|I caught Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night, and it is a fantastic film. (spoiler-free)
I wasn't a big fan of the first one. Sue me. Superman doesn't appeal to me for the same reason Captain America doesn't appeal. Do-gooders are boring.
This film, however, takes Cap and makes him interesting - which is a thing I never thought I'd see. There's plenty of action in the film, as one would expect from a Marvel superhero film, but the thing I noticed the most were the quiet scenes. And there were a good number of quiet scenes.
These scenes allowed the viewer to reflect, to appreciate the growing relationships between various sets of characters. You don't see a lot of quiet in action films these days.
Yes, Cap is still a do-gooder. But he agonizes over that fact. The fact that he is constitutionally incapable of taking the easy way, doing things expediently, taking missions which are morally grey, makes him agonize over his place in the world. As Nick Fury says early on, Black Widow has no such compunctions. That's what makes them such a great team. It certainly doesn't hurt that Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson have great on-screen chemistry.
Marvel fans will get a number of happy moments, none of which I'll spoil here. Suffice it to say - there are two "extras" at the end of the film. One mid-way through the credits and one at the very end of the credits. Stay for both!
If you are watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you should get out to see this film within the next day. Marvel is doing an unprecedented thing by having Cap2 impact Agents starting tomorrow night. They've given fans opening weekend to see the film so that you're up to date.
If you want your spoilers, there are a couple of articles that have been written that do a far more exhaustive job pouring over the film than I would be able to do.
- All the Secrets and References in CA:TWS (i09). This is a great article which goes into a lot of detail about the comic book history of all the various characters encountered - a lot of which I didn't know. Two things I'll comment on which aren't really spoilers but that I learned from this article. I didn't know Ed Brubaker was in the film! He wrote the Captain America - Winter Soldier comic storyline. Completely missed noticing him in the scene in which he appears. Also, I think it's great Cap's to-do list has been customized for each country in which the film is shown. I think Doctor Who should've been on his list for the UK!
- CA2 Spoilers: Every Easter Egg in The Winter Soldier (moviepilot.com). This list makes me want to go back and re-watch the film!