CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Review

by     Posted 239 days ago

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One of the main criticisms leveled against Captain America: The First Avenger was that Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) was simply a “good guy” and therefore didn’t have any deep inner conflict (i.e. baggage).  That was one of the things I loved most about the character.  He didn’t need some tragic past to let him know that it was good to be good.  “I don’t like bullies,” Rogers said in the first film, and that was it in a nutshell: “I don’t like bullies.”  The sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, could have made the character more twisted and melodramatic by plunging him into a darker, more complex world.  Instead, Captain America isn’t corrupted by the present day.  He’s not even tested.  His innate goodness is a beacon; it’s a bulwark against corruption.   Captain America: The Winter Soldier celebrates the good guy, and when combined with smart commentary, incredible action, and a wonderful sense of humor, it’s the best Marvel movie so far.

Captain America is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but it’s an uneasy partnership.  He finds it difficult to trust Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who deal in subterfuge and espionage.  He’s also highly suspicious of the organization’s “Project Insight”, which is designed to launch three new helicarriers as a way of neutralizing potential threats.  Ironically, when S.H.I.E.L.D. looks like it’s under attack, Cap becomes the prime suspect, and is forced to go on the run alongside Natasha as they attempt to discover a larger conspiracy.  To make matters worse, they’re also forced to contend against a mysterious assassin known as “The Winter Soldier” (Sebastian Stan).

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Even though there are a lot of pieces in play, the story is easy to follow, especially for anyone who’s seen political thrillers.  The movie isn’t so much about twists and turns (although there’s a big one for folks who don’t follow comics or Marvel movie news), and you’ll probably be able to spot the betrayals a mile away.  And that’s fine because even though The Winter Soldier wears the face of a political thriller, it’s still about the good guy at the center.  It’s not a political thriller featuring Captain America.  It’s Captain America in a political thriller.  He’s the guiding force, and we never need to doubt him.

That may sound boring since we’ve come to expect tortured inner lives from our superheroes.  How can he possibly grow without pain?  Because Captain America isn’t suppose to grow.  The world is supposed to grow to meet Captain America.  It’s so rewarding to see a movie that’s not about tearing down a hero to see how he ticks, but building him up and making us feel good about rooting for him.  He’s not perfect.  He’s still naïve, but I’ll take naivety over cynicism any day.

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The movie manages to have its cake and eat it too by including political commentary and subtext.  It’s almost a constant reminder that Captain America is a relic and someone who could never exist.  The real world is too complex for him, and there’s no place for a simple hero when geopolitics is at stake.  We live in a world of drone strikes and NSA data mining.  These are the real villains of Captain America: The Winter Soldier even though they’re never named directly.  This kind of paranoia and fear would wear away a lesser man, but not Captain America.  He’s better than that.

The Winter Soldier also comes into play not only as a more literal villain, but also as an alternate path.  He’s a dark version of Captain America.  He hides in the shadows.  He’s merciless.  He’s a weapon.  Captain America may be a one-man army, but he’s not a tool, and he resents being used that way by S.H.I.E.L.D.  It may be tough trying to figure out the good guys from the bad guys when it comes to a conspiracy, but Captain America is always sure of himself.  It’s a comforting security, and one that’s necessary to ground a world where fear is more powerful than freedom.

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These notions of paranoia and mistrust run not only through the story, but the set pieces as well.  Usually, action scenes stand apart.  They’re meant to be fun and delightful, and then we return to our regularly scheduled programming that will take us to the next set piece.  The Winter Soldier goes one step further by bringing the subtext into the action.  For example, the tension slowly builds preceding a fight inside an elevator, and it’s a clever way to show the shadowy forces closing in on Cap.  In another scene, a character is attacked by henchmen disguised as police officers.  The bad guys are hiding in plain sight, and the movie never lets us forget it even when we’re watching exhilarating fights and chases.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have never helmed an action movie before, but here they come off like old pros.  They’ve upped the game in clever ways like showing how Rogers’ super strength would work against regular people (e.g. he hits much harder), and they could probably write a book titled “101 Ways to Use a Shield”.  The action is wonderfully choreographed, the pace is terrific, and they’ve found a tremendous asset in Sam Wilson/The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), who’s not only a great character, but also provides some nice variety alongside Cap and Black Widow.

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If there’s one glaring weakness to the whole affair, it’s that the bad guys’ plan doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Thematically, it works, but I didn’t understand how it could be reasonably executed.  The silliness of this plot point isn’t really worthy of the movie’s overall intelligence.  However, I can overlook this flaw because while it’s an important part of the story, it’s a small piece of a movie that’s filled with excitement, thoughtfulness, earnestness, and humor.

I do have to take a moment to address the humor, because it’s one of the big reasons Captain America: The Winter Soldier is so successful.  The movie starts with a joke and even though the plot is filled with serious themes and plenty of drama, it never forgets to make us laugh.  They’re not ironic laughs or defensive ones.  They’re just good-hearted, clever jokes, and they’re yet another example of why the movie is such a success.

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Marvel has not only proven yet again that there is no template for their movies, but also that there’s no template for good superhero movies.  Each character has to be taken on his or her merits rather than being forced to appeal to a vague notion of what a popular superhero should be.  Some audience members may think they want dark, brooding, and desperate, and that’s fine for some characters.  But it’s more important to recognize that audiences need and deserve a different kind of hero.  To recognize a hero who reminds us about the greatness of being honest in a world of dishonesty, of being compassionate in a world of selfishness, and of being brave in a world of fear.  These values combined with top-notch filmmaking make Captain America: The Winter Soldier not just my favorite Marvel movie; it’s one of my favorite movies of the year.

Rating: A-

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  • Daniel Ronczkowski

    How about the Post Credits scene?!

    • Spicerpalooza

      There are 2 of them. The one that sets up Age of Ultron is really cool.

      • grapes9h5

        The second one was a bit of a let down. I was worried it would be another gag one, like the last 3 Maarvel films, but instead it was really just an unneeded footnote. Maybe if they just had one other little element there, telling us something truly new and unexpected, it would have been more worthwhile.

      • bidi

        i feel like that’s setting up Cap 3. the actor in question initially signed a multi-picture deal with Marvel

  • scurvy

    Wow. I know the movie has been getting great reviews and even Goldberg is digging it.

    Can’t wait till Friday!!

  • Blob

    You’re wrong, it’s crap. Entirely predictable, factory-line-assembled, made-by-committee unsurprising borefest. Every character is a cardboard facsimile. Nothing new or interesting, entirely formulaic. Standard 3rd act CG-fest where everything is obligated to blow up. Doesn’t change the ”marvel universe”. Conspiracy feels like it was written by a three year old, with no surprising twists.

    Boring mess.

    • Captain Opinion

      Opinions are the best!

    • tobi

      Nice try troll. Move along!

    • Leo Spaceman

      If I had an account, I would down vote you, but since I don’t I am just going to tell you to F**k Off back to C**t Land instead.

      Also I have seen the movie, and while yes it does have Standard Block Buster Tropes, it doesn’t feel like a generic Block Buster. It is all glorious and awesome and the Winter Solider is a scene stealer. Any Marvel or DC fan or standard Collidernaut is going to love this movie.

      • Blob

        It’s for babies. Written by babies, for babies.

      • Blob

        The Winter Soldier is not a ”scene stealer”. He’s a cardboard cutout, nothing character, defined by the fact that he has no personality. He has about 10 lines. He also has the look of a GI JOE character, or a (bad) cosplayer. His backstory is completely underdeveloped and uninteresting.

      • brNdon

        Well you obviously don’t know shit about shit, and you obviously don’t read comics or you would know that Winter Soldier’s is right out of the comics with some very minor changes. I am starting to wonder if you have even seen the movie considering how vague your opinions have been so far.

      • Blob

        I’ve seen it. Funny that you need to back the movie up with material that has nothing to do with the movie. The only people sploodging all over this are comic book nerds who have boners for the winter solider for some reason.

      • DEADP00L

        I get a boner just thinking about my own movie and myself after reading my comics – oh the epicness of it all….. I’ll think of Cap’s sidekick when I want to sterilize myself. So I resent the insinuation.

      • brNdon

        So a movie based on other material (comics) shouldn’t be backed up with said source material? Why did you even see the movie?

      • brNdon

        So a movie based on other material (comics) shouldn’t be backed up with said source material? Why did you even see the movie?

      • fechu1922

        you are being too harsh. I’ve seen the movie as well. I liked it, i don’t think it’s the best marvel movie ever. You can see all the twist coming a mile away but it’s not that baaaaaad. Relax man. It’s a good, fun super hero movie with american issues. It’s ok.

      • Blob

        Yeah pretty much

      • Pony Boy

        Go troll some other board, troll.

    • Batt Damon
    • gutted

      Parts of the film are ok, but its not this amazing event everyone keeps saying – its totally overhyped, much like Man of Steel. I agree with your comments. There where no surprising twists, they were all extremely obvious – so the result is you don’t really care about the characters being injured, in fact you roll your eyes and wait for the reappearance.

      The characters however were not bland, individually the characters had interesting stories and were well acted – the plot let this one down.
      That and it did feel like a Shield film with Captain American as the
      cameo.

  • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

    Had to delete a spoiler comment about the post-credits scenes. Please don’t talk about that until the film has been released even if you do try to couch it in “spoiler alerts” (people’s eyes glaze over words unintentionally).

    I’ll simply say this: they’re good scenes (yes, stay until the very end of the credits).

    • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

      Thank you

    • evinrude

      That viligance against spoilers is much appreciated.

      Terrific review — it has a point to make,and makes it well.I have a proud love for the first movie,which I thought was note-perfect. Can’t wait to see THE WINTER SOLDIER.

    • evinrude

      That viligance against spoilers is much appreciated.

      Terrific review — it has a point to make,and makes it well.I have a proud love for the first movie,which I thought was note-perfect. Can’t wait to see THE WINTER SOLDIER.

    • Leo Spaceman

      Its a Miracle that you deleted the comment….I hope somebody understands this comment.

    • serloren

      Why not do the same to most if not all the childish troll BS posted all over this thread?

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Because there has to be a line between childish and actually offensive. Believe me, I’m keeping an eye out for the offenders.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Because there has to be a line between childish and actually offensive. Believe me, I’m keeping an eye out for the offenders.

    • serloren

      Why not do the same to most if not all the childish troll BS posted all over this thread?

    • GrimReaper07

      The first post-credits scene is really good, the second one isn’t worth sitting through the whole credits.

  • rajv

    This is probably the grittiest movie Marvel has brought to the screen, which is a good thing. I hope ‘Guardians’ beats that.

    • Archilus

      Nah, Guardians are gonna be a comedy

      • rajv

        Given the preview and Racoon’s angry attitude, I am pretty sure it is going to be gritty and fun.

      • Batt Damon

        It’s James Gunn. It’ll be funny as hell but I bet it’ll be pretty dark too.

  • Lance

    Glad to hear the movie’s good! And I like Cap too, for the reasons Matt mentioned.

    But there’s no need for every superhero to be a shining positive beacon. There’s nothing wrong with dark gritty Batman. Not liking Nolan’s take on the superhero genre is just wrong.

    • Archilus

      Nolan is good, the grittiness works well for Batman, but I don´t think it worked so well for Superman

      • Batt Damon

        I think that was more the point he was trying to make. Filmmakers need to let the characters be who they are not try to shoehorn them into a mould that worked for a different character.

    • the king of comedy

      also it din`t work to well for The Dark Knight Rises

      • DEADP00L

        I think it was Heath Ledger’s death that did that. Nolan had a contract for THREE movies and Ledger was contracted for two. So Nolan did have a stroy for the Joker, but when Heath died he shelved whatever ideas he had. So when it came time to film the third installment Nolan literally pulled whatever he could out of his ass.

        I just wish he didn’t have to lie to us all and say that his shit was what he had planned all along and ended it in such a bad note. He could have and should have replaced Health and honored his memory by letting the Joker take center stage.

        Which might have also been Bale’s fault. I get the impression Bale was the one with the say on the matter and was willing to do ANYTHING else just so long as it wasn’t working with Healths replacement Joker.

      • the king of comedy

        Yeah maybe we would have a different movie if Ledger was still with us, but still, I had high hopes for that movie, Bane as a villain was an inspired choice, he was the villain who was finally going to break the bath, and if done right it could have been epic, too bad it ended the way it did, TDKR wasn`t a bad movie but it was definitelly silly, didn`t have the same feeling the other batman movies had, and overall it was really dissapointing after the incredible TDK and the highly underrated Batman Begins

    • lordjim

      i´m sorry folks, i´m really not here to troll but what the hell was dark and gritty in “the dark knight”???i´m not saying that it is a bad movie, but even “batman returns” was darker, and gritty?it´s a comic book version of heat, it´s really not gritty, “winter´s bone” is gritty, “taxi driver” is gritty but “the dark knight”???come on…

  • the king of comedy

    Captain America is an awesome movie, definitelly one of the best Marvel movies along with The Avengers and the first Iron Man movie, Chriss Evans portray of this big Boy Scoutt of a hero is perfect, and it`s true many people think that a dark and gritty super hero is cool, and that a good guy hero is only for kids, but that`s not true at all, kids are the ones that enjoy a badass hero the most and adults can also enoy this ride of a good guy tested by this new evil and corrupt world.

  • DPW

    Nice review! Haven’t seen this movie yet, but beyond excited. I feel like Captain America is going to nail the honest do-right tone of the old Superman films and give us a badass hero we can look up to…as opposed to an emo Supes that kills Zod.

  • Doug_101

    Great review, Matt. The movie is excellent and I’m so stoked to see it again tomorrow night. This also could have been a companion piece to your Man of Steel review from last year. Personally, I liked that film, but I can see where people might have had problems with it and in describing Cap, you summed it up that argument pretty well.

  • DEADP00L

    Man of Steel sucked balls and Man of Steel 2 or whatever it’s called is going to suck worse.

    Marvels hits:
    Ironman 1 and 2
    Thor 1 and 2
    Avengers 1 and soon to be 2
    Captain America 1 and now 2
    Guardians is going to be a hit too
    This latest X-men might just be something too

    All DC had going for it was BB and TDK while the third was pure rubbish

    Marvel is a solid 9 ( could have been a whooping 10 if Iron Man 3 had been just as good ) and this isn’t even counting the X-men OR Spiderman!

    DC is a pathetic 2

    Say what you will, but Marvel clearly knows how to make its heroes work – Snyder and David Goyer are CLUELESS.

    • Aquartertoseven

      You forgot to include Iron Man 3. And you should probably take out Thor 2, it was weak (along with IM2).

      • DEADP00L

        Marvel is amazing. When you think of how much they got done compared to DC. Good or not so good their movies have never been as awful as Man of Steel.

      • Aquartertoseven

        And ironically, fans of MoS think it’s amazing.

      • DEADP00L

        Yeah but Marvel IS amazing it’s not an actual movie I am calling amazing, it’s the actual company and what it’s achieved.

        MOS fans are nuts. They ought to have liked the Hulk movies because that’s essentially what MOS was – only a lot more mindless and less green.

      • RedMercury

        The both of them.

      • Batt Damon

        Iron Man 2 & 3 and Thor: The Dark World all made a shittonne (yes, that is the correct technical term) at the box-office and are certified fresh on rotten tomatoes. I’m pretty sure they’re all hits.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Thor 2, as it wasn’t very good, dropped dramatically at the box office; on its first weekdays, it made 10m on Monday, $5m on Tuesday and $3m on Wednesday and Thursday. It should’ve taken a couple of weeks to get down to 3 million, after such a huge opening weekend. Quality has an effect on takings.

      • Batt Damon

        It made around $650 million worldwide. Granted, it wasn’t as strong as a lot of Marvel’s recent output but it’s still a hit at the box office and had decent reviews.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Emphasis on decent, not particularly good, great etc. just barely above rotten. It did well overall due to the Avengers bump, but still it didn’t do nearly as good as it could’ve, and that’s because of its quality, or lack of.

      • serloren

        Thor 2 was weak in your opinion, but Iron Man 3 wasn’t????

        Of the two, I would so take Thor’s straight-up one direction from word go, over Iron Man 3′s muddled wandering around every 2 minutes – all the powers/non-powers, suit/non-suits, that contradicted themselves and defied all logic.

        And seriously, Pepper goes from scrawny CEO to Jet Li class ass-kicking Ninja in 30 seconds? She learn all that in a Zumba class?

      • Aquartertoseven

        What logic was defied? I can guarantee you that whatever complaint(s) you may have about that can be disproven with ease.

        I see what you mean, but if you had super strength all of a sudden, wouldn’t you do something ridiculously flashy? I would.

      • serloren

        It’s not that you wouldn’t WANT to strut your stuff if given super-duper lava strength stuff (gee that sounds like handsoap) suddenly – it’s that being given incredible strength/heat power wouldn’t give you Ninja fighting skills like Donnie Chen. Sure, you might rip down a wall, crack open an armored car, etc – but the chop-socky dance shtick….? NOT!

        Now, thinking on that scene: There were roughly a gajillion Iron Man Suits flying around and tearing stuff up all at Tony’s little voice command right? Right! So howcum, when the missle comes flying in at his beachpad (dumb enough that CNN would have it one the news before Tony -supersmartest man as there is alive- Stark has a defense system THAT pathetic!), howcum…he didn’t just launch all of those suits that were RIGHT THERE under the floorboards of his superchic living room to stop the missile, and/or save Pepper and his Renoits, Gaugans, and so on? NONE of that entire sequence makes any sense of any kind at all. ESPECIALLY given that he deliberately gave out his address on TV so that he would be attacked in the first place!

        And it goes on and on and on throughout the whole movie! It was every bit as bad as 2 and the lame-o Mickey – somebody make me take a flipping bath – Rourke excuse for a villain, where again, the whole army of suits blowing crap up like a bunch of really short Go-Bots was the main “thrill” of the movie for the 11 year olds in the theater.

        If that ain’t enough for you, look up Honest Trailers rendition – it is hilarious and very accurate.

        I really enjoy the first Iron Man, even after repeated viewings, but sequels start out bad and get more and more awful each time I see them. I’d much rather see a new Hulk movie than an Iron Man 4.

      • GrimReaper07

        I love how you’re complaining about how ridiculous one superhero film is. As if they weren’t all ridiculous to one degree or another.

      • serloren

        Much like someone who refers to themselves as the Grim Reaper…and the 7th one in line at that. So, I guess you have a vested interest in…lame sequels.

      • GrimReaper07

        Oh noes, you took a shot at the username I made about 8 years ago. That totally has to mean you’re right!

        I liked Iron Man 3. Didn’t think it was great, mind you, but then again maybe only a couple of Marvel films are. It’s definitively better than Dark World, which is the most unmemorable blockbuster I’ve seen in a long time (though not by that much either). It’s fun, entertaining, Downey Jr’s as good as he’s ever been in that role and yes, its ridiculous. All of these movies are. They’re stupid fun, not great cinema.

      • Aquartertoseven

        I dunno, don’t you ever try karate like Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? I do! Knowing the dangers she has been through, why wouldn’t she get some form of training? Plus women love yoga and all of that crap. Adding super strength and imminent danger to that would definitely make a person go all out.

        HE HAD PTSD. He spoke about it repeatedly, it means that he went through an incredibly traumatic experience that seriously fucked him up and changed him. Like not being able to think clearly. This is an entirely rational explanation for anyone that actually has a working brain, no offence but can’t you see how easy it is to apply logic? You watch the Avengers and then IM3 and it’s just a simple continuation of the story. It’s not very subtle (well, apparently it was to everyone that hates the film because they have no idea), it’s not hidden in any way. Detractors either don’t see it or forget because they’re so willing to hate rather than enjoy. Ironically you mentioned the finale being for 11 year olds when you need a basic thing to be pointed out for you.

        He gave out his address as a ‘I’m coming for you bro’ sort of thing, like ‘you better run’ when you hope to God that they don’t turn back. He didn’t expect an attack, he was just angry about his friend nearly getting blown apart.

        Now you’re either going to have a revelation and start liking this film, as you should, or you’re going to like ‘oh well, I still hate it for reasons that don’t make sense either’. I hope it’s the former because this isn’t Man of Steel, this is story, depth, good characters, action, effects, all rolled into one.

      • serloren

        The PTSD is the one thing about the movie that holds up (and the thing that I really liked about the script – considering what he had been through in the Avengers: THAT made perfect sense), and that was actually a clever thing to inject into “super-duper” stuff.

        Having family members and friends who have suffered through (or still suffer with) PTSD, I can tell you that it does not make a plausible excuse for the characters contradictory and illogical actions and/or motives throughout the movie.

        I’ve not read anywhere that the writers ever actually stated that Stark’s PTSD was supposed to be responsible for things in the movie like we’re talking about – but if they have, they truly need to study up on what it actually is like for the folks who have it, because outside of the sleeplessness, irritability, indecisiveness and paranoia that Tony showed, the rest just plain wasn’t something that could shown as causally related to it.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Indecisiveness was a key part of his character in the film, coupled with sleeplessness, he wouldn’t be thinking clearly, acting logical etc.

    • Spanky

      And forgot Incredible Hulk.. oh and since you are including movies from other studio’s (xmen) then you should be mentioning the absolutely horrible FF4 movies, Spiderman 3, Amazing Spiderman, X3.. should we keep going further back?

      Point is, if you are trying to make a statement with ‘facts’ get them right and don’t twist to make it sound like it’s correct in your own head

      • DEADP00L

        I wam iz soooo sowwee I fowgwot abowt dem mowvies I iz a pewson not IMDB.

        All not as terrible as Superman Returns. They ENTERTAINED their target audience for that time and still do.

      • Batt Damon

        Superman Returns is better than DC’s current output and most of the crap coming from Sony and Fox

    • http://www.facebook.com/sangbaran Sam

      If you think Iron man 2, thor 1 and 2, captain america 1 were better then DK series….you need to see a doctor.

      • DEADP00L

        I did not say that. Where did you get that from? Are you crazy? It’s like comparing olive oil to petrol – it’s stupid. Don’t do that to your brain.

      • BigJimSlade

        The first Batman is decent, the third is one of the worst comic book movies I’ve ever tried to sit through. It actually makes me appreciate Raimi’s Spiderman 3. The second Batman, people either seem to love or hate.

        In the history of comic book movies, I don’t see how/why Nolan’s Batman movies even come into the discussion. I guess I need to see a doctor…

    • Lionman

      You forgot about V for Vendetta and Watchmen as DC movies, which were both awesome! But I know what you mean, the rest was just a disaster!

      • DEADP00L

        I remember V was like radiation back then, They were so uptight about it and still are when it literally had A LOT of potential. Watchmen was the same thing only worse you wouldn’t have known it was DC unless you knew the comics.

    • Lionman

      You forgot V vor Vendetta and Watchmen as DC movies, which were pretty awesome!

      • DEADP00L

        That’s my point they weren’t well marketed AS DC movies. They were both grossly mishandled and even stigmatized for being pro-terrrorism.

        It was bonkers how the world worked back then.

      • brNdon

        Because they were Vertigo properties. Yes I realize DC owns Vertigo, but I still don’t consider them as DC movies.

      • brNdon

        Because they were Vertigo properties. Yes I realize DC owns Vertigo, but I still don’t consider them as DC movies.

    • Johnson

      phuck you and you phucking opinion

      • DEADP00L

        phuck you and your phucking opinion of my phucking opinion you phucking phucker.

    • Grendal Sven

      I don’t care what anyone has to say, Man of Steel, while flawed, brought a breath of fresh air to a stale, tired old story. It was an entertaining flick, and I have enjoyed it the several times I watched it…

      I have to agree about the “Batman vs Superman” or whatever its gonna be called, it looks like it gonna be a big pile of steaming dookie, with an equally large pile sitting right next to it called “Fantastic Four.”

      • DEADP00L

        What was fresh about it?

        Planet blows up -check
        Sent to Earth – check
        Childhood told – check
        Meets lois lane – check
        Jor El teaches Kal – check
        Kal rescues Lois a lot – check
        Kal fights Zod – check and double check
        Defeats Zod – DUH check

        Now which movie am I referring to?

      • Grendal Sven

        One of my favorite Superman quotes,

        “I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard. Always taking constant care not to break something. To break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die.”

        In this movie he “felt” like what he really is, or could be, an invincible god of destruction. The focus on action is what I’m getting at here. This movie wasn’t on Richard Donner’s lvl of storytelling, not even close, but those movies are still there in my collection if I want to watch them, with the abomination’s of III, IV, and Returns tucked right in behind them, (where no one can see.) This take on Supes was never explored on the big screen and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

      • DEADP00L

        If that was what you were looking for and wanted a fresh look why did they have to go through all I just highlighted yet AGAIN? How many times do they have to start with Kal as a baby? Why not go straight to a DoomsDay or Darkseid angle.

        Since action is what you focused on. I’ll refer you to the TV animated series pick any one and use that as a story board.

        I on the other hand was bored to death waiting for the backstory nonsense to end – we all know who Superman is! We really did at that point, but by the time the action started I was already sick of seeing him in action. Then they went over kill; and for 45 min they just went HULK smash on the entire thing – it was ridiculous.

        One left that movie literally feeling exhausted. I went straight home and slept like a baby. When I left The Avengers I got hungry and spent two whole hours ranting at how cool it would be to jump off a skyscraper and into an Ironman suit. Movies are sopposed to be fun, I had no fun in MOS. It took itself waaaaay too seriously.

      • Grendal Sven

        I think they were literally terrified of the negative backlash they received from “Returns” and felt the need to reboot. They tried to pick up the story from I and II, completely ignoring (and rightfully so) III and particularly IV… and failed.

        If they had gone on to do a sequel with Darkseid or Doomsday MOS would have been a decent run-up to it, but this whole “B v S” garbage and the horrid casting… I don’t even wanna talk about it. I usually will give a movie the benefit of the doubt, but I think I’ll let my wallet speak for me on that one.

        MOS isn’t one of the all time greats, but could have been so much worse.

      • DEADP00L

        Having reservations is warranted but to completely backtrack to square one was both a wasted opportunity and frankly lazy writing. You could easily feel how half assed it was in a lot of the material.

        As for the sequel, I will agree with you that my wallet will be doing the loudest talking. It wreaks of disorganization and competition rather than substance. Not to mention it being completely diluted of anything that would be a sequel. They have lost their senses at DC and rather then focus on depth and posterity they are willing to create garbage that not only won’t hold for a year but won’t age well after that year.

        Even on a film experience level, MOS holds nothing historical in terms of cinematic experience. While the very first Superman movie is literally used in film schools to teach people how sci fi made a man take flight before an audience.

        DC HAD that power and they just tossed it out. They chose short term gross with little work, rather than inspirational imagination. Which would have been beneficial gross wise anyway if not more; but it would only require more work.

        Let’s face it they are dry in the creativity and motivation department.

      • MJ

        Rebooting a classic origin story is not lazy writing.

      • MJ

        Exactly. I agree 100%.

      • MJ

        Ah, because most people wanted to see the origin story rebooted, that’s why.

      • Batt Damon

        The only thing cardboard in that movie were the characters.

      • MJ

        So you would have changed the Superman origin story?

      • DEADP00L

        Yes I would have and it would be a movie about nothing but Krypton.

      • MJ

        Like that would have mass appeal?

      • MJ

        Like that would have mass appeal?

      • DEADP00L

        Yeah it would we follow Jor El as he travels to earth to see if he can get refugees to it( salute to smallvile) returns to research his planet time left, a civil war breaks out wi6th zod at the lead the planet becomes unstable jor begins prepping his family to leave the planet . Kara (supergirl) is sent out first but her pod is thrown off trajectory. etc etc etc – there are ideas and so much potential to have gotten it right.

        But we got man of steel instead and the laziest writing.

      • MJ

        You kind of had me there until you brought in Supergirl…argh…please, NO !!!!

      • DEADP00L

        Just keeping true to the comics dude. But at least you admit it is a good idea and actually NEW and fresh material.

      • DEADP00L

        Yes I would have and it would be a movie about nothing but Krypton.

    • GrimReaper07

      Uhhh define hits. Cause if we’re talking about quality DC has the first two Batman movies and Marvel only the first Iron Man, Avengers and maybe this one (I don’t like it enough to label it a “hit” but whatever, its their third best movie). All the other Marvel movies are decent stupid fun. You give them way too much credit.

      I agree that Goyer and Snyder are clueless though.

  • Aquartertoseven

    It was a great film but it could’ve been better. The camera couldn’t keep still for the first 20 minutes and the blurriness made me feel ill. The twists and turns were a little held back and there should’ve been more depth in that regard. The weakest link was easily The Falcon, he was shoehorned in without a good reason and as a result, he just seemed like the token black guy the entire time. MINOR SPOILER ALERT-

    Had he been set up as a SHIELD agent to keep an eye on Cap, as the “nurse” was, and maybe Cap made a quip about who else is a SHIELD agent, the tramp in the street or something, that’s all that was needed for us to be able to accept Falcon. Having him be some random guy that has wings for some weird reason highlighted how out of place he was and when he fought Frank Grillo, I kept thinking ‘he doesn’t deserve to be here at this point in the film, he hasn’t earned it’.

    Oh well, I still enjoyed it a lot, and would put it 3rd in the MCU, behind Iron Man 3 and of course The Avengers.

    • MJ

      Ah, now you have IM3 even better than The Avengers? wtf???

      • Aquartertoseven

        No, I’d have the Avengers above IM3, no need to cry. What you think IM3 is, isn’t what it actually is. It’s a great movie.

      • MJ

        No, it is not.

      • Aquartertoseven

        No, I’d have the Avengers above IM3, no need to cry. What you think IM3 is, isn’t what it actually is. It’s a great movie.

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    Chris Evans is a great actor. He added a lot to the franchise.
    He is also a nice guy. Smart, funny and humble.

  • nemesis11

    Iron man 3 was so bad it stilll hurts to think about it, but Thor 2 was good. really enjoyable. and A- review from Matt has really raised ny expectations for this one. Cap is going to rule.

    • Aquartertoseven

      That’s like saying that Empire Strikes Back was so bad and The Phantom Menace was really enjoyable, it’s lunacy.

      • nemesis11

        Thats not a obejctive criticism man. just my personal opinion. I was massively disappointed by Iron man 3.
        and please do not compare Iron man 3 to ESB.. please. coz that is lunacy.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        Iron Man 3 was a true let down compared to Iron Man 1.
        but Thor 2 was also bad.

      • nemesis11

        see i can see why someone would hate Thor 2 or why someone will love Iron man 3. But what I dont get is people’s insistence to declare that ‘Iron man 3 was the best of the series’. that sort of ignore the fantastic work Faverau did in Iron man 1. just take the first flight scene. Favereau and his cinematographer Libatique used every trick in book to make it realistic and believable but at the same time made it fantastic. I personally thought Shane black did very poor job with story and direction.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Iron Man is like what Batman Begins is to the Batman trilogy; both overrated. I’m not denying that they’re very good films, even great in IM’s case, but they’re not the best in either series.

        I’m not saying that IM3 is comparable to ESB, I’m saying that the difference between Thor 2 and IM3 is comparable to the difference between TPM and ESB almost. IM3 had a great balance with story, characters, action etc. whereas Thor 2 had a meh story, no character development apart from Loki, who was barely in it, and action that was far from wowing.

      • nemesis11

        anxiety attacks dont mean character developement. But forget it mate. Clearly we have different taste. Because for me Batman begins is the best comic book movie ever made, closely followed by TDK and Iron man1. So may be u r right. This is just opinion. atleast we agree on cap2. That will be good.

      • Aquartertoseven

        PTSD is character development, especially when it affects his actions and his relationships. Batman Begins is a very good film, has many quotable lines, but it isn’t 8/10, it isn’t great. And it certainly isn’t close to TDK in terms of quality, let alone IM3, Avengers, Spiderman 2, X2 etc.

      • MJ

        IM3 and Spiderman 2, are you freaking kidding me. Those are weak movies, dude.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Spiderman 2 weak? Are you mentally insane?

      • MJ

        No, I am physically insane. LOL

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        Agreed. Same over here.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        Agreed. Same over here.

      • NICK НΛRT

        you suck at film analogies

      • Aquartertoseven

        Not really. You just have bad taste if you’re one of those fools that thinks IM3 is terrible.

        TPM- 5/10
        ESB- 9/10

        TDW- 6/10
        IM3- 8.5/10

        So imo the gap is definitely not as wide yet still very large.

      • MJ

        Count this fool as well — IM3 was weak.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Only to idiots that don’t understand it. Seriously, most complaints don’t make sense and can be easily explained by someone that paid attention.

      • MJ

        You sound like a five year old

      • Aquartertoseven

        Not remotely. The 5 year old is the one that hates a film for few good reasons.

      • MJ

        No, the five year old is the person who insists something is true without providing any evidence to back up his/her opinion.

        “Mommy, Iron Man 3 is awesome!”

      • Aquartertoseven

        I just replied to another guy on this thread with the same ridiculous attitude; most “complaints” don’t exist, detractors are simply too unintelligent to see the basic goings on in the film. Like you no doubt.

      • MJ

        No, the other guy was actually completely right. You, on the other hand, wouldn’t know a good movie if it hit you on the head and called you papa.

      • Aquartertoseven

        You seem to have a problem with parents, you should see someone about that.

        Lol, I bet you think that Man of Steel is amazing too.

      • MJ

        Don’t like Man of Steel. Regarding your parents, you mom says hi!

      • Aquartertoseven

        Ouch? If you weren’t a child, you’d see that your mum jokes are pretty terrible and just weak.

        At least your retardation isn’t 100% then, that’s good.

      • MJ

        If only your film analysis was as good as your insults.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Way to compliment me. Story, characters, action, effects, I’d say my film analysis skills are quite good. I don’t hate films for no good, logical reasons. Yes the Mandarin twist didn’t go far enough, the real Mandarin should’ve shown up, the kid was annoying etc. but it has so many positives aspects despite those flaws.

      • MJ

        See, I made you work on it. That wasn’t half bad.

      • Aquartertoseven

        I referred you to the other argument, one that you acknowledged. I had an in depth argument there, so explaining myself here, especially when you said that you read the other thread, was unnecessary.

      • MJ

        Dude, I give you credit for sticking with it, even if we don’t agree. You have my respect!

        Truce!

      • MJ

        Worst film analogy I have have ever heard anywhere….

      • BigJimSlade

        Compared to the “stories” from the first two Iron Man films, I thought the third was a masterpiece.

        The first one felt like a toy commercial and had one of the weakest origins of a villain I’ve seen in a comic book film. How do you cast Jeff Bridges and give him absolutely nothing to work with?

      • mbmarquis69

        I’m not sure but Tron 2 managed to do it as well.

      • MJ

        I agree completely. IM1 is so much better than 2 and 3.

      • MJ

        IM2 and IM3 both sucked. IM1 was a classic. That is the truth, my friend.

    • milo

      I don’t really get what the fuss was about with IM3, the only thing I can think of is comics fans being pissed about not really having the Mandarin. I thought it was a solid movie with some clever ways of expanding what could be done with the suit. Some flaws particularly the rushed epilogue with him destroying the suits, fixing Pepper and getting the shrapnel finally removed, but overall I really enjoyed it. Way better than IM2 which isn’t so bad in the Stark parts but the villain and ending are underwhelming. I have mixed feelings about both Thor movies – Thor and Loki are both great but I don’t care about Portman’s character at all and Dennings is just flat out annoying. I’d be fine with a Thor movie that doesn’t get to earth at all.

      • JBug

        IM3 was awesome. Thor 2 was just ok.

    • MJ

      IM3 was so great until the Mandarin thing. I just couldn’t get into the movie after they turned the Madarin into Benny Hill. Total waste of Ben Kingsly and an insult to the fans of the comics.

      Thor 2 was OK, but not great. Worth seeing once, but I doubt I will pay for the Blu-Ray. Thor 1 has better humor and acting.

      • Grendal Sven

        I thought so too until I watched the short film where Kingsly’s character was interviewed in prison. Marvel studios obviously listens to the fans, and I’m looking forward to a portrayal of the “real” Mandarin in a future movie.

        Thor 2 was good, bettter than IM2, and I had to add it to my Marvel movie collection.

  • Bucky

    Other than the trolls who’re just trolling, the general consensus around the world no less, is that this movie is a winner through and through. Incidentally, in Asia where CATWS was released much earlier has also been well-received, both box office-wise and critically. A nice review by Goldberg that I find pretty accurate. Interestingly, his thoughts are somewhat similar to this other review from an Asian site… http://electroshadow.com/super-soldier/

  • MJ

    Sounds like they lifted a lot of the story from Star Trek Into Darkness, including the good organization gone bad, overreaction to terrorism morality play, and right down to the mega ship crashing into the port city.

    • bidi

      never thought of that. good point

  • http://www.iwannabethehero.com ~THE DOOMED SIDEKICK~

    If Mr. Goldberg Gives This Movie That Kind of Score Then My Cheeks Will Be Planted Come Friday Morning…I Work At Night :-(

  • Ridge

    With all respect to anyone here Im going to give my opinion….

    I read a couple of days ago that CA:TWS is the best movie ever made by Marvel Studios, yeah it’s totally awesome cause is the kind of movie that will entertain you…

    It has great action scenes, gunfights, awesome hand to hand combat choreographies, (lots of violence to reduce my lines) and bloody characters (ok not too much blood) and all the explotions that IM3 and Thor:TDW didn’t had… you will definitely will like this film….

    The bad side about this film is the lack of development in some characters, in this case the villians… we all know the Winter Soldier story but a lot of people don’t know it!… in the film, he barely talks, he needed more dialogues, he didn’t looked like a real threat (but he was). I didn’t felt he was a real threat to the Captain, now Im going to compare him with a very different character, Bane, that guy was totally badass, was the kind of villian that people will remember very well, but TWS it was just ok… I think I’m giving away too much sorry…

    Anyway, I suggest to every Marvel fan to go and watch it and then give your opinions…

    My rating to the film: 7.5 out of 10

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  • ʝoe ßloggs

    CA:TWS is a superior entry in Marvel’s filmverse.
    I’ve watched it twice.

  • grapes9h5

    Great review Matt. Having just seen it, I totally (mostly) agree. I would have rated it a bit lower though, cause although I think its Marvel’s best yet, they aimed so high with this one, and I expected so much of it, that I did think it didn’t quite nail everything. It wasn’t just simply the way the antagonist’s plot didn’t quite add up, I don’t mind that, its that I do think they could have used a bit more difficulty for Steve, both with the politics he was facing, and just the personal life as a the man out of time. I wouldn’t be surprised if they deleted scenes show evidence at attempts to hit those areas harder.

  • Bob

    Great movie. Imo, the second best Marvel film. Avengers, then CA:TWS, then Iron Man. Also, prob the best post credits scene besides the original Iron Man post credits scene.

    • bidi

      this

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  • JBug

    Great review, Matt!

  • eternalozzie

    It’s weird to see an A- for this film as it used the Michael Bay “if it’s on screen it has to blow up” formula.

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