plays a major role in the film and wasn't that of Cap's love interest. She spends a lot of time trying to hook Cap up with many of the available females in his life which was kind of funny.
From left to right. Falcon(Anthony Mackie), Black Widow(Scarlett Johansson) and Maria Hill(Cobie Smulders).
Samuel Wilson, Falcon(Anthony Mackie) was a great addition to the team and the character worked well, hope to see more of Falcon in films like Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. Winter Soldier(Sebastian Stan) did a great job with a character that had very few lines but was an intense force through the film. I loved how Maria Hill(Cobie Smulders) was used in the film. She is tough, competent and even saves Cap. Hill also backs Cap's ultimate plan, which is pretty impressive knowing her loyalty to Nick Fury. The supporting cast was amazing. Robert Redford, Toby Jones and Frank Grillo were just perfect in their roles, casting was fantastic for this film.
Even DC can't seem to get this right with their heroes like Superman. Superman shares many similar values as Captain America in the comics. In his most recent film, Superman is made more gritty or real by killing, so says the team behind the film. Its a real break from the characterization of Superman most people are familiar with. Its something I'm glad they have avoided in the Captain America films. Captain America is not letting the world change him he is changing the world to conform to his principles. The movie was fill with action, funny and great storytelling.
Its All Connected
Everything changes for Simmons, Fitz, May, Coulson, Ward and Skye.
Marvel is trying something never been done before, The episode of Agent of SHIELD that aired April 1st was a lead into the Captain America film. Characters from that episode appear in the film, even mentioning the ship that Captain America would be raiding in the beginning of the movie. All the events that occur in the movie will reverberate through the TV show Agents of SHIELD, starting with the episode airing on the 8th of April.
This will be the first time a cinematic universe will continue the story of a film on a weekly TV show. You won't have to wait a year or more before many of the issues left up in the air by the film will be touch upon. If this goes well it could be something that will be emulated and copied by other franchises. Imagine after a Justice League movie seeing the story play out on shows like Arrow or the upcoming Flash series. The worlds would be more accessible to fans and keep them more engaged. Was the answer to who "The Clairvoyant"(the major villain in the TV show) is answer in the movie? The film screenwriters don't think so. Check out this interview that discuss how Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the screenwriting team behind the sequel, handled the coordinating with the TV show and many other topics.
This also gives viewers an idea why the show moved so slowly in the beginning. It was to allowed the pacing of the show to match up with the release of the film. This a truly a very interesting experiment, if all goes well Agents of SHIELD should get a second season and will be able to provide a great lead into the Age of Ultron film.
The film was well balanced between action, comedy and storytelling. It is a great sequel and does everything the first film did but only bigger and better. The use of the Marvel source material is done very well and nothing seems forced or out of place. The film is what we go to the movies for, a good time, an amazing story that entertains and leaves you wanting more. As Marvel Studios release more films to expand the cinematic universe, goodwill from movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier can only help get movie goers into the seats. Here's to hoping with the openings left by The Winter Soldier that a Black Widow film will get green lighted. This movie is great! Go see it. You won't regret it.