The Winter Soldier picks up almost exactly where we left Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) at the end of The Avengers. He has entered this brave new world the only way he knows how, with courage. Partnering with Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson), they have been running numerous clandestine operations for S.H.I.E.L.D. and more importantly for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Steve has been continually struggling with his old views of government involvement and the increasingly fear tactics they use to “protect” the innocent. This later leads to an internal struggle for the soul of S.H.E.I.L.D. where loyalties are decided and sides are chosen.
The Winter Soldier may possibly be one of the best Marvel films to date. Directed by brothers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, The Winter Soldier explores the struggle Steve faces when facing this new world. They do a great job of incorporating everything involved with Captain America. From his birth in First Avenger and his inevitable confrontation with the modern world in The Avengers, this movie acts as an excellent extension from those movies. Not only that but they did something not yet seen in Marvel movies. They blended the genre which ultimately breathed new life into this movie as well as the nearly saturated market of the superhero genre. The Winter Soldier is a political spy thriller first and superhero flick second. Imagine Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy where the main character happens to be a walking example of American propaganda. Without spoiling the movie, the main plot deals with a struggle within S.H.I.E.L.D. that strikes an excellent note with the continuous debate on public privacy and the Snowden controversy.
This struggle manifests in the form of a conspiracy that reaches from the bottom of S.H.I.E.L.D. all the way to the top. This conspiracy acts as the main plot which keeps the audience guessing as to who is loyal to whom. Combining this conspiracy with some excellent action sequences keeps the audience completely engaged. These action sequences are ultimately made by the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) who acts as the evil equivalent to to Steve Rogers. Having an enemy that has all the physical ability of a super-soldier forged for war without the complications of morals creates an enemy that can stand toe-to-toe with Captain America. With a worthy opponent to encourage some action and conspiracy that keeps the audience engaged and guessing, The Winter Soldier makes an excellent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
My Humble Opinion: 8/10 This is a must see and will provide a fresh take on the superhero genre.