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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Movie Review (Geek Edition) - Captain America 2 : The Winter Soldier

Movie Review (Geek Edition) - Captain America 2 : The Winter Soldier

Of course there will be SPOILERS throughout this post!

OK, as I am sure most of you have already either watched, read or watched and read the reviews of Captain America 2, I'd do my movie review differently this time around. Call it an experiment. I guess it won't be a surprise if I were to approach this review from a geek's POV. So, having said that, I'd have to say, audiences already know most of the characters I listed below. This was a smart move by Marvel Studios as this allows them to introduce many more new characters without confusing the movie-going audience.

Most of the characters in the movie are people we've seen before either in Captain America's 1s+t movie or any of the other Avengers related movies (eg: Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, etc)

I'm talking about:
Captain America (aka Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, who first appeared in Captain America: First Avenger, 2011)
Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson, who first appeared in Iron Man, 2008)
Maria Hill (played by Cobie Smulders, who first appeared in the Avengers, 2012)
Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell who first appeared in Captain America: First Avenger, 2011)
Black Widow (aka Natasha Romanov, played by Scarlett Johansson, who first appeared in Iron Man 2, 2010)
Arnim Zola (played by Toby Jones, who first appeared in Captain America: First Avenger, 2011)
Winter Soldier (aka Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan, who first appeared in Captain America: First Avenger, 2011)

Audiences were of course introduced to new characters as well:
Agent Jasper Sitwell
I remember I first read him back in the early 80's in MTIO#53 when I was first introduced to Quasar (who is a Cosmic-Powered Avenger) another favorite Marvel character of mine - Deathlok, in the Project Pegasus story arc. Apparently, Deathlok is being introduced in the Agents of SHIELD TV Series.
Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford)
I believe this was a totally new character created solely for the movie.Batroc (played by Georges St-Pierre)
This was a villain that Cap readers could never take quite as seriously as we should because he just seems like a guy who is just jumping around and talking funny French (My apologies to my French friends). But of course, here in the movie, he's a parkour exponent and a deadly mercenary.Agent Brock Rumlow (Leader of the STRIKE Team, played by Frank Grillo)
Now, even as a geek, this slipped by me until around a 1/3 into the movie that I realized who Rumlow was - Crossbones! This is because - OK, I admit it - I'm not that big of a Cap fan and I haven't read many of Cap's solo books. I usually read Cap mainly in the Avengers books or when he guest-stars in somebody else's books. So, yeah, I had trouble picking up the Agent Rumlow name.Crossbones, as geeks would know, is a Red Skull loyalist (hmmm, now where have we seen/heard that name before?) and a constant thorn to Cap's side. Always clad in just B&W with a skull motif (no, we're NOT talking about the Punisher here...) and a thirst for blood.Now, after watching this movie, we know why he hardly ever removes his skull mask in the comics.

(Dr) Stephen Strange - Aka Dr. Strange
He was mentioned very briefly when the threat of compromised SHIELD data was being assessed. Geeks and fans would know Dr. Strange is a key part of the Marvel Universe. Being a member of the clandestine Illuminati - the trusted keepers of the Infinity Gems that in the movie world, Thanos and the Collector are looking for. Presumably, to arm the Infinity Gauntlet, which we all saw in Thor's 1st movie.Also, Dr Strange is also a front-runner for Marvel's Phase 3 Movies along with the Black Panther, Captain Marvel (probably), etc. Why him? He's the Marvel Universe's Master of the Mystic Arts (magic, for the uninitiated) and a founding member & leader of another Marvel Team - the Defenders.Sharon Carter (aka Agent 13, played by Emily Van Camp best known for her role in the TV Series - Revenge)
Being the niece to Cap's first love Peggy Carter, comic geeks would know that Cap eventually hooks up with Agent 13 as an item.Falcon (aka Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie)
As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I would've love to have seen some of the classic red & white incorporated into his movie costume but truth be told, I was pretty pleased with the final movie version. This movie version is almost identical to the Ultimate Universe's version of Falcon.
HYDRA
HYDRA's introduction here was waaaaay better than AIM's introduction in Iron Man 3. Here, HYDRA is the illegitimate child of SHIELD.
Baron Von Strucker (played by Thomas Kretschmann)
This guy is often portrayed to be the head honcho of HYDRA (along with Lady Viper, aka Madame HYDRA, played by Svetlana Khodchenkova - whom you have already seen before in the Wolverine movie, and a couple of others - Go read Jonathan Hickman's Secret Warriors.) So having him show up here, we can conclude that this is in preparation for either  Cap 3 or Avengers 3 or beyond. This is because HYDRA has traditionally been Cap's enemies.
"The Twins"
My blog readers & fellow geeks would know who the Twins are. They are Magneto's children, who eventually will become members of the Avengers (Yes, THAT Magneto...). Coincidentally, these 2 characters will also be appearing in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, but played by totally different people, with different costumes as well.
- Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen)
- Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson of the Kick-Ass movies.)
Cap's Partners:
I really liked how the various partners Cap had taken on over the decades were all put into the same movie. Cap of course, partnered Bucky back in the 1940s (WWII & Invaders days). Then, in the Silver  Age (Cap in the Modern World), his partner was the Falcon (Sam Wilson). Black Widow has of course been a partner to many heroes. As I had mentioned before, these heroes include: Daredevil, Iron Man, Hawkeye and dear ol' Cap. The most memorable for me being Uncanny X-Men 268. And as you can see, this story was loved by many and spawn many homage versions of the cover.Last but not least is of course, Cap's latest love interest, Sharon Carter aka Agent 13. Altho' in the movie, not much was done to help audiences see this but I guess they wanted to let the audiences put the pieces together because Cap's original gal was Peggy Carter and Agent 13 is Sharon Carter.

Post Credit scenes (Yes, apparently there were 2 scenes) -
The first being the introduction of Baron Von Strucker and the "Twins".
Now, I missed this scene as well but there apparently was a 2nd scene that appears much later. It shows the Winter Soldier going to the Captain America Museum and saw that what Cap had told him was true - that he was Cap's best friend and trusted partner.

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