I hate being spied on. It's really aggravating. You can't just hop a plane to a foreign country and assassinate some local bigwig — unless he or she is on the official CIA list — anymore. Otherwise the next thing you know you're being waterboarded in Guantanamo Bay, or some surly dude with an eye patch and rippling pecks is bitch-slapping you, asking you the same silly questions over and over while your hands are cuffed behind your chair and you can't stop laughing long enough to answer the bastard his questions because for the love of God you can't stop thinking about that scene in Top Secret where Val Kilmer's character is being tortured by the Germans and he has that nightmare that he slept through his math final in high school only to wake up to the beating and say "Oh... Thank GOD!".... Holy shit Top Secret is one totally under-appreciated funny fucking movie. But I digress
Captain Amurica 2: The Winter Soldier is a goddamn great film. I actually saw it twice during its opening weekend (because I have no life). And if you couldn't tell from my opening paragraph, it's a movie all about spying... And assassinating people. And it is glorious! I've been thinking about it for the past few days and I can't think of one thing I'd change about it. It's huge (it probably changes the Marvel cinematic universe even more than 2012's The Avengers did), it's twisty and turny (with lots of spies doing what spies do: being sneaky and killy), it's got the Black Widow's ass looking better than it ever did, and it's got some of the best car chases and action sequences I've seen (at least on screen and not in real life) in a long, long time. It is a fantastic trip!
Now I loved the original Captain America: The First Avenger more than most of my friends. I loved the story, yeah, but the setting (the height of WWII) is one of my favorite time periods in history. And so I was a bit afraid that I would be disappointed with the Cap's second solo big screen adventure; this was mainly because I knew it would take place 100% in modern times, and in The Avengers they had already thoroughly played up all the fish-out-of-water jokes at the Cap's expense that they possibly could. I was nervous that they'd just keep pushing that "humor" ("Ha ha! He doesn't know what a movie from the 1980s is! HILARIOUS!") and not do anything more fun than what we'd already seen before. I was so, so, so wrong. Oh my god, the Russo brothers (from NBC's Community fame of all places) are fucking amazing... Here's why you should suck their dicks too!
What The Winter Soldier is about (light spoilers)
The Winter Soldier is about SHIELD getting a bit too full of itself. It's about Nick Fury and the Captain and Black Widow trying to do what's right in a world that's gone flip upside down on them. It's about spies and the greatest ghost assassin ever (with a metal arm) to shoot people's brains out from 200 yards.
Things start out with a rescue mission in the Indian Ocean by Cap and Black Widow to free the crew of a satellite-launching ship (owned by the spy agency SHIELD) from some Algerian terrorists (led by Bartok the Leaper). They're successful, but Widow left Cap high and dry in the middle of the mission in order to download the entire ship's uber-databanks onto her super-thumbdrive (that had to have been a 500TB thumbdrive. Wow!). This was ordered by Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD, in defiance of his superiors, and without the Cap's knowledge. This pisses off both parties when they eventually find out, and leads to the assassination of Fury right in the Captain's cozy DC apartment! Oh noes!
The Cap saw the shooter of Fury (some dude with a Soviet star painted on his left metal arm), and this (along with the super thumbdrive) leads he and the Black Widow to falling into a giant sticky and gooey web of lies, deceit, and whatever else that's bad and metaphorically lives in a web.... Spider....Man? Together with their new ex-military friend (Sam Wilson), Cap and BW go on the offensive and take the battle straight to (redacted) for the final battle above the Triskelion (aka SHIELD HQ, which in this universe is not just a hop, skip and a jump from the Statue of Liberty in the middle of New York Harbor, but on the Potomac, right in the heart of DC).
And the ending... I am truly impressed with the BALLS of this script! As I said before, it completely changes the entire world in ways that I never thought they'd have the guts to do outside of maybe a giant team-up movie like Avengers 5 or something.
Well, I guess those spoilers weren't that bad...
For those of you who thought that Cap was nothing but a square in a star-spangley suit, you need to see the man and the miracle in action! The hand-to-hand fights in The Winter Soldier are brutal! When the Captain punches or KICKS an opponent in the chest, he doesn't just fall down, he goes FLYING backwards in pain. And when the Cap has to go brow to brow with the titular Winter Soldier himself (the man with the metal arm), things get super down and dirty. The knife fights/close-range-gun-fights/fisticuffs brawls they they engage in are eye-bulgingly well choreographed. You feel every punch, knee, and shield-block (thanks also in part to the spectacular sound effects of this movie too). Oh, and Fury's car chase through Georgetown was so kinetic and crazy it matched the fierce auto chase in the movie Ronin... Actually, Fury's chase had about 1,000% more bullets, bombs, and battering rams than Ronin, so it probably tops it in my list now.
So, The Winter Soldier has a really cool conspiracy plot, pants-shittingly intense car chases, lots of powerful action, Scarlett Johansson's beautiful ass, an amazing final battle that will blow your little minds, and more nods to other Marvel properties than all the previous Marvel flicks combined. What the fuck more do you need? Well hell, I'll tell you: In the post-credits sequence we get our first look at Baron von Strucker, Quicksilver, and the Scarlett Witch (who will all play big roles in The Avengers 2, sayeth the Whedon)! Just go! Check it out! Go see Captain America 2 and thank me for forcing you to do it later.
It is only a matter of time, Americans, before your fall occurs. Heil HYDRA! HEIL HYDRA!
Hoooooooooooo daddy! Now THAT was a movie of 'Muricans, by 'Muricans, and FOR 'Muricans!
Guns! Spying! Conspiracies! Hot redheads in skimpy outfits! Guns! And 'splosions! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw! Hallelujah, holy shit! Now I need me a beer!