Bru’s Reviews – CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER SOLDIERS ON April 4, 2014 – Posted in: Blog, Bru's Reviews, Featured Columns
All original written content is (c) 2014 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
THIS WEEK: The long-awaited sequel to the Captain America franchise opener, with Chris Evans playing a post-AVENGERS Cap who struggles a bit with his identity, then teams up with Scarlett Johansen’s Black Widow and Anthony Mackie’s Falcon to argue with Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. while battling a baddie with ties to Cap’s past.
Some of which is based on Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s storyline of the same name. (I didn’t read it so I can’t tell ya how much. go read it yourselves and let me know in the Comments section–just start with “SPOILER ALERT”. T’anks.)
Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, concept/story by Ed Brubaker. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
- Great light-hearted opening sequence introducing Sam Wilson (The Falcon), and even better first action/battle scene showing off Cap’s speed, power, agility and “skillz.” All done with perfect precision.
- Falcon is the perfect partner for Cap, just like in the comics [MIKE: Marvel’s and mainstream comics’ second black superhero, co-created by Stan Lee and my friend, the late, great Gene Colan. From CAPTAIN AMERICA #117.] His costume/uniform could be better, but the wings and the way he flies are fantastic.
- The Black Widow is a badass with a baaaaad ass. Heh. And she has the ‘tude to take on any dude. (Hey, that rhymed! Maybe I should be a rapper. Or not.
- Lots of Marvel references/characters for you friggin’ comic geeks. [MIKE: I don’t want to spoil any of the fun, but there are Silver Age characters galore! Not in costume but in name. At least for now.]
- As with most Marvel Studios flicks, the great traditions of a Stan Lee cameo and buttons with further Marvel Universe developments during and after the credits is preserved [MIKE: including the introduction of three Silver Age staples, directed by Joss Whedon]. So stay till the end.
- Good plot and story with some excellent twists and turns (you won’t believe who dies!). Story switches from light to dark pretty quickly, back and forth, with some laugh-out-loud moments mixed in with the heavier stuff.
- As many or more car crashes, explosions and chases as any James Bond flick. Cap is great on a bike too!
- Don’t know if it was covered in other films, but we finally get to see how Cap is able to get his shield on and off his back so quickly!
- How many Academy-Award-winning actors star in so-called “comic-book movies”? Nice to see Robert Redford with a significant role, after just being nominated. [MIKE: Not to mention hearing him utter a fairly famous two-word phrase written by Stan Lee in the 60s!]
- We get to see what happened to Peggy Carter, Cap’s girlfriend from WW II, and see her as well. Plus a mention of her famous relative.
- Chris Evans makes you forget he was Johnny Storm/The Human Torch and acts like Cap should act, without the least bit of cornball. THERE’S NOTHIN’ CORY ABOUT BEIN’ A GOOD GUY…OR A GOOD AMERICAN. Got it, you stupid, clueless, commie “critics”?
- The old uniform rocks!
- Crossover fans: Callan Mulvey from 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE plays a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent–with his shirt on this time. Comedy legend GARRY SHANDLING is a rather bloated senator.
- Another appearance by pre-Cap, scrawny Steve Rogers, with Chris Evans’s head on a different bod. and it works!
- [MIKE: Jack Kirby and Joe Simon are given credit for their character, and then later, a “thank you” to Gene Colan, Don Heck, Paul Neary, Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Mark Gruenwald and others from Cap’s history!]
- Seeing the movie on the first day means a theater full of idiots dressed like this:
- I’m REALLY tiring of trailers either giving away major plot twists, character reveals and/or ruining suspense. Even if you haven’t read the comic series, you probably already know who the Winter Soldier really is (despite not being revealed till the halfway mark) and what happens in the elevator, like I did. And that sucks.
- The Simon & Kirby credit was way too small and too buried. Should have been up there with Stan’s EP credit. Without those two guys, there would be no Cap, period.
- [MIKE: The famous female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is not who she’s supposed to be; that’s all I can say without giving away more.]
- The newer all-blue uniform, sans white or stripes, isn’t nearly as cool as the one in the first flick, and Cap does a lot of fighting in an ordinary jacket and sneakers. And the Widow’s new hairstyle may be more functional, but it’s a lot less hot.
- Bucky was born two years EARLIER than Cap. Who knew he was older? Considering they use an actor who’s over 30, he sure ain’t the kid in the comics! A big stretch.
- Evans acts like Cap and has the bod, but not the chin. Where’s the cleft? The square jaw? Can’t have everything, I guess. (Unless you’re Batman.)
I didn’t pay extra fer 3D so I can’t comment on it, although the chases and boom-boom scenes are probably more impressive with it; but to me it didn’t make this any less awesome. And this is AWESOME. If yer a Marvel fan, you’ll want to see it on the big screen to take in everything, and then watch it a couple more times on video to freeze frame all the good stuff/written gags, plus see all the extras and making-ofs. Enjoy!
P.S.: Pascale has done quite a few cool commissions and powerful pinups of Cap, the Black Widow and other Avengers. Why not one for you? Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra. A.I.M. or M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. When Bru-Hed throws his mighty beer, all those who sneer and jeer at his rear will fear!