Movie Title: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson
Review: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in the nation's capital as he tries to adjust to modern times. An attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague throws Rogers into a web of intrigue that places the whole world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new ally, the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Rogers struggles to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, but he and his team soon come up against an unexpected enemy.
Captain America: Winter Soldier is the second Captain America feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and, in my opinion, one of the universe's finest movies to date. What I particularly love about this film is that it's one of the only films in this expansive universe that truly can stand on its own. Don't get me wrong there is some supplemental material that may be helpful in explaining parts here and there, but if you knew nothing about Captain America's past going in, you would still get a lot of enjoyment out of this film, complete with all of the exciting twists and turns along the way. This movie is also packed to the brim with exhilarating action scenes that are extremely well-choreographed. In fact, it was the first MCU movie nominated for an Oscar, receiving a nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects in 2014. Steve Rogers is also has a lot of character development in this film, as he is basically thrown into a society and time period unlike the one he left in Captain America: The First Avenger. He's dealing with his new surroundings, as well as coming to grips with the fact that the love of his life, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) has aged nearly 70 years and lived a full life since he has last seen her. I also really like the villain in this film. The titular Winter Soldier is a formidable foe for Captain America, but also has an interesting backstory that is well fleshed out and intertwined with Rogers himself. Rogers' relationships with Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is expanded on, as well as his new relationship with Anthony Mackie's Falcon. This movie is fun, heartfelt, beautifully shot, and full of fantastic action sequences. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the total package and a must see for any comic book and MCU fanatic!
Fun Fact: Anthony Mackie's appearance in this film fulfills his dream of playing a Marvel comic book character. He wrote a series of e-mail pleas to Marvel, wanting to play any comic character that would appear on film. Though the studio repeatedly replied to him that they will respond in due time, Mackie's emails caught the attention of Producer Kevin Feige, who subsequently offered him the role of Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon.