Fri
Apr 4 2014 1:15pm

The Age of Heroes is Here. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: Winter Soldier Bucky

Note: This review is spoiler-free, with a separate section below for spoilers. There will be a warning before the spoilers begin. The comments will also contain spoilers.

If you’ve read any other reviews of Captain America: The Winter Soldier then you’ve essentially been told everything you need to know. 1.) It’s a must-see if you’re invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 2.) Even if you’re not, it’s still a lot of fun. Did you see Iron Man 3 or Thor: The Dark World? Whatever reaction you had to those movies is what you’ll have to Winter Soldier.

And that’s okay. The Avengers movies are now three films in to an era of playful confidence, keeping care to root their stories in themes and issues that reflect our world while tackling them with the same nonsensical joy you had playing with your action figures as a kid.

This kind of approach propels Winter Soldier throughout its entire running time. Worried about our culture of incessant surveillance and what those in charge of that information will do? You should be, because in the Avengers universe that means you could become collateral damage to a clandestine plot that runs in, out, and around S.H.I.E.L.D., the overwhelming security force of the western world. Do you feel helpless in the face of such shadowy might? So does Captain America. But unlike you, he has the ability to actually do something about it.

As a character, Captain America is perfectly situated to respond to this kind of overarching fear. He’s seemingly unstoppable, for one thing, and he represents a period of time to which we ascribe a more honest, compassionate morality. It’s definitely arguable as to whether that morality actually existed or was painted over events after the fact, but in Steve Rogers’ case he strives to actually embody that, and Winter Soldier takes pains to show him repeatedly bringing that approach to his everyday life in the 21st century and to how he treats and is treated by the military apparatus that he finds himself working within. The movie doesn’t ignore the events of Avengers or Captain America: The First Avenger. Cap’s attitude towards Nick Fury remains consistently untrusting, his attitude towards dating remains consistently cautious and bewildered, and his attitude towards what is the correct thing to do remains unwavering.

Captain America is a lonely, lonely guy because of this, but Winter Soldier smartly doesn’t let Cap stew through this emotional struggle by himself. From the very first (and very cute) scene, Rogers pulls like-minded souls into his orbit and when the larger events of the film require some serious superheroics, the line is drawn between those who just want to play at heroism and those who actually want to make the world a better place.

The Black Widow’s own character development benefits tremendously from this, as Romanov is placed again and again in positions where she can either follow orders or do what she believes is the right thing. More than that, the events of the film require Cap and others to trust her, and that tension adds to the intrigue in the first half of the story, when all certainties become papery and tenuous. Widow’s heroism goes through some key growth during these events, and her role in Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be all the more powerful because of it.

Captain America: Winter Soldier Black Widow

The movie does an excellent job with the epsionage thriller tone that it has chosen to adopt for this outing. The cover-ups and twists keep the story humming and the action scenes are intense, varied, and fraught. Cap himself takes a huge leap forward in demonstrating just why he deserves the term “super-soldier,” and everyone from Falcon to Nick Fury to Black Widow to Agent Hill and so on get some amazing moments in the sun. Even Batroc gets a fun fight sequence, and who ever cares about that guy?

The filmmakers make sure to allow plenty of space for quiet, conversational moments, as well. Jokes and banter are squeezed into the corners of every scene—and really half the reason we’re watching this is just to see Chris Evans, Johansson, Jackson, et al throw their charm around—but they never distract from the emotional throughlines that ground the story. A heartbreaking scene with Peggy Carter is juxtaposed seamlessly with a shocking assassination attempt, but both imbue Cap with a sense of personal tragedy. A flashback to the innocence of Rogers’ and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s early days plays out right next to a totally insane sci-fi sequence, but both serve to change the perspective of a time that Cap considered pure and right.

The movie does have its flaws, most notably in the potrayal of the titular Winter Soldier himself. To Winter Soldier’s credit, it doesn’t try to shoehorn in the character development it should have demonstrated in Captain America: The First Avenger, but that limits the film to squeezing in confrontrations between him and Cap where it can. By the end of the film it’s clear that their story is only just beginning, but that honesty can’t quite compensate for the lingering feeling that their story should have already begun. Sebastian Stan broods menacingly as well he can, and that is very well, but his storyline still comes off as an afterthought. (Literally so. Perhaps the most potent scene in the character’s story is his post-credits scene.)

That was really the only bum note for me, however. In all other respects, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an excellent addition to the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s respectful to these characters, smart about their motivations and developing relationships, and exciting and fun all throughout. Even once the events in the film drew to a close, I didn’t actually want it to end.

 

SPOILER SPACE AHEAD

Captain America: The Winter Soldier contains a lot of developments that will affect other Marvel movies and television shows, both current and upcoming. We’ll get to those after some spoiler space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not a spoiler: For someone called Batroc the Leaper he really only leapt once. Or maybe he got that name because of how impatient he is.

More spoiler space ahead...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoilers:

  • OH MY GOD S.H.I.E.L.D. IS GONE. I hope they rename the show Formerly Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If only to hear Clark Gregg say “Previously on Formerly Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Seriously, what’s even going to happen on that show? I mean, I imagine dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D. will mean that there’s a lot of messes that they’ll have to mop up. You can’t just close the seed school, or shut down The Box, and someone’s got to look after the various Abominations and such being imprisoned in The Fridge.
  • I hope this means they get rid of their super boring plane. Now that S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t there to pay for the infinite amounts of jet fuel they must run through.
  • Coulson is going to be so angry at his idol for dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D.! That’s a conversation I want to see. Cap: “You’re alive!” Coulson: “You’re a JERK.”
  • The whole Clairvoyant/Centipede business has to be just another arm (tentacle?) of HYDRA. There’s no way a second shadowy organization would be able to operate under the nose of an organization as extensive as HYDRA. Especially when considering the first post-credits scene.
  • Oh, let’s talk about that post-credits scene and how bad it is, because it was super bad. Who’s this guy with the monocle? Why is the movie asking us to take a weirdo with a monocle seriously? Oh, okay, he’s got Loki’s staff so that’s bad. But, oh, wait, we’re not here to talk about that? Now here are two more random people who have superpowers that obviously allow them to escape the cages that they are in? Why do they have superpowers? Monocle Guy says it’s because we’re in an Age of Miracles now but really he means we’re in an Age of That’s Not An Explanation.
  • Okay, I’m being snippy, but it’s not a well-done infodrop. Thor: The Dark World suffered the same thing with its post-credits scene involving the Collector, but we at least had recognizable Asgardian characters to ground that, and comics fans could still explain the implications of what occurred to non-comics readers who were confused. That’s not the case here. We know that the guy is Quicksilver and the girl is Scarlet Witch (and we might know that the monocle is Baron Von Strucker) but beyond that we’re just as in the dark as non-comics readers. You could argue that this is the point; to keep enough information back so that folks actively theorize or read up on “the twins,” but there’s no info to really fall back on. Aside from Loki’s staff, the scene is disconnected from anything else we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and since this “Age of Miracles” thing is a new direction that the movies are taking, we don’t know if any comic book background on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch is viable any longer. (The only thing we do know is that they’re definitely NOT mutants or connected to Magneto. So what are they, then?) Sure, the twins seem crazy and threatening, but we also just saw Cap take down S.H.I.E.L.D. so this doesn’t seem like too much of a worry.
  • Is Stephen Strange a “Miracle”? Because he definitely exists now thanks to Sitwell’s squealing. Marvel Films president Kevin Feige has hinted that Strange’s origin may be tied more to theoretical physics and quantum theory than any Old Gods-style type of sorcery, though.
  • I’m sad they made Sitwell an agent of HYDRA. That was just an annoying twist.
  • I loved the implications that this movie created for Tony Stark. He lives in Avengers Tower now, as evidenced by his being targeted by Project Insight. He’s also a tricky fellow for HYDRA to get their hands on, too. On the one hand, Fury got Tony to create the repulsors that allowed HYDRA’s plan to become feasible, but on the other hand, Tony ran circles around the HYDRA Senator who tried to get his hands on Iron Man back in the second Iron Man film.
  • Also that whole thing where Director Hill now works for Stark Industries. (Well, really, we only see her waiting to start an interview but come on. She snuck Cap, Widow, and Fury literally out from under HYDRA’s nose. Her references are impeccable, Tony.)
  • Also the way she idly shot two HYDRA agents while staying on the phone.
  • Banner’s calmdown juice saves Fury’s life! That was a nice reference.
  • The Arnim Zola thing made no sense but it was so flashy that I find a certain glee in defending it as canon.

Captain America: Winter Soldier Arnim Zola

  • I’m really glad that Robert Redford didn’t turn out to be the Red Skull, though.
  • And also really glad that Peggy Carter helping found S.H.I.E.L.D. was made explicit. That was probably my favorite cameo of all.
  • Even considering Abed.
  • And the Pulp Fiction reference.
  • I don’t have all that much to say about Anthony Mackie as Falcon. He’s an excellent addition to the Cinematic Universe and they did a pretty good job of proving how useful his Falcon abilities can be, but he got a little edged out by the other big personalities in the film. I’m looking forward to seeing him and Cap partner up in Captain America 3, though, where he can assumably be more varied.
  • I wish there had been a line explaining where the heck Hawkeye was. His absence was particularly noticeable once S.H.I.E.L.D. began to turn on itself. Just having Insight list him when it was targeting people would have been enough.
  • Finally, how awesome was Councilwoman Hawley’s Big Moment?

Chris Lough is Tor.com’s resident Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recapper and lover of all things quippy.

39 comments
Francl27
1. Francl27
I'm looking forward to Tuesday for sure for the next SHIELD episode. I just assumed that the Clairvoyant was part of HYDRA too.
Brian Haughwout
2. bhaughwout
Much as with THE FIRST AVENGER (my favorite of Phase One), WINTER SOLDIER really impressed me. Like you allude to, they once more balanced very well Rogers as the character who won't accept the shades of grey, but not in a way that might annoy the viewer or compromise his teammates -- rather his vision of aspiring to do better saves the day as much as any shield slam with his 'Captain's Orders' speech. And speaking of characters: I was REALLY impressed with how the Falcon was used, both as an individual character and as a counterpart to Steve's readjustment (the vet experience matching the 'man out of time,' and Sam the VA Counselor in place of Sam the Social Worker).

There were a lot of great little themes running around in the film. Freedom & Fear, Liberty & Security (there are some wonderful discussions on libertarian sites today about this film, actually, regarding how it discusses the modern security state and NSA overreach), veteran reintergration, loyalty & betrayal, even male friendship/brotherhood (Steve/Bucky, Steve/Sam, Nick/Alexander). I definitely need to see it again -- both for the visual spectacle, as well as for all the small thematic details (not to mention Easter Eggs, such as the Strange mention or the various lists of names) that need to be picked out. For a comic action film, it's surprisingly dense!

As for the MAoS, I got to wondering whether THIS is why we haven't heard anything about a Season 2: we'd expect to hear something by now on renewal or not (almost certainly yes; all complaints folks have, numbers are still good enough, and it seemed a key part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was building itself up). However, with the events of WINTER SOLDIER, one suddenly wonders if Marvel deliberately only meant to have one season with a big ending, to lead into something else (with perhaps some characters carrying over, as they've done with the films) next year, following off o the major changes to the MCU status quo?

P.S. I agree on the Alexander Pierce point -- seeing him not be the Red Skull was great, and seeing the carryover biggie be Arnim Zola, ACTUALLY pulling off the retro 'head in a computer screen' look was amazing. With all the talk of Redford having to so obviously turn out to be the Skull, I can't help but think that someone from Marvel helped that hint along to mess with all the spoiler-happy folks to keep the real trail cold! :D

P.P.S. The Peggy scene was bittersweet. I loved watching the interaction with Steve; it reminded me of other such scenes of him meeting old friends in the comics. However, when her dementia kicked in and she forget that she had ben talking to him/seen him? That was a sad/beautiful part of the larger subplot on the veteran experience in its own way...
Francl27
3. littlebit_liz
Sebastian Stan was amazing though. I wish he'd been more involved in the film too, but even though he only had, like, 5 lines, he was great. The scene where he was beginning to remember Cap before they wiped his mind was heartbreaking. Great acting on his part.

I was also annoyed Hawkeye's name never came up. I mean, in a time where you feel like you can't trust anyone in S.H.I.E.L.D., but you need allies, presumably, Barton is one person Natasha would feel pretty good about trusting. I was at least expecting just a quick line like 'Oh, too bad Barton's off the grid right now on some mission...' or whatever.

The scene with Peggy Carter was so sad but so awesome.

I saw someone else theorize that Hill went to Stark Industries on Fury's orders. Maybe to get him to help with what's left of S.H.I.E.L.D. My guess is that Coulson and his team will continue working to help take down the remnants of Hydra, and may even still call themselves S.H.I.E.L.D., even if S.H.I.E.L.D. effectively is no more. My first reaction too was, what're they gonna call the show now? LOL.

Oh, as for Sitwell - I was really hoping he was only pretending to work for Hydra. Sad he's gone. I had fun going 'Hey look, it's Sitwell!' every time he turned up in a film or on the show :)

Anyhow, saw the film last night and am going to see it again with my mom this afternoon. It was that good!
Leah Schnelbach
4. Cloudyvision
“Previously on Formerly Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Heh.

The Saul Bass-style end credits sequence was soooo good. I just want to hug the Marvel-verse so hard.
Jose Solis
5. bludemos
I loved the movie. So full of badass moments: Cap vs Quinjet, Falcon vs Helicarrier, Nick Fury repelling his attackers, Cap's impromptu speech at SHIELD... The movie is easily Marvel's best one since The Avengers.

The Pulp Fiction reference made my day. So motherfucking appropriate...
Brian Haughwout
6. bhaughwout
With the inevitable questions regarding each movie of "but where was ...," the change in status quo of SHIELD makes me wonder how the various Phase Two movies are going to end up lining up. Remember that IRON MAN 2 (2010) and THE INCREDIBLE TWO (2008) actually took place partially simulateously despite their different release dates. The Smithsonian scene in WINTER SOLDIER has the quote from "Presiden Matthew Ellis" written on the wall, who we saw in IRON MAN 3, so that exhibit is cotemporaneaous to the administration using the Iron Patriot -- but is the Iron Patriot being used against the threat of the Mandarian before or after the events seen here? (folks DID keep asking where SHIELD and Fury were...)

(BTW, the one little thing I would have loved to see in the script that wasn't there was a better reference to Rogers' having served through the previous time that the government had done a national security state during wartime, in comparison to how things were being done now in an age of technological infrastructure. Although I'm not sure whether that would have served to help or hinder the point being made in comparison... #HistorianProblems)
Francl27
7. Cimikat
I think there is a reason that all the Marvel post-credit scenes are, y-know, post-credits. They're SUPPOSED to be easter eggs for the comic fans that are exist primarily to hint at what's going to come up next. I mean, when Avengers came out I know I didn't recognize who Thanos was at all. This scene was merely a set up for Age of Ultron, and tells us that Hydra is still established all over the world.

(as for the second post credits scene, can I just say ow my heart. Bucky is my favorite comic character, if not fictional character, so yeah that got to me)
Chris Nelly
8. Aeryl
This movie was incredible. Against the tide, I am glad that Bucky's manpain wasn't allowed to take over the movie. I really like that we are not getting another movie(aside of GOTG which won't deal with this fallout) before Avengers 2.

As far as how the show will be affected, I'm not sure. Coulson will keep fighting the good fight(and I hope Hill shows up, just to show you what she was up in between Nick "dying" and her rescue in the truck.

Also, movie for Agent 13 NAO PLS. She was awesome facing down Crossbones.

I liked the Zola thing. He implanted himself into the databanks, and Hydra's been accessing him. My only issue is that, having just rewatched First Avenger, Zola wasn't really that invested in the ideals of Hydra, more just the opportunity to develop his technology and intimidated by Schmidt.

I get the complaints about Sitwell, but to be honest, to truly sell this in depth conspiracy and to give us a sense of betrayal, someone we've known from the start had to be a bad guy. I really want to go back and rewatch some of the earlier eps of SHIELD now, because Coulson reached out to Sitwell a few times, and I want to see if that betrayal plays a part in the plot.
Francl27
9. KAsiki
The clairvoyant is the algorithim. It is able to analyze intelligence to predict future actions, thus target those whos actions aren't wanted.

Would Tony just start up a new Sheild? I would anticipate hiring Hill would be to strictly for the Avengers purposes. It seemed like the Team was going to be outside of SHEILD's control anyway.

Anyone else who is a fan os AoS go oh ####. I thought the problem was like a 5 on the scale from one to 10 and it turned out to be a much much bigger problem. I anticipate all the remaining episodes (6 i think) happening during the events of Winter Soldier.

Best guess on the Twins and AoS. Coulson get assigned clean up of everything. Tracking down hydra agents and by Avengers 3 resues the twins. That would mean the cut sceen was a prelude to AoS instead of a movie. Would the twins being disfuntional be enough? Otherwise they might be turned Hydra plants on the Avengers? Ooftah.

Anyone else think that them targeting Banner with a cannon wouldn't be the smartest idea?
Mari Ness
10. MariCats
Regarding the lack of a renewal announcement for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., that seems to just be the way that ABC operates. They usually don't announce their renewals until May. I have no idea why.
Francl27
11. Bytowner
Not convinced that this means SHIELD the organization is dead just yet. "Laid waste" doesn't mean defunded and legislated out of existence.
Jordan Dennis
12. jddennis
I'm agreeing with all the awesome stuff that's being said -- particularly about not getting enough about the Winter Soldier in the movie named after him. Hopefully more of this will come along!

I will leave this here, though...

I'd love to see Captain America 3: Nomad. The costume could use a re-vamp, though.
Brian Haughwout
13. bhaughwout
The more I think over the film, the more I can't wait to go see it again. In addition to how much fun of an action film it was, I love how well they put together the smartness of it. None of the politics were preachy to any side while still being completely in discourse to the discussions of the day -- the Russos and the writers both have given some interviews this week actually about the particular issues that influenced them that have given thoughtful fodder to some surprising websites. Likewise, you had a great array of races & sexes at play in heroic roles -- and the interaction of male and female characters, particularly w/ Steve & Natasha was mature and realistic rather than the rote Hollywood add-sexual-tension-here (even the Agent 13 flirting was pure Goofy Sweet rather than Bechdel Fail).

There are always a few bits of What-Could-Have-Been in a movie this packed, but I'm really surprised at just HOW good, HOW enjoyable, and just HOW well done the film was. I'm really hoping that Marvel gets a good success out of it, for the sake of recognition of the work done by lesser-known folks. The Russos hit it out of the park on the first go, Chris Evans continues to be a reveal, and Anthony Mackie was a complete surprise to me.
Michael Grosberg
14. Michael_GR
Did you see Iron Man 3 or Thor: The Dark World? Whatever reaction you had to those movies is what you’ll have to Winter Soldier.
I loved Iron Man 3. Saw it twice. I was so bored by Thor: The Dark World I stopped watching halfway through (I caught it on a flight). Not sure if I should watch this one or not: on general I don't care for superhero flicks, and extended action scenes of superpowered people hitting each other bore me. It's only the humor that made me like IM3. Will I like CA:TWS?
Francl27
19. Colin R
The Winter Soldier is not a particularly funny movie. The closest comparison for most of the film would probably be a slightly wacky version of the Bourne Identity movies.
Alan Brown
20. AlanBrown
First, to address the movie. It was marvelous (no pun intended). I bought my first Cap comic for 12 cents about 50 years ago, and have been following him ever since, so I guess you would say I am a pretty serious fan of the character. Evans and Johansen had great chemistry as somewhat prickly co-workers, the contrasts in their characters made them an excellent pairing. And Mackie was just great, a perfect performance. Jackson tore up the scenery with his usual panache, and Redford brought some excellent low key menace to his character. The special effects were spectacular, and the fight scenes very well choreographed.
A lot of the success of the film had to do with the script. A lot of witty banter, and good pacing. The antique computer room (in which I recognized a great deal of the gear) was a great setting for the expository lump that we needed to set the stage for what followed, as was the Smithsonian exhibit a great stage for recapping (again, no pun intended) Captain America's WWII service.
And now, a bunch of random observations about both the movie and the SHIELD TV show:
- SHIELD has been rocked back on its heels and regrouped about twice a decade over the last 50 years since it was created (I think it was Strange Tales, a comic shared with either Iron Man or Doctor Strange). So I doubt the organization will go away completely. I was surprised to see the Hill character applying for a job with Stark, since in the most recent collapse and rebuilding of SHIELD, it was her that took the reins from Fury to reconstruct the outfit.
- I have seen the movie twice now, and after the first time I wondered what happened to Sitwell. But it turned out that Winter Soldier yanked him out of the car and chucked him into oncoming traffic. I suspect he is dead, because there was a crunch sound when a truck passed, but in the world of comics, you never know. It was nice seeing him pop up in all the movies, so I will miss him, but we needed at least one recurring character to go bad just to show how deeply infiltrated SHIELD was.
- Rumlow was very well acted, too, and for those who haven't read the comics, shares a name with an evil character called Crossbones, who shows up with a skull mask over his face. His crossed gear straps in the movie evoked the crossed bones the comic character. The fact that he was wheeled off in a gurney, badly disfigured, leads me to think he will be back in Cap III.
- Speaking of Cap III, it appears this movie is the second in a trilogy. The fact that Hydra is severely damaged, but not finally defeated, and the Winter Soldier's story is unresolved, gives me a pretty good idea where the third movie will go. That being said, this film was an excellent second installment. It had its own story to tell, with a satisfying resolution at the end. While balls were still in the air, it did not have that "to be continued" feel that mars the ending of so many second installments.
- I thought that Falcon's new backstory was excellent. It gave him instant chemistry with Cap to be a fellow soldier, and the wings being an experimental military device that he was already trained to use gave his 'superpower' good backstory as well. This is a huge improvement over his comic backstory, which was convoluted and overblown, not to mention jarring in its racial insensitivity (although, to be fair, for its time it was remarkably progressive).
- Like many people are saying at this point, I think it is almost intuitively obvious that Zola is the Clairvoyant from the TV show, someone inside SHIELD with access to all of their information. But that might be too obvious. And, while the ancient computers were Zola's original home, I expect that he could easily have survived by transferring himself to another server farm somewhere else. I wonder if some of those sets will reappear, looking shiny and new, if the Peggy Carter TV show gets greenlighted. And I wonder if Zola could have something to do with the creation of the computer entity Ultron, setting up Avengers II.
- I missed it the first time, but in the first post-trailer scene, a henchman clearly addresses the monocle guy as "Baron Strucker." He is a great villian from the comics, although I suspect, like many other Marvel characters, his WWII roots will be rewritten. (In the 60's Silver Age, former WWII vets, villians, and conflicts with Nazi dead-enders was at the core of many, many Marvel adventures.)
RK Bentley
21. rkbentley
The War Games reference during the Zolla scene was nice.
Alan Brown
22. AlanBrown
I liked the War Games reference, too, rkb!
And I thought the movie handled Batroc perfectly. He was always one of my favorite characters in the comics. His vanity, and urge to test himself against Cap, was always his downfall. And the movie captured that without making him look silly. Taking things from the comics and making them look good in a 'real world' setting is one of the strengths of the Marvel movies.
Oh, and that sea based missile launching ship from the first mission in the movie is based on a real vessel. A Boeing/Lockheed partnership if my memory serves me right. (But unlike a spy ship, why it had to be moved toward someone's territorial waters made little sense to me.)
Francl27
23. Bytowner
If anything, that fight scene gave Batroc a bit of additional dignity.
Francl27
24. Agent 86
What I want to know is whether Agent 13 will be found hiding inside a mailbox or locker in Cap III.
Also, why is she the only numbered agent?
Alan Brown
25. AlanBrown
I am not sure why Agent 13 is numbered. For the life of me, I don't remember any other SHIELD agents over the years who had numbers, except for her.
Francl27
26. Jennifer R
Michael, even though there is no Stark Snark in this movie, I still laughed my head off quite a lot. Chris Evans has a great way of being funny despite playing a deadpan, serious character, and Natasha and the other good guys of SHIELD all get some snark in. Also, given the plot developments of this one, if you care about this world, you need to watch this.
Francl27
27. masha
Airconditioners working at 100%.. Best. Line. Ever!!
Alan Brown
28. AlanBrown
The air conditioner line was my granddaughter's favorite line in the movie!
Matt Stoumbaugh
29. LazerWulf
@24/25: Agent 13 is Sharon Carter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharon_Carter

In the comics, Sharon was Peggy Carter's younger sister, later retconned to be her niece. I have a feeling, though, that in MCU, she'll be Peggy's granddaugher. She was probably only referred to as Agent 13 in the movie to downplay that connection until the "reveal". I was familiar enough with Sharon Carter to know that she had a connection to Peggy Carter, but I did not know that she was Agent 13. At the end, when BW tells cap that he should "ask out that nurse" (because she was pretending to be a nurse when she was his next-door-neighbor), he said "She's not a nurse, and her name is Sharon."

I loved the War Games reference, but, for the life of me, I can't recall the Pulp Fiction reference. Someone help me out?
JOSEPH HOOPMAN
30. hoopmanjh
@29 -- Nick Fury's tombstone shows the epitaph "The Path of the Righteous Man ..." or something to that effect -- riffing on what Jules in Pulp Fiction would say to people before he shot them.
John C. Bunnell
31. JohnCBunnell
I enjoyed the film; as others have noted, it's thoughtful in unexpected ways. And I'm struck by a couple of contrasts. There's a lot of property destruction in the extended Winter Soldier extended climax -- but unlike the destruction in, say, DC's Man of Steel, there are reasons for it, there are consequences from it, and the script promises that the fallout will be addressed, rather than reset-buttoned by the time the next film in the series appears.

Likewise, the character relationships in this movie display genuine chemistry supported by solid scripting, as opposed to, say, the character non-relationships in The Dark Knight Rises. Cap and Natasha and the Falcon develop and play off one another during the film far more organically than any of the corresponding characters in the Bat-finale.

Different subject: one wonders, in the wake of Winter Soldier, which if any of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. regulars may be/have been working for the HYDRA faction. My own read is that Coulson, May, and Skye are clearly not tainted by HYDRA (May has almost certainly been working directly for Fury and/or Hill), but it wouldn't surprise me if Ward turns out to have HYDRA connections after that last episode. And I wouldn't put it past the writing team to have either Fitz or Simmons -- but not both -- prove to be on HYDRA's team when the dust settles. Also, as to Agent Hand and her group: I'd say the odds are 75% that they're HYDRA, and 25% that they're a "Captain's Orders" team wrongly convinced that Coulson and his team belong to HYDRA.
Francl27
33. Stephen Welch
I loved the movie and will be seeing it again. I will say it was the best Solo charatcer movies so far. Also really liked how they showed off more of Cap's fighting skills tthis movie than they did in the first. Some of theing he did in the movie looked like they came right out of the comics.
Michael Johnston
34. JohnstonMR
The guy with the monocle, incidentally, is Baron Strucker: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Strucker

In short, he's a comicsverse HYDRA character, but one who hasn't shown up in some time, so unless your brain holds endless amounts of useless Marvel trivia, or you missed his name, bewilderment is understandable.
Timmothy Frink
35. twiff
@31: IIRC, Hand sent Sitwell off on a mission in the last episode...pretty sure she is with Hydra. She also sent Ward and Fitz on a suicide mission, so my gut is they aren't part of Hydra. My gut is also that May was reporting to Fury/Hill. So, I'm not convinced any of the core team is a Hydra sleeper (though it wouldn't surprise me if one of them was, and having it be Simmons (with the insistence on getting Skye's blood) would be crafty of them). But inter-team trust is certainly strained, if not entirely broken.
Francl27
36. perfect tommy
i guess the age of miricale is a way to not use the word 'mutant' , the rights for which(in connetion to marvel), as far as i know, lies with sony.

great review=)
Francl27
37. vanye
One thing I noticed that I haven't heard anyone else say is that during the bunker scene, I thought i heard Widow called *Natalia*, not Natasha? Actor goof, bad hearing, or potential spoiler/hint?
Steven Halter
38. stevenhalter
I found the casual mention of Stephen Strange along with Bruce Banner quite interesting. It implies that Shield is aware of the Sorceror Supreme to the same extent as they are aware of Banner.
Brian Haughwout
39. bhaughwout
@37 Widow is called Natalia/Natasha interchangably all the time -- 'Natasha' is actually the Russian diminuative of 'Natalia,' so it's like calling Cap 'Steve' in rather than 'Steven' or Fury 'Nick' instead of 'Nicholas.'

As for MAoS HYDRA plants, I'm still suspecting Simmons: she snuck off to the Triskelion right in time before Hand targeted the Bus, she refused to let Fitz come along (then got antsy when Triplett followed her), she brought the blood with her against orders after all those arguments about how she should be sending the reports on it to base even after being shot down, and had all those strange calls to and from "Mom" about what she was doing (reports to Hand?). Perhaps HYDRA lets her explore things that SHIELD-proper doesn't in her field of study (and Elizabeth Henstridge saying "Hail Hydra!" is cute enough an image to demand inclusion)? Of course, I'm fully expecting her to escape the Triskelion back to the Team while the team continues to suspect an innocent May...)

(And, as for Ward: after everything he's gone through of late and last week's issue with Nash, I fully expect him to resolve his story arc of "the guy who joined SHIELD to defend the little guy against bullies" by being the Whedon-designate sacrifice and dying to give the Team a chance to survive and save Simmons!)
Francl27
40. PatriciaSmith
@38

YES! Sitwell's mentioning "Stephen Strange" made me practically clap with glee. We ARE going to be seeing a Dr. Strange movie. I'm damn sure that was Kevin Feige's nod of "stay tuned" to us (and Dr. Strange is Feige's favorite character, btw).
Francl27
41. Megs
@31: Along those lines, a scene that really stood out to me was when we first catch up to Cap after Winter Soldier had thrown him off an overpass and into a bus. As I recall, the shot begins on a clearly injured woman being helped out of the bus, then pans to Cap getting up. Even though it was a very brief scene, I thought it was interesting that they actually showed collateral damage, in this case indirectly caused by Cap himself, rather than just hint at it.
Francl27
42. WalterX2
I really enjoyed the villainous monologue from Computer Zola. The rising music, imagery, sneering nazi voice, culminating in the countdown to destruction reminded me intensely of classic James Bond scenes.

Captain America is an old fashioned hero, so its nice that he gets an old fashioned trope. It's rare, and nice, to see such an old-school scene played straight. Black Widow notices that he's perked up after that.
Francl27
43. FDS
Perfect Tommy, elsewhere (on comics related sites) the 'age of miracles' reference is a corralary to mutants, which Marvel cannot use for their movies because the mutants rights are owned by Fox (which supposedly now wants to develop TV properties to, presumably, use up as many of the mutant characters from the comic verse as possible); Fox also owns the Fantastic Four characters (thus the upcoming reboot) - Sony has the rights to Spiderman.
Chris Nelly
44. Aeryl
Having just rewatched this again last weekend, I'm surprised no one has brought this up.

Just what is the book sitting on Cap's bookshelf that's framed in the shot as he enters his apartment? I mean it's placement is very deliberate, considering this is a Marvel movie, they tend to be very particular about these things, knowing their audience. Tasha wore an ARROW necklace!

It's titled Madam President. I was guessing non fiction, but I can only find four books by that name. Two are for elementary students, one fiction about a little girl who dreams to be President, and a non fiction one talking about women in politics.

The other two are fiction novels. One is the story of a lesbian President elected in 2020. The other is the story of the first black woman President that's also political commentary, that takes place in 2012.

WHICH ONE IS IT?????

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