Aww yeah! Spring time is finally starting to come back into the big picture after the longest winter I think the country has experienced since the 70's (Thanks Obama)! With spring time coming, it also means we have a butt-ton of Marvel flicks coming out; some from Marvel directly, one from Sony, one from Fox, and now they're all technically from Disney, which makes for one hell of a pie graph! More on that at 11.
With Winter Soldier, we get to see more from Cap after the craziness of the Avengers movie, learning more about the world around him today. And people, if we've learned anything about the world around us over these last few millennia, it's that it ain't exactly a pretty picture! Things get ugly very very quickly after Cap and Black Widow go on a mission together to go take back a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel from some pirates; not so much as a result of that mission, mind you, but other kinds of ugly things! Long story short, Cap starts to realize that a lot of people have a lot of secrets about a lot of things, and that just doesn't sound very -MURIKAN' to him. All of that just blows up in his face even more as S.H.I.E.L.D. begins to turn upside down from the inside out.
The first Captain America film owed a lot to classic war films, while Winter Soldier actually owes more to classic 70's spy flicks, in the sense that you literally have NO IDEA who to trust up until the final scenes. We see some of the strongest acting performances from Chris Evans (Cap himself), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) yet with this. We are also introduced to Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka. the FALCON baby! For those who are too young (or just didn't care to look this far back), The Falcon was the first African American superhero to appear in mainstream comics, so it was pretty nice to finally see his character come into play, especially with a great actor at the helm. Oh, and I guess I'm still missing one more crucial piece of character that we should get into... THE WINTER F@#KING SOLDIER!!! Though I can't go into who this person actually is without activating the spoiler card, know that the actor who plays him (Sebastian Stan) does a damn good job being scary as all hell while he goes after Cap and the gang.
The story of this film borrows a lot from the comics written by Ed Brubaker, back in about 2006 I believe. Obviously if you've read those issues, you already know who The Winter Soldier is, and his relevance on the story itself, but even knowing this won't dissuade you from enjoying the movie. Once it reaches a certain point, you're literally unable to breathe. Every time I saw this guy appear on-screen, I'd suddenly find myself getting really quiet and antsy (and I shouldn't be doing that yet, since the Ant-Man movie doesn't come out until next year. BA-DUM-TISH!... No? Nothing? Okay...). They really do leave you feeling quite helpless the entire time you're watching the story unfold. This is made worse by the fact that while the jokes may not be that funny, you're almost dying for them after all the serious moments. This is then followed by awkward, loud laughter that you look back on later and ask yourself what the hell you were thinking. You know you've done it; that "HYECHYECHYECH!!" sound that comes out almost forcibly. People will also remember this as that thing they'd do on dates because they were so nervous about impressing the other person, that they just eliminated their chances of getting anywhere. What? No, of course I never did it. I just saw YOU doing it! Yeah... >_>
Of course, a film of this style would be nothing without a stellar cast, and one of the biggest contributors this time around was Black Widow. There's a lot of people out there who just look at her like some hot girl who wears tight clothes and kicks a lot of ass... and don't get me wrong, she TOTALLY does all that. But they're missing the bigger picture, which is that she's actually a very deep, troubled character with an effed up past that would make Edgar Allan Poe blush... Too soon? Seriously though, she actually has some of the best lines in the entire movie, and you're likely to miss them if all you're doing is staring at 'DAT ASS' the whole time. And let's face it..., there are a LOT of people who will do that. Shame on you... SHAME!
...FEEL MORE SHAME DAMMIT!
I think the last time I watched a superhero movie, feeling this much sense of dread and uneasiness was... Dark Knight? Yeah, yeah, I think it was! Wow, it's been a long time, hasn't it? I really have to commend Marvel Studios and all the people involved in this film for making what was easily the darkest Marvel movie to come out yet, and also one of the most thought-provoking. I think it's safe to say that by the time Avengers 2 rolls around the corner, the group is going to be quite different than they were in the first Avengers film. This movie is still going to leave you with a lot of questions about what's coming up next, especially if you watch the post-credit scenes (the first of which actually makes no sense from an ownership/rights standpoint, but should prove interesting in the long run of things).
There was also a brief mention of a specific character that has not yet entered the Marvel Universe of movies, but that mention pretty much just confirmed it, and I'm super super psyched to hear about more. Damn, these movies are like crack... Not that I know what that is or is like...
So I think you've now started to get the gist of what I'm saying here, other than what the word gist means because I have no idea. The movie is excellent all-around. The actors and actresses play their parts magnificently, the action is ridiculous, frantic, and VIOLENT for a movie of this type, and you feel like you're on the run with Cap and Natasha all the way to the end. This is right up there with The Avengers for one of the best Marvel films of all time.
9 laps around Sam Wilson out of 10
This movie makes me want to eat a hotdog while riding an eagle with explosions behind me as I shoot down terrorists with my AK. That's the AMURIKAN' way!