Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

So, it looks like the student I'm supposed to see about test out hasn't shown, which gives me a little spare time to write about Cap 2.

For those of you who haven't seen it, here's your convenient cut.

Eager to see the new Marvel offering, I was chomping at the bit when we finally hit the theater on Saturday night. Cap is not my favorite hero of the current cycle, but I did go on record as saying that Chris Evans wins the most authentic portrayal of his hero. Yup, Downey, Jr. and Hemsworth are good. Hiddleston is superb. And Johanssen? Excellent. There's a certain chemistry necessary to pull off Cap without making him too goody-two shoes or para-military or 1940s, and Evans is doing it. So happy to see him transfer all of this into the modern era.

So, here's a list of what I liked.

1. The Falcon. Updated Sam Wilson was brought into the film without changing the essentials of his character. He still counsels. He still flies. He's still just a guy, the easiest going guy we've seen in these films so far. He's always been a very positive upbeat character, and I liked the portrayal that Anthony Mackie turned in.

2. Sharon (Carter?): Comic book fans at least appreciated the first name of the woman who was (unlikely, I know) Peggy Carter's niece and Cap's love interest in the comic book. Really interested if we'll see more of her.

3. Arnim Zola on U.N.C.L.E. technology: 'Cause the 70s is the setting sun of 60s spy fi.

4. Steve Rogers stands by his friends. The Winter Soldier plot line in the comic is very different than it is in the movie. There, Bucky has a legitimate grudge against Cap. I mean, he was 15, and tied to a rocket, and Cap didn't get there in time, and what ya gonna do? BUT in the flick Bucky is Steve's tight, tight friend from the past, and Cap is willing to go the distance and potentially die to save his friend. Will we see Sebastian Stan in the sequel? We may well, because that's where Sam and Steve are going at the end of the film. I just love that tortured friend stuff.

5. Jasper Sitwell is a bad guy. Hey. I remember the original Jasper Sitwell. He was a neo-con conservative who gave the Avengers grief because they were loose cannons. I just suspected that they did something different with him in this continuity, but nope. Still a shithead.

5. Steve Rogers can take out a SHIELD plane by himself. Because yeah, he can.

6. "a valedictorian in Iowa City, Stephen Strange." I wonder if Clea will have Dairy Queen hair when she finally makes it to the silver screen.

Things which I would have liked to see done a bit better.

1. Hail, Hydra. You can bury Hydra in SHIELD for 70 years, because they're stupid like that. Yeah... I mean, cool, good angst and all, but, well, yeah.

2. Natasha Romanova's got 'tude. Let's face it, she's always had 'tude. But snapping Hubba Bubba bubblegum kid sister pain in the ass 'tude? Not the classy lady we've come to know from a couple of other films. It didn't seem to be appropriate to her character.

3. Mystery twins at the end. Quick Silver and the Scarlet Witch. Sure, it's better than Wungador and Bova the Cow and the High Evolutionary, but prisoners of Hydra? Are we afraid of the word "mutant?" Are there perhaps copyright issues involved?

***

Overall, there was a lot going on. I'm going back to see it again. I didn't like it as much as the first Captain America, but that was a very special case of a period piece. This film, however, was much better crafted as a cohesive story, with excellent performances overall. The premise of the Hydra infiltration, if you can accept it as a reasonable plot device, sends ripples into the Agents of SHIELD tv show. Then again, you didn't hear me complain this much about the Star Trek Red Matter in ST1 the reboot, and it was much more stupid, so I will just let the Hydra thing go.

The angst potential between Barnes and Rogers is up there. I don't expect a Thor Loki kind of vibe, but I'll take what I can get.

***

Next up Guardians of the Galaxy in August. I have to say my expectations are low, but I will go to see if raccoons can really fly. Or something like.

One thought on “Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

  1. Fox has the rights to the X-Men, so Marvel Studios can't do anything with mutants. They get to fudge with Wanda and Pietro because they have traditionally been Avengers characters. *sigh*

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