Why have just one opinion on a film when you can have two? Yes, it’s joint review time again, as Dave and Ceej both wade in with their SPOILER FREE thoughts on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And, as you can see, their opinions matched up pretty closely. Let us know what you thought of the film – and the opinions of our reviewers – in the comments section below.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is Marvels best film to date. Yeah, even better than Avengers. It delivers on every aspect that the fans expected and exceeds expectations on the aspects they did not. It deftly weaves the dangling plot threads from the first film into the narrative framework of the modern setting without feeling forced or contrived. One moment in particular may be expecting too much from the audiences collective suspension of disbelief but, for my money, in a world that contains gods, aliens and infinity gems moments like that are not only to be anticipated but embraced.
Connecting almost all of the dots in the MCU universe to date (a remit that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has only now started to deliver on) it paints a cohesive landscape while also managing to pull off a paradigm shift that drastically alter the status quo of the universe at large (at least the Earth-bound portions of it.) I have no doubt the resolution of this film will play into Avengers 2, Ant-Man, Cap 3 and even the Netflix series. All actors present deliver their A-game. Yes, even Scarlett Johansson. Clocking in at 2hrs 10mins the film does a stellar job of keeping the pace ticking at steady rate – at no point did I clock-watch. If this is what we can expect from Part 3 then 2016 can’t get here quick enough. Oh, and as usual stick around for both post-credits scenes – that should go without saying.
Going into the Winter Soldier, I was all too aware that my expectations for the movie may have been unrealistically high. The trailers were fantastic, the idea sounded brilliant, and while I’ve never been a huge fan of Captain America from a comicbook point of view, I absolutely loved Brubaker’s Winter Soldier. However, while I definitely had the faint nagging doubt that I might be setting myself up for a fall, this movie actually managed to exceed my expectations and then some, providing the best Marvel movie since The Avengers, and even – dare I say it – threatening to surpass Joss Whedon’s 2012 masterpiece.
While some other recent Marvel movies have struggled slightly with their tone and pacing, Winter Soldier manages to land perfectly in the sweet spot. Funny without becoming silly, serious without becoming joyless, this is a film that I can see having almost universal appeal to the cinema going public. Love comics? Well, this film is chock full of sly nods, Easter eggs and includes the laying of a tremendous amount of groundwork for future movies. Not really a comic fan? Well, this is a movie that stands on it’s own two feet as a tense, tightly scripted Bond or Bourne-esque spy romp, filled with twists, turns and absolutely fantastic action set pieces. Simply put, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t find at least something to love about this one.
The actors do a fantastic job here too, with Black Widow and Nick Fury in particular getting some much needed focus and character development. And my lone concern for the film, the inclusion of Anthony Mackie as Sam “Falcon” Wilson was instantly allayed with his terrific comic timing and great on-screen chemistry with Evans. No spoilers here, but this is a movie that everyone needs to see (at least) once. And please, for the love of god, don’t leave before the end of the credits, or you’ll miss what I’m calling now as the best ‘post credits’ teaser so far.
Yes, even better than Thanos.