Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out in 2014 and was arguably one of the best Marvel films ever made. It has incredible emotional depth, character range, a well-developed plot, and holds the audience’s attention the entire time without fail. I was unprepared when I first saw it and even now I was still unprepared because of how much happens! It was incredible to watch again, held my attention the entire time, and I absolutely love Bucky so it was good to see him again, even if he wasn’t himself. There were also a lot of small things within this film that were exciting to notice!
We start off with the original Marvel logo and meet a future Avenger, Sam Wilson (Falcon). Steve is running laps, as is Sam, and keeps passing him with the phrase “on your left,” which is a phrase we see later in this film and other films between them. Sam, an Army Vet, quickly befriends Steve and shows that he is willing to do what is right, regardless of the obstacles they may face. We learn that he lost his best friend as well and that he wasn’t technically a pilot, but rather had a flight suit known as Falcon. I believe his character was done well within this film and they made it clear that he has strong morals, like Steve, that he is willing to stick to no matter what. He also adds to Steve’s list of things he needs to catch up on. I decided to copy Steve’s list because I found it fascinating and funny.
- I Love Lucy
- Moon Landing
- Berlin Wall (up + down)
- Steve Jobs (Apple)
- Thai Food
- Star Wars/Trek
- Nirvana (band)
- Rocky (Rocky II?)
- Troubleman (soundtrack)
Steve is continuing to develop as a character with this list but also with finding ways to adapt to the modern world. He runs every morning and is open to trying new things to better understand the world he woke up in. However, he doesn’t stray from his morals and his loyalty to his friends, even when they’ve become a brainwashed assassin. He disagrees with Fury, and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s view on “freedom,” and isn’t sure that he wants to fight for this form of “freedom” anymore. He goes to see Peggy to get her opinion on it, and while she does offer advice, she also is suffering from aslheimer’s and he is so sweet with her when she forgets about him being alive it made me cry a little bit. He is able to figure out the right path to take, and in the process uncovers dark secrets about HYDRA existing within, and somewhat controlling, S.H.I.E.L.D. Something else about Steve I found interesting is that he’s an absolutely mad-man when it comes to fighting and doing dangerous things. He jumps out of planes without parachutes, out of windows and through things as if they’re nothing, and the scene in the elevator where he beat up a bunch of guys, escaped, and leapt out of the elevator through the glass ceiling of the building was incredible! He really is living on the edge.
Natasha’s character is also further developed within this film, (which is how I know Joss Wheadon fucked her up in Ultron), and we see a side of her that she often kept hidden away: her softer, friendship based side. Right away, we see that she uses smiley faces when texting Steve, and their banter throughout the film shows that she’s looking out for him and trying to be his friend, even though it’s difficult for her. She has built up so many walls and created so many personas, to open up like that and be friends with someone whose morals are the way his are is a difficult thing for her. She often has side missions going on, such as the mini mission within Steve’s mission to rescue the hostages, or has things that represent her without expressing who she is, such as the sleek, black Corvette she drives. She is still a badass fighter, and her skills are highlighted more in this film, especially in the fight scene with Bucky. And we learn her real name: Natalia Alianova Ramanova. At the end of the film we see her stand up to the government, explaining why Steve is out doing his own thing and that she’s too vital to be arrested. A total badass move.
Who the hell is Bucky? Bucky is a brainwashed assassin who used to be Steve’s best friend and a member of the Howling Commandos. His story is depressing and even though he has very few lines within this film, his emotional struggle is made clear as he somewhat remembers Steve but has been trained to complete his missions no matter what. We first see him in the scene with Fury, but don’t learn until later who he is. He’s had a run-in with Natasha before, but she didn’t know who he was in relation to Steve. Even though the reason is not good, he is incredibly skilled in both hand-to-hand combat and with weapons. He clearly has been trained well, and also does not care about his own safety. His story is sad and makes me depressed to watch, but in the end he saves Steve after what he said, “I’m with you till the end of the line,” and goes to the Smithsonian to try and learn about who he was. I’m sure it’s an emotional shock for him but I think their inclusion of that was clever because it shows the beginning of his character arc in the next Captain America film.
This film was full of little references to other Avengers, future Avengers, and other exciting things worth noting! First, references to other Avengers and future Avengers. At one point Fury makes a comment about people stepping outside of their “spider hole,” which I took as a reference to Spider Man. Later, when the Insight software is being discussed or is targeting people, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, and Tony Stark are mentioned. How exciting that we got a mention of Doctor Strange before he was Doctor Strange! We also see Zola again in computer form, which is a reference to his comic book character of Modok! We learned that Peggy Carter helped found S.H.I.E.L.D., which is part of the reason Steve stays. Stan Lee had a fun cameo as the Smithsonian security guard who may get fired since Cap stole his original suit. Towards the end of the film, we see Maria Hill get a job at Stark Industries, no doubt working to better the world, and we learn that HYDRA has Loki’s scepter! But what have they been doing with his scepter? They’ve been conducting experiments on people and we get a brief glance at the twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who will play a larger role in Age of Ultron.
Overall, this is an incredible film that I had a lot of fun rewatching. This film should absolutely be in your top five Marvel movies! And if it’s not, watch it again and it will be!
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