Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
Chris Evans … Steve Rogers / Captain America
Scarlett Johansson … Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Samuel L. Jackson … Nick Fury
Robert Redford … Alexander Pierce
Toby Jones … Arnim Zola
Cobie Smulders … Maria Hill
Sebastian Stan … Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier
Dominic Cooper … Howard Stark
Hayley Atwell … Peggy Carter
Emily VanCamp … Sharon Carter / Agent 13
Frank Grillo … Brock Rumlow / Crossbones
Callan Mulvey … Jack Rollins
Anthony Mackie … Sam Wilson / The Falcon
Stan Lee … Museum Staff
|Director:||Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Joss Whedon|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios|
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) a.k.a. Captain America continues the service he began back in World War II, only now as the lead of an elite squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents doing the missions that no one else can. But what starts off as a simple rescue mission to free hostages soon leads him to question his team mates, Natasha a.k.a. The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and even SHIELD itself.
Fury, seeing Steve questioning his tactics, brings him into his confidence and shows him SHIELD’s next big leap in world defense and surveillance named, Project Insight. However, instead of making Steve feel better about their aims, it only makes him more wary, and he has to remind Fury that though they made some compromises in WWII they did it to remain free.
SHIELD and Nick Fury have both come under attack by an unknown enemy spearheaded by the legendary killer/assassin known only as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Dating back to the days of the former Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain, the Winter Soldier strikes fear even in The Black Widow and with good reason, since even Captain America may have found an enemy he cannot defeat.
Searching for answers, and running out of both time and people he can trust, Steve can only rely on Natasha and recent war veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) to uncover the enemy’s ultimate goal and save the millions that will perish if they fail. A bonafide action movie that often has the look and feel of an espionage thriller that makes a strong case for being the best entry in the Marvel franchise so far.
Violence: Heavy. The violence is a notch higher than that of the first Captain America movie and so is geared for teens and up only. No gore is shown, but people are shot, stabbed, blown up, most often within vehicles, run over, thrown into a jet turbine, crushed and killed executioner style. Non-fatal injuries include repeated punches, kicks to the gut, fracturing of bones, getting smashed in the face and elsewhere by Captain America’s shield and so on. Dead bodies are not lingered upon except for one prolonged scene after the victim is shot through the heart with only blood staining the shirt. Later, a patient is brought into a hospital that is badly burned.
Language: Moderate for a PG-13 movie, it is not without incident. The Lord’s name is taken in vain once (OMG), “sh***” is said complete once and obscured the second time around, although the intent is clear. “Son of a b****” is used twice, and “hell” and “damn” are mentioned. Though the movie could not escape a PG-13 rating based on the violence, it is a shame that these few words could not have been eliminated as the movie was the cleanest PG-13 movie I have “heard” in a while.
Sex/Nudity: Mild. There are two instances of mild sexual innuendo, one after Natasha kisses Steve to maintain their cover, the other involving a Senator, but they can both be easily dismissed. The skin tight, and at one point cleavage gaping uniform of the Black Widow notwithstanding, there was nothing else inappropriate in the movie.
Steve Rogers, born in 1918, is a product of the 30s and 40s and as such is an anachronism in today’s world. The distinction between the upright “soldier of the 1940s” and the Russian spy turned agent Natasha Romanoff can be seen as a metaphor for people who are “living in the light” as opposed to “living in the world.” From their opposing views on stealing vs. borrowing a car, to their vastly different experience with members of the opposite sex, Natasha is a good example of how you don’t have to be a “bad” guy to be “worldly,” and how that viewpoint can prevent you from seeing the wiser and true path.
“Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight… ” —1 Corinthians 3:18.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world” —1 John 2:15.
Captain America, both in the comics and in this year’s film, is never more inspiring than when he is simply sharing his ‘cause’ and encouraging others to join him to do the right thing. The Captain’s scene where he does this is reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart’s role in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” where he stands resolute and alone against the corrupt Washington machine hoping against hope that “someone will listen”. The Bible advises us to do exactly that for,
Our hidden enemy has been integrating itself into the very fiber of America in order to attack us from within. Under the guise of national security, the surveillance state has grown in spite of the law, while liberty has been diminishing and now millions will pay the price with their very lives. In the film, we have an organization that speaks of unity, under their control and mass slaughter of anyone who can oppose them. As in real life, evil men are mimicking the Devil’s desires for all of us, and we should be on alert because…
The Word of God further describes this kind of enemy, as well as their eventual downfall. As acknowledged children of God, we should take comfort in this.
“These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it” —Proverbs 1:18.
By contrast, the Captain’s sacrificial spirit, on display in the first film, is equally and even more poignantly featured here. Faced with the option of saving his life or that of his friends, and his nation, can we guess what choice Captain America will make?
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” —John 15:13.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is an awe inspiring thriller, steeped in intrigue leading up to a special effects laden climax that has an emotional payoff few action films achieve. Add to this a hero, in the truest sense of the word, that still considers himself just a kid from Brooklyn, and you have everything you would hope for in a sequel and more. I recommend this movie, and also suggest you stay for the two (2) extra scenes played during the credits.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate—“Oh my G*d” (1), “damn” (7), “hell” (5) / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…has a darker tone than the original Captain America adventure; it also has a better plot. … Explores themes of ethics, trust… Old-fashioned good-vs.-evil fun, even if you aren't sure which side is which among the not-so-subtle real-world political parallels. …
—Susan Ellingburg, Crosswalk
…a terrific action movie, with a strong moral, patriotic, and anti-totalitarian worldview promoting liberty, but the intense action violence and brief foul language warrant caution. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…After the rollicking (if explosion-filled) fun of “The Avengers” and the extraterrestrial humor of “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Winter Soldier” thunders into a bleaker, murkier place. …Cap shows us that following your moral compass never goes out of style. We can find justice if we're willing to pursue it. We can show compassion if we're strong enough to allow it.
—Paul Asay, Plugged In
…“Winter Soldier” finally breaks Marvel’s streak of convoluted sophomore slumps, soaring higher than a bird, a plane or any other superhero series. [3½/4]
—Graham Killeen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
…an often breathlessly exciting action thriller told with humor and intelligence. …what distinguishes this Marvel Comics-based movie is the ingenious complexity of the plot and dimension of the characters. … [3/4]
—Claudia Puig, USA Today