Not since The Avengers has a trailer gotten me really excited to see Marvel’s latest movie, but that is exactly what happened with today’s movie. It didn’t hurt that I had just borrowed some trades from my friend Corey, who is kind of my hook-up for comics since I no longer actively collect them, and one of them was a Captain America trade that involved the Winter Soldier. So I was counting down the days, as were a couple other friends, until I could finally see this movie and when I finally did see Captain America: Winter Soldier, I was not disappointed in the least.
The plot: One morning, Steve Rogers is doing laps around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool where he meets Sam Wilson, a veteran para-rescueman who now works at the VA. As they are talking, Natasha Romanoff drives up to pick up Steve for a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. Steve and Natasha are assigned with Strike, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s counter-terrorism team led by Agent Rumlow, to rescue a S.H.I.E.L.D. launch ship that has been captured by pirates led by a man named Batroc. Sending Strike to free the hostages and Natasha to kill the engines, Steve goes after Batroc but while the two men are fighting, Steve discovers Natasha downloading files from the hard drive on secret orders from Fury. Returning to Washington, Steve heads to the Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters, and confronts Nick Fury about what happened and Fury tells him it was necessary to keep things secret. Fury shows Steve Project Insight, three helicarriers that are linked to satellites and able to kill potential threats before they happen. Steve doesn’t agree with what they are planning and tells Fury so, before leaving the Triskelion. After going to see the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian, Steve goes to see Peggy Carter, now an old woman, as well as Sam, looking for insight on whether he should continue working for Fury. Meanwhile, Fury tries to read the files Natasha recovered but when he is unable to open them, he gets suspicious and goes to see and heads to the Captain America exhibit his friend Alexander Pierce, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s official on the World Council, and asks him to delay the launch of Project Insight. Leaving the Triskelion, Fury makes a secure call to Maria Hill and tells her to come to Washington but when he is stopped at an intersection, he is ambushed by a group of men posing as cops. Injured, Fury manages to get away from the men but as he is trying to get to a secure location, a mysterious man fires a magnetic mine at Fury’s car, where it detonates and flips the car over. When the man approaches the car, he rips off the door only to find that Fury has used a torch to get himself out of there. That night, Steve returns to his apartment to find the injured Fury sitting in his apartment. Making small talk with Steve, Fury uses his phone to let Steve know that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been compromised before he is suddenly shot. Steve gets Fury to cover and Fury gives him the flash drive from the ship and tells him not to trust anyone, just as Steve’s neighbor enter his apartment, letting him know that she was actually S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 who was assigned to protect Steve under Fury’s orders. Seeing the shooter, Steve goes after him and, catching up to the shooter, throws his shield at the man to try and stop him. To Steve’s surprise, the man catches his shield with one hand, then throws it back at him with enough force to push Steve back before he disappears. Fury is taken to a hospital, where Steve is joined by Natasha and Maria, where the watch the surgeons operate but Fury dies during the surgery. While he is talking with Natasha, Rumlow tells Steve that he is needed back in S.H.I.E.L.D. and Steve hides the flash drive in an open vending machine. At the Triskelion, Steve meets with Pierce, who questions him about Fury but Steve refuses to answer, telling Pierce that Fury’s last words were not to trust anyone. As Steve is leaving the Triskelion, he is attacked by Rumlow and several other agents but he manages to escape and Pierce has Steve marked as a traitor. Heading back to the hospital, he finds out that Natasha has the flash drive and she knows who killed Fury, telling Steve of her own encounter with the man known as the Winter Soldier. Going to a mall to decrypt the flash drive, they manage to evade Rumlow and his team and make their way to New Jersey, to the military base where Steve was trained. Noticing the munitions bunker was in the wrong location, they go inside and discover the very first headquarters for S.H.I.E.L.D. Locating a secret elevator inside, they discover a hidden computer lab where the mind of Armin Zola has been uploaded into the system. Zola informs them that after the world, Hydra has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside and plans to use Project Insight to kill any potential threats to Hydra’s rule. While Zola is talking to them, S.H.I.E.L.D. fires a missile to destroy the bunker but Steve manages to protect himself and Natasha and they escape, so Pierce sends the Winter Soldier to kill Steve and Natasha. Steve and Natasha go to see Sam, who lets them hide in his house while they work out a plan. Deciding to question Jasper Sitwell, Sam offers to help, showing them the Falcon suit that he used to use in the service. The three grab Sitwell and after Natasha kicks him off a roof and Sam rescues him, Sitwell tells them that Zola’s algorithm is designed to predict who will become a threat and kill them before it happens. As they are driving to the Triskelion, the Winter Soldier lands on top of their car, grabs Sitwell and throws him into the path of an oncoming truck. The Winter Soldier then disables their car as a support team arrives and begins firing on the car. Using a grenade launcher, the Winter Soldier blasts Steve off the overpass and into a bus, causing it to crash. Natasha manages to lure him away from Steve and he chases after her while Steve and Sam take care of the other men. Winter Soldier manages to shoot Natasha in the shoulder but before he can kill her, Steve arrives and the two begin fighting. During the course of the fight, Steve manages to remove the Winter Soldier’s face mask and is shocked to find that the Winter Soldier is Bucky, whom he thought died 70 years ago. Bucky disappears and Steve, Natasha, and Sam are captrued by Rumlow and the Strike team. As they are being transported to a secure facility, one of their guards reveals herself to be Maria Hill and she helps them escape. Maria takes them to a secret base, where they discover Nick Fury is still alive, having faked his death to find out who he could trust. Nick Fury wants to try and salvage S.H.I.E.L.D. but Steve says they have to bring it all down, and the others agree to follow Steve. As the World Council arrives at the Triskelion to watch the launch of Project Insight, Steve, Sam, and Maria infiltrate the Triskelion and Steve uses the PA system to tell all of S.H.I.E.L.D. what has been going on and to try and stop Project Insight from launching. Rumlow enters the control room and orders a technician to launch the helicarriers now but when the technician refuses, Rumlow threatens him, prompting a Agent 13 and several other agents to draw their weapons on Rumlow and his team. During the ensuing fire fight, Rumlow initiates the launch and the helicarriers begin to take off. Steve and Sam head onto two of the helicarriers and switch their targeting chips with ones designed to target the helicarriers themselves. As they head to the third helicarrier, Bucky attacks them, disabling Sam’s suit and kicking him off the helicarrier. Meanwhile, Natasha had disguised herself as one of the World Council members and takes out the Strike agents guarding them then begins uploading S.H.I.E.L.D.’s files onto the internet, but when Pierce says she needs two Alpha level security clearance, and she says it is covered as Fury arrives and helps unlock the files. Rumlow hears about Natasha holding Pierce captive and heads up there to stop her but Sam, alerted to what’s happening by Maria, intercepts him and the two begin fighting. Meanwhile, Steve tries to insert the last chip and ends up fighting with Bucky, getting shot several times in the process but eventually replacing the chip and telling Maria to fire. As the helicarriers begin firing on each other, Pierce manages to kill the three members of the World Council and threatens to kill Natasha but Natasha shocks her self, allowing Fury to kill Pierce. As the helicarriers begin crashing to the ground, one of them crashes into the Triskelion, taking out Rumlow and Sam is forced to jump out of the building, where he is rescued by Fury and Natasha. Meanwhile, Bucky is pinned under some debris and Steve manages to free him but Bucky continues to attack him but at the last minute, hesitates before killing Steve. When Steve falls into a pond, Bucky dives in and saves Steve, leaving him on shore for the others to find. As Steve recovers in the hospital, hearings are held about what to do now that S.H.I.E.L.D. is destroyed and everyone goes to different jobs. Fury says he is heading to Europe to tie up some loose ends and asks Steve and Sam to go with him but they refuse. Natasha hands Steve a file she got from Kiev concerning the Winter Soldier, warning not to get too involved but Steve plans on pursuing his friend and Sam plans on helping him. At an undisclosed Hydra base, Baron Strucker comments on what happened to Pierce and says there are other ways to win the war, showing Loki’s scepter as well as two super powered teenagers in holding cells. Meanwhile, Bucky is seen at the Captain America exhibit, staring at the section dedicated to him and starts to remember his past.
Captain America: Winter Soldier was highly praised by the critics, earning a certified fresh rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus among the critics was that it was, “Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.” The movie was nominated for several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The movie was a box office success, earning over $714 million off a $170 million budget and was the third highest grossing movie in 2014, behind The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1, and the next entry in the MCU, Guardians Of The Galaxy.
This is definitely one of my top five movies in the MCU because this movie is amazing. The acting was really good all around, with Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson both doing a good job reprising their roles of Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff and adding more character to both of them. Anthony Mackie (Sam), and Sebastian Stan (Bucky), Emily VanCamp (Agent 13) and Frank Grillo (Rumlow) were also good and did a good job setting up their characters for future entries. The plot was really good and did a good job of sucking you in and keeping you invested through the whole movie. The action scenes were very well done, especially the fight between Steve and Batroc (Georges St-Pierre) and the first fight between Steve and Winter Soldier as the timing and coordination were incredible. A definite must see movie for any comic book fan, or action movie lover, or anyone that likes to watch movies really.
Rating: 5 out of 5