The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, released in theatres Apr. 4. This makes it the ninth installment of a surprisingly well-delivered plot line.
The movie opens with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, Fantastic Four) running, being social and genuinely trying to catch-up on the decade’s worth of news and culture that he missed between World War Two and present-day. The movie quickly progresses from this less than interesting action to Rogers, as Captain America, directing a covert rescue mission.
Through this mission and subsequent events, Rogers gets mad at and forgives a rather long list of people, eventually focusing on the movie’s true antagonist. The choice of “villain” was is rather predictable, but the rest of the movie makes up for this small detail. The special effects and CGI were stunning and complemented the acting well.
Unfortunately, Captain America: The Winter Soldier fell victim to a common ailment: not understanding technology, or at best, failing to, for the benefit of the audience, differentiate between real-world technology and in-movie technology. The most flagrant offences were biometric security and flash drives.
Even with nitpicking, this was a fine movie. The plot was rather linear, but all of the little details and a few distractions made for a good conglomerate.
Stan Lee, the co-creator of most of the Avengers and Marvel characters in general (along with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko), seems to be getting easier to spot with every movie in which he appears. Take, for example, the first X-Men movie released in 2000, where he is seen as a hot-dog vendor for but only for a few seconds. Compare this to The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 where Stan Lee was a humorously oblivious librarian. Now, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he even has a speaking role. If viewers know, even vaguely, what Stan Lee looks like, they are sure to spot him.
For fans of the comics, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not without its references and acknowledgements. At several points throughout the movie, other superheroes, including Iron Man, Hulk and Doctor Strange are mentioned, some by description and others by name. The movie also shows some people that are recognizable as heroes and villains from the comics, such as Agent 13 and Crossbones, who are not given particularly large roles or are not referred to by these chosen names.
The ninth installment of the MCU offers the first look at the Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters. In the same movie in which this is introduced, a fairly compelling reason for never revisiting the Triskelion is also given.
Sadly, the movie does not explain any more than the comics do when it comes to why HYDRA’s emblem appears to be an octopus instead of a more logical hydra.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a good movie in its own right, but taking into account the rest of the Marvel Universe, it is a masterpiece.
This movie answers a few questions of how Steve Rogers adapts to the 21st century as well as making him better suited to be a part of the Avengers.
In addition to the main plot, Captain America opened several doors to other movies such as exploring who Doctor Strange is, how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents will react to recent events and, of course, Marvels signature credits stingers, which are obvious lead-ins for other plots.