‘Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier’ scored big bucks: did you see it?

Chris Evans

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier set pants and theaters on fire this weekend. The sequel scored the best opening weekend of all time for the month of April (with an estimated $96.2 million). I suspect Marvel was nervous that Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson’s press tours were … how do you say … slightly unorthodox. Scarlett praised Woody Allen, and Chris spent a fair amount of time strongly hinting at his own retirement. Scarlett has made some people angry lately, but she’s doing very well in her career these days (did you see the trailer for Lucy before the film? wow). I’m a little sad that Chris doesn’t enjoy his acting career because he was so good in this sequel. SO good.

Here’s my mini-review with plenty of SPOILERS to be had.

I enjoyed The Winter Soldier much more than the first Captain America movie. Don’t get me wrong — the first movie was enjoyable, but it mostly resided as a guilty pleasure (dat Cap ass) in my mind. Not only was this sequel an action-packed thrill ride, but it expanded several new possibilities within the Marvel universe. The story revolved around Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury experienced genuine peril and left Cap with a huge mystery to solve. Cap found himself unable to trust (almost) anyone and went on the run as a fugitive. Black Widow didn’t join the picture as merely as eye candy or as a sidekick. She was an indispensible ally and confidant to Cap. Anthony Mackie was a grounding presence as The Falcon. His character earned laughs and kudos, and he appeared in bookending scenes to cement his friendship with Cap.

This was the best superhero movie I’ve seen in many years. The script was sharp and the fights were choreographed and executed to perfection. Yes, this was a politically subversive movie, but I chose to ignore the serious stuff and focus on the fun. I’m shallow like that when it comes to movies. I enjoyed watching the powers that be play out onscreen. The plot twists were surprising but didn’t feel like a gut punch. Overall, it was a very satifying movie.

What made this movie really stick is the villain. Sebastian Stan did a marvelous job of portraying a relentless force who would stop at nothing to execute his missions. Stan was somehow able to infuse his unbeatable character with a certain vulnerability. Looking at Bucky’s eyes as he tried to recognize his former best friend … that was almost heartbreaking. The ending was sad too. Cap couldn’t defeat the Winter Soldier. He also didn’t want to continue fighting his friend, so he gave up. The Winter Soldier chose to stop fighting and rescued his opponent from certain death. The post-credits scene left plenty of room for Bucky to remember his past and (hopefully) find his way back to Cap. And who knows … maybe he’ll take up the Cap suit a few years down the line.

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan

Photos courtesy of Marvel & Empire magazine

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65 Responses to “‘Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier’ scored big bucks: did you see it?”

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  1. Toniko says:

    Oh, SebAstian. I hope he’ll have a career after this.

  2. Tiffany27 says:

    I went in loving Chris Evans and I left loving Sebastian Stan. Great movie!

    • V4Real says:

      He did look hot as The WInter Soldier but Evans made Cap look even better this time around.

    • jammypants says:

      I love them both honestly. Chris is wonderful. Sebastian proved to be an asset to the MCU.

  3. bettyrose says:

    Black Widow was a total badass. And they kept her rack covered. Otherwise though it was just another movie. The wise cracking was minimal. The good vs. Evil dynamic was cartoonishly simplistic. The special effects were nothing new. It was a throwback to what superhero movies were decades ago before Christopher Nolan redefined everything with Batman.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      Man, what is up with people thinking Christopher Nolan walks on water and all things Batman equal the Holy Grail?

      Critics are falling all over themselves with good reviews for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” because it really ‘is’ a good movie that works on several levels. It has a strong storyline, incredible action scenes, and character growth/development for Captain American/Steve Rogers, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, and Nick Fury. In addition, Anthony Mackie nails his role as Sam Wilson/Falcon.

      The special effects in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” were awesome. As someone who regularly went to the theater ‘decades ago’ and was at the opening weekend for the first “Star Wars” film in 1977 and the first Christopher Reeves “Superman” film in 1978, I can tell you nothing existed then to rival the ‘special effects’ of today. And the ‘good vs. evil’ trope is the main theme of ALL ‘cartoon based’ films … yes, even ‘Batman.’ To say ‘all’ films with special effects were ‘nothing’ prior to “Batman Begins” in 2005 is rather … simplistic.

      • jammypants says:

        Right? He’s so overrated! I’ve seen almost everything he did and I’m not in awe like 80% of the internet.

  4. grabbyhands says:

    Ditto to your review!

    I thought the first Cap movie was okay, but not great, but i found that I was really looking forward to seeing Winter Soldier because the reviews just kept getting better. So we saw it Saturday-OMG. Easily one of the best in the Marvel stable.

    The writing was tight, the acting was amazing-everyone really stepped up their game. It was a lot of fun to watch and I am looking forward to my second viewing. LOVED the addition of Anthony Mackie and that the ladies were representing in the ass kicking.

    My only complaint is that I could have used a few more scenes of Chris Evans in his tank top.

    • Kali says:

      I think Mackie had one of the coolest superhero “intro” sequences in the entire run of the Marvel movies so far (IMHO). People were straight up cheering in the cinema at the preview screening I got to go to at that part. I must concur re tank top. Distinct lack of dat Cap @ss in this movie.

      • Algernon says:

        People cheered the Falcon in my theater, too. Not just little kids! Grown men and women shrieked in delight. And the Winter Soldier got a lot “ohhs” and “damns” as he wrecked pretty much everyone he came up against.

        And of course dat Cap ass was applauded.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Definitely needed more tank top scenes. They should just rework the costume into a tank top.

  5. Marine says:

    It’s been out for 2 weeks here in France . I loved it but I am Marvel loony ! It was a satisfying film.

  6. Kali says:

    Been twice already. Will probably see it once more towards the end of the cinematic run. I definitely needed the second viewing to pick up on all the little wee details dropped in the movie (the necklace Black Widow’s wearing, the mega name drop by Sitwell on the roof, the reference to another movie in the final group shot at the end). Absolutely loved all of it. I hope Mackie and Stan become megastars off the back off this, I think they absolutely stole the show.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      And Loki’s spear!

      • Kali says:

        And the “miracles”! Can’t wait to see how the Avengers react to those two. Plus Thomas Kretschmann is going to be a fantastic villain.

  7. Lilacflowers says:

    Enjoyed it immensely. So did the 85 year old and the 11 year old we took with us. Since it is Marvel, it included plenty of references to the Marvel universe, but they weren’t overwhelming or intrusive.

  8. GeeMoney says:

    The movie was good, but it was long and I kind of tuned out a lot of the plot dialogue in the beginning because it got to be a little too intricate and long winded.

    Since Robert Redford was kind of the bigger bad than The Winter Soldier (Bucky), I thought that he took the wind a bit out of Bucky’s sails. I didn’t find Sebsatian Stan to be as big of a bad-ass as he could have been.

    I will say though, the fight scenes and special effects were really good. I didn’t care for Scarlett’s wig (I have no idea why they put one on her), and I loved Anthony Mackie as The Falcon.

    The only big negative of the movie? Chris Evans did NOT take his shirt off. WTF.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @GeeMoney, who wrote: “The only big negative of the movie? Chris Evans did NOT take his shirt off. WTF.”

      But he ‘did’ wear a wife beater, which was nearly as good. 😉

  9. Jen says:

    (SPOILERS, STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT.) I thought it was very entertaining and funny, but the computer shit drove me CRAZY. A Nazi supervillain with its brain held on 20,000 miles of 1972 computer storage? Three computer chips that somehow bring three separate aircraft carriers immediately under somebody else’s control? Scarlett Johansson can hack into encrypted mainframes in like 2 minutes in an Apple store?

    I don’t really get why the scriptwriters assumed that computer-literate people wouldn’t be bugged by this. It wasn’t bad, just oversimplified and a bit silly, and threw me completely out of the film.

    Also, why is it always the Nazis? People can be evil in modernity without that, Hollywood.

    • Side-Eye says:

      Actually the main villain was Hydra which is totally different from Nazis.

      • Kali says:

        Plus the sequence in the bunker with the cyborgesque (really don’t know how else to describe it?!?) computer is a good update of the Arnim Zola villain in the comics (which, admittedly, looks totally ridiculous as far as villains go).

    • Lolo-ology says:

      But is was a direct reflection of “evil in modernity,” every time they mentioned the kill algorithm I had chills because that is one of the Snowden revelations that recently came out in the last few weeks. The NSA uses algorithms to execute by drone people they suspect of terrorist potential. Pre-crime executions. Algorithms are used to monitor and evaluate lifestyle patterns- where they go, who they associate with- and that vague info is used to pre-emptively condemn them, before any crime has occured. Algorithms are also used to locate these alleged “targets,” by pinging their cell phones. Drones are used to execute them. For this relevance, I found the plot of Winter Solder to be that much more thrilling and terrifying!

      • dj says:

        Definitely. That is what was so great about the plot it was taken right out of the headlines recently (ongoing also). I hope more people listen to what this movie ‘s message is about. It is Terrifying Lolo_ology.

  10. Mia4S says:

    It was good fun, but very predictable. Once again no real stakes or permanent consequences (seriously does anyone believe a “shocking death” in a Marvel movie anymore?). Worth a watch, but nothing earth shattering.

  11. browniecakes says:

    Made great use of elevators and ACME Hole Kits.

    • GeeMoney says:


    • jammypants says:

      the one thing that made me lol at the suspension of disbelief bit was Fury’s escape. Like what? A little pen can carve out the earth just like that.

      • Lolo-ology says:

        Seriously! Any tech that has that ability, in such compact form, would’ve made for an unrivaled weapon in the wrong hands. How convenient no bad guy has adapted it or stolen it!

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        That wasn’t a pen (I saw the film twice), it was some kind of portable torch.

  12. Jana says:

    It was excellent. Anyone telling you otherwise has questionable judgement.

    The whole team was on point the whole movie. I love that Cap has learned from the Avengers that he should question who and what’s around him. Scarlett was badass, of course. Anthony Mackie as the Falcon was so boss even my mom is in love him. It’s too bad Sebastian didn’t really get to say much as the Winter Soldier because he’s a good actor, but his fight scenes were all incredible. Frank Grillo is going to become Crossbones, and I can’t wait. Emily Van Camp did well with what little she had, and I hope she’s got a big part for CA3.

    • Kali says:

      All the guys at work are telling me that it appears they could be following the comic storyline called “Civil War”. I’ve been “researching” (hey, I have to do something in my downtime at work :P) and if that is the case, Emily Van Camp will have a massive part.

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:


        Then why did they tease us SO hard with Cap and Black Widow? Everytime she asked him why he didn’t ask so and so out or this girl or that girl, it was almost like she was asking “Why don’t you ask ‘me’ out?” 🙂

        But (sigh) the last one was “Why don’t you ask the nurse out?” who was Sharon.

      • shay says:

        @emma – the JP Lover, black widow actually first brought up the neighbor nurse when they were on the ship. yes, but i liked that she brought up sharon again in the end. eek! to bad no mention of her last name. wink wink.

    • Kali says:

      I think Black Widow is just a flirt 😉 You may not have noticed but she was wearing an arrow necklace throughout the whole film. Who else do we know in the Marvel Universe is an archer? 😀

  13. eliza says:

    I will wait till it makes it’s way to Netflix. I will say that I enjoyed the first Captain America waaaaaay more than the much over hyped Avengers.

  14. Gwen says:

    I really enjoyed the movie. Far better than the first and loads better than quite a few of the other Marvel-movies. Can’t wait to see what will happen next. Am actually really glad there’s the Agents show – it’s too long until the next movie in the Avengers-verse *sigh*

    Also I missed the last post-credit scene! My husband refused to stay and I thought there was only one 🙁 Next time I’m staying all the way to the end dammit!

    • Kali says:

      Don’t worry too much, you didn’t really miss anything with the end credits scene, the mid credits one was way more interesting.

    • Lolo-ology says:

      Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver cameos in the second post-credit scene. My bf wanted to leave after the first one too, but I was resolute. 🙂

  15. allheavens says:

    Saw it, liked it. Though the CGI wan’t groundbreaking the action set pieces were very good. The script was decent and Evans is a good enough actor to walk that fine line and not make Cap a cartoonish bore but a good man out of time and place.

    Black Widow was badass as usual but Scarlett’s delivery works my nerves sometimes.

    Basically all Stan had to do was be a badass in a mask, show pain and look confused. Not a big Stan fan but I’ll see where he takes the role before jumping on or off that bandwagon.

  16. The Original Mia says:

    Agreed with everything you said. Loved this movie. I’ll be seeing it again this week.

  17. erindipity says:

    I enjoyed it, but it was no Iron Man (1).

  18. Lindsey Gregory says:

    Did anyone catch the easter-egg or w/e you call them, at Nick Fury’s burial?

    • grabbyhands says:

      I did. It made me kind of sad that I was the only one cracking up.

    • browniecake says:

      A stranger and I got it – turned to each other in our 3D glasses and shared a laugh. My husband missed it. So great.

  19. Side-Eye says:

    Oh my God I went to see this with my friends Friday and they finally realized why Captain America is my favorite out of the Avengers. He was so bad ass in this movie, which was overall the best stand alone in the Avengers movies. I saw a lot of my Civil War Cap which I didn’t think they would have the balls to do. I loved the Winter Soldier and the Falcon, Jojansson was her typical ehhhhhh for me acting wise and I cried for Peggy and the Bucky flashbacks. I didn’t like the first credits scene because of the whole character rights issue and how they’re shoehorning certain cjaracters in but I loved the second one because emotions.


  20. Tig says:

    I thought it was great. Chris looks good in Underarmour! I really enjoyed seeing Robert Redford, and you could tell he was having a blast! I could have sworn there was a shot of Paul Newman’s pasta sauce in that scene bet RR and the Winter Soldier. And Jenny Agutter-yay!

    OT- Has Gary Shandling(sp?) been ill? He was the corrupt congressman, and he did not look healthy!

    • Mindy says:

      YOU SAW the Newman’s Own TOO?!?! THANK YOU!!! I’ve been asking all my friends (I work as a comic book letterer and 90% of my colleagues saw the film) but NONE of them caught it. I was cheering when I saw Jenny Agutter too – and yeah – either Shandling is ill OR he just got REALLY fat, which isn’t healthy either.

      I thought the film was GREAT.. and I don’t generally like superhero stuff (go fig – I don’t exactly like 75% of the comics I letter).

    • Algernon says:

      I’m not crazy! That really was Newman’s Own! I thought I imagined it. I was like, what is that doing in this scene… It almost derailed my attention until that scene got scary violent right at the end.

      Shandling has had a really bad face lift. You could see it in Iron Man 2, it looked recently done. Now that he’s aged under that plastic mask, it looks even worse.

  21. Sachi says:

    Gonna see this on Thursday. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about it so I’m excited!

  22. Samtha says:

    Loved the Captain America movie. The theater went wild through the whole thing–I’ve never seen an audience so caught up in a movie like that before, not even the Avengers movie.

    The Lucy trailer looks interesting, but the old “we only use 10% of our brains” thing is a myth, so it kind of kills the entire concept.

    • Lolo-ology says:

      Yes, thank you! I just can’t get fully on board with Lucy, knowing that the brain thing is a myth. Surprised it’s not common knowledge yet.

  23. TheCountess says:

    No thanks. I went to see “The Grand Budapest Hotel” over the weekend. I have no plans to ever see “Captain America” or any comic book superhero moviel

  24. Janet says:

    This movie was amazing. I wish Sebastian had more lines but he was great either way. I felt really bad for The Winter Soldier and was rooting for him at times.

    • Algernon says:

      I’m glad he didn’t have more lines, actually. At first I wanted him to talk more, but by the time he actually he did talk (“But I knew him…”) it was so heartbreaking to finally hear his voice and have it be almost boyish. We’d seen him kick so much ass by that point I expected him to talk in Stan’s actual, grown man voice, but he modulated it so that Bucky sounded really young. There was an actual contrast to when he gave orders in Russian and when he spoke to Alexander Pierce. I thought Stan did a phenomenal job portraying Bucky/TWS and his silence was a huge part of that. This is a character with no agency. He’s a puppet. Why would he talk a lot? No one’s wanted to hear to his opinion in 70 years.

  25. Miss M says:

    I loved it and I saw it twice.

  26. Amy says:

    It was a fun movie. My company made it an optional outing and whoever wanted to go could sign up for tickets (I work for a company that has ties to the Marvel-ish industry). Considering that meant I got out at 1:30, I went! I had only seen half of Captain America on a plane so I didn’t really know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.