Many of you have been asking yourselves "What is MrBlackJack going to do to follow up his latest article? What stupendous and egotistical move is he going to make next?". Well, as you can see it's a review for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now, you may be asking "What'll be so special about your review?". Well, who better to review a Captain America movie than the most American user on this site? Let alone the most egotistical. But in all seriousness, all you have to do is sit back, and read this review. Then you too will understand how tremendously astonishing this film is.
The Plot and Character Balance/Development
The Winter Soldier's plot is absolutely amazing. Compared to other Marvel Studio films it's rather complicated, but that's exactly what it needed to be. Frequently I find comic book movies today rather predictable, but aside from one or two things, this kept me guessing. What I especially love about this film is how they dove deeper into Natasha's character. In Iron Man 2 and The Avengers, Natasha felt like a filler character (at least in my opinion). She felt like she was there just to be there. But with this film, she was an integral piece and made you actually care for the character. Natasha wasn't the only character to be given a much needed "boost"; I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Evans as Cap. I was never a huge fan of him as Cap up to this point, but TWS sure as hell made me buy him as both Steve and Cap. Mackie as Wilson was great as well, and so was just about every other character in this film. Each character was given justice and damn near perfectly used, except for the Winter Soldier himself. He felt underused, but not nearly as bad as Malekith in The Dark World. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future. Too keep this spoiler free, but some of the secrets about the MCU revealed in this film are brilliant. They felt like legitimate and important revelations rather than something just for shock. Marvel Studios, the Russo brothers, and screenwriters Chris Markus & Stephan McFeely (as well as Ed Brubaker) truly outdid themselves in regards to the overall plot, the balance of characters, and how it ties into the MCU.
I cannot express how well done the action is in this film. Each encounter between Steve and Bucky felt personal, as if you were watching two brothers fight. The fight choreography was excellent. It's been quite sometime since I've seen fight scenes in a comic book movie consistently done well throughout the film (well, one that didn't involve massive amounts of c.g.i.). Not only were they personal, but they were creative as well. My only complaint is they used shaky cam! The most noticeable part where they used this is in the first few minutes of the film. As the film went on, it got progressively better and better (thankfully). Had they dropped the shaky cam and tried to keep it as still as possible, it would have been perfect.
Tone & Pacing
With a plot as thick and luscious as this, the tone is perfect as well. This is the kind of tone I want in Marvel movies, and comic book movies in general! The balance of emotion and humor is great. There wasn't very much humor, but when there was humor it was from witty dialogue , not cheap sound effects. One of my major gripes about Iron Man 3 is the fact that the film jumped from a heavy heart, character building moment, to a lame joke just for the hell of it. The Winter Soldier knew what it was and played to strengths. It didn't try to be over-the-top when it came to humor, nor emotion. The pacing in this film is exquisite as well. It was consistent throughout the film (and I love consistency). There was not a single moment in the film where I was bored or overwhelmed. The film brought a large sense of intensity and urgency, which suited the "espionage" vibe it was trying to give off. Overall, I don't think I've ever seen a comic book movie with such a well suited tone and breathtaking pacing.
Only once in a while will you see a comic book movie firing on all cylinders. Building off of tone and pacing, every scene and transition felt natural. Nothing felt like it was weak or was trying to be too original. The action was great and intense, the dialogue was tremendous, each performance was the best each returning actor has given (and new recruits give admirable performances as well), visually the film is acceptable, the humor was well placed/spread out and subtle, and it's impact on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is undeniably huge. One could go on and on gushing about this film. The score was one of Marvel's best and the post credit scenes were actually useful as well. This is the ideal Marvel movie (and comic book movies in general), and you can't ask for much more. It's one of the most exhillerating and best comic book movies I have ever seen, and definetly Marvel Studio's brightest film. It accomplishes the rare double-whammy; it's a great comic book movie as well as a great film in general. This is the comic book movie I've been waiting for since The Dark Knight. In conclusion, I score The Winter Soldier 5 DiCaprio gifs out of 5.