My husband and I were able to attend a local screening of the new Captain America movie before it came out in theaters, but all thoughts and opinions in this Captain America: The Winter Soldier review are my own. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in theaters NOW, as of April 4!
About Captain America: The Winter Soldier
From Marvel Studios comes the highly anticipated “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which continues the big screen adventures of Steve Rogers aka Captain America. Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” picks up after the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, and finds Steve Rogers living quietly in Washington, D.C., and trying to adjust to the modern world.
But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue and mystery that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable new enemy—the Winter Soldier.
What I thought about Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier gripped me from the very beginning. I loved the new character introduced in the first few scenes – Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon was just a good, likable guy. I also adored seeing familiar places as the majority of the movie took place right in my backyard (good old Washington DC), even though the DC traffic – or lack of it – was not exactly realistic. I suppose only a local would key in on that!
The scenery and special effects were stellar, and it was actually a relief to not have to choose between 3D and a cheaper 2D ticket. In a market flooded with unnecessary 3D movies, I welcomed the fact that Captain America: The Winter Soldier did not rely on 3D to entice people to the theater. The 2D special effects stood on their own.
Now that I’ve seen both Captain America movies, I must say that I think that the filmmakers made the second movie even better than the first. The story was more exciting and fast-paced, the characters were more gripping (like I said…I loved Sam Wilson. And Robert Redford’s character, Alexander Pierce, is as sleazy and easy-to-hate as they come). There were surprises I wasn’t expecting, moments of hilarious laughter, and a ton of action.
Did I like the movie? Yes, I loved Captain America: The Winter Solider. It was highly entertaining and well-acted. However, I actually got a little tired of the sheer amount of fighting and violence throughout the film. Of course, when I mentioned that to my husband, he said, “It’s Captain America. His strength is hand-to-hand combat. What did you expect?” It is because of the fighting that I would probably not recommend this movie for kids. See it during a date night with your spouse and leave the kids home with a babysitter and a bunch of Captain America Activity Sheets (I’ve got lots of them – get more here!).
Are you excited to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier?
TIP: When you see it in the theater, be sure to stay til the VERY END of the credits. There is not one but TWO extra clips at the end!
FUN FACTS About Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- The Winter Soldier character, played by Sebastian Stan in the film, was created for Marvel comics by Ed Brubaker in 2005. Though the character of Bucky Barnes existed previously in the Captain America comic books, he was killed off in WWII and not resurrected until Brubaker brought him back as the Winter Soldier.
- For the scenes in the film that took place on the ship Lumerian Star, the filmmakers used the Sea Launch Commander, docked in Long Beach, California. Although there were space challenges involved to choreograph complex fight sequences in the tight spaces of a real ship, the filmmakers were happy to be able to further ground the film in reality by using an existing vessel.
- In Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” fans will get to see multiples of the 2.0 version of the helicarrier as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters based in a building called the Triskelion in Washington, D.C. The Triskelion is a newly designed design, state-of- the-art facility that fits seamlessly into the backdrop of Washington.
- Chris Evans truly had mixed martial arts training for Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as the fighting techniques he employed in the film were a mixture of Parkour, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, karate and boxing. The filmmakers believed that bringing Steve Rogers into the modern day also meant that he had studied and mastered modern fighting styles and techniques.
- With an acrobatic approach to fighting being featured in the film, Chris Evans willingly engaged in gymnastics training. That training had a big payoff for Evans when it came time to shoot fight sequences like the Elevator Fight.
- The Elevator Fight was the first fight sequence shot for the film. It featured Brock Rumlow and ten guys in a crowded elevator with Captain America. The challenge was how much choreography could the filmmakers squeeze into a very small space. Realizing that Steve Rogers would have to be on the defensive, the stunt coordinators let Chris Evans use his hands and feet in close quarters until he gets a bit more room to use his fighting techniques and do some serious damage.
- Sebastian Stan, who plays the Winter Soldier, also went through rigorous fight and weapons training. He took a lot of good-natured ribbing from his friends because he would walk around all day practicing his moves with a plastic knife because he wanted his movements to feel natural.
- In Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Captain America gets a new “stealth” suit—a navy blue, utilitarian-looking suit that moves fluidly. Since Captain America is working in special ops in the new film, it was only logical that he would not be wearing a target on his chest when on clandestine missions. So the filmmakers opted for a suit that would have texture and look more real world with a Kevlar-based ballistic component that would protect Captain America but at the same time function like a military uniform.
- The filmmakers were interested in adding more of a tactical design to the Falcon costume than was represented in the comic books. Accordingly, they incorporated a lot of real-world webbing, straps and gear. The final result was a costume that retained the iconic parts of the Falcon costume but stripped away the more comic book elements that would not work in the modern day. The Falcon costume takes actor Anthony Mackie 25 minutes to put on.
- Anthony Mackie did quite a bit of wirework flying as Falcon. The stunt coordinators would fly him 70 feet up in the air and land him precisely on a little tape mark so he could walk right out of the wires and into the scene. Luckily for all involved, Mackie is athletic and highly coordinated, which made everyone’s job easier.
- Anthony Mackie, whose excitement and energy for his character was infectious, liked to say “Cut the check!” whenever something had gone right or a scene had been completed. It became a contagious phrase that caught on and before long everyone on set was saying it.
- Reigning UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre plays a French mercenary in the film. For the filmmakers, landing the popular MMA fighter for the role was a stroke of luck and good timing but is was equally a stroke of luck for Georges St-Pierre who was excited to get his first chance at being in a big action movie.
- Shooting in Washington D.C. put Steve Rogers, Black Widow and Falcon in scenes at some of the most prominent national landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, National Air and Space Museum, Capitol Building, National Mall, Occidental Restaurant at The Willard Hotel, DuPont Circle Neighborhood and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, which the production shut down for the first time ever for the filming of a major motion picture.
- For the actors, shooting on the streets of Washington, D.C. meant drawing big crowds—many of them young kids who lined the streets dressed in their Captain America costumes, waiting to meet Captain America himself. Chris Evans routinely took photos with young fans and he describes those moments as the best part of shooting in the nation’s capitol and playing Captain America.
- The production went to Cleveland, Ohio, for six weeks in order to shoot the major action sequences in the film. The move brought directors Anthony and Joe Russo back home to the city where they grew up and started their film careers.
- In battling the Winter Soldier, Captain America needs all the resources he can get, including his iconic shield, which has a lot more uses in the film. The shield is traditionally used mostly as a defensive weapon, but in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” the filmmakers wanted to explore using it more as an offensive weapon. There are two handles on the shield and Steve Rogers can hold onto the handles in order to utilize it in an eastern style of fighting.
Like Captain America on Facebook: facebook.com/captainamericamovie
Follow Captain America on Twitter: @CaptainAmerica
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is in theaters NOW!
Note: no compensation was received in exchange for writing this review, though I did receive 2 free seats to a screening. All photos, movie synopsis, and fun facts are provided by Marvel. All opinions are my own.
© 2014, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.