(Non-spoilery stuff above the cut)
Okay, I thought there was one special effect that wasn't very good and there were a couple of elements I thought were underused, but, other than that? Damn, this was a terrific flick. This is the Captain America movie I've been waiting for, the one that would let me feel Steve Rogers on a gut level. Thirty seconds in I was saying, "I already love this movie," and five minutes in I was saying, "I really already love this movie," because, yes, at last, Steve Rogers. Cap. YES. I feel it now. I get it. The man who smells like fresh applesauce and freedom; I salute it at last. This is the Captain America I thought I was signing on for and this movie has made me very happy.
No secret that Marvel Phase Two hasn't been a hit with me so far; I thought Iron Man 3 was irreverent and kinda annoying and lacking any sense of threat, while Thor 2 was mostly dull. I tried not to get my hopes up too high for this one as a result but it just kept looking so damn good in the previews, I couldn't help but pin some hopes on it. I'm so glad this one hit the mark for me.
It really got me right from the opening (as the camera started to pan I said, "Here come some D.C. monuments, I betcha...oh, look, Washington Monument itself") and the raid on the ship that followed had me pointing my finger at the screen hissing, "This, THIS, this is the Cap film I wanted!"
I'm so happy with how hard-ass Natasha was--she was very much The Black Widow here, a solo operative who works with peripherals (rather than team members). Watching her in her element, and watching her find new comfort zones as her loyalties are forced to shift felt so very Black Widow. And I loved how she and Steve played off each other to become "I will always have your back" people. They had already been "I trust your judgment without asking questions" people in The Avengers and seeing them take this step further, yeah, loved it.
My favorite, favorite thing in the whole movie was the Smithsonian exhibition. I WAS CLUTCHING MY HEART THE ENTIRE TIME. OH. WHY IS THAT NOT A REAL THING I WANT THAT TO BE A REAL THING. (WITH GARY SINISE'S VOICE WHICH I THOUGHT WAS RDJ'S AT FIRST BUT THAT WORKS TOO, WORKS REAL GOOD.) The S.O. wasn't able to see the movie with me yet and I'm not spoiling anything for him, but I told him, "There is a scene not too long into the movie where you are going to CRY. Big, gulpy gooey man-tears." He totally will.
I loved the elevator scene--not the elevator fight, but the quiet talky Steve-Nick "Fury anecdotes about his grandfather the elevator operator" scene. Pure gold. The sort of scene that makes you yell, "I am so happy they kept this scene in the movie and didn't cut it to make way for MORE FIGHTING."
(But the elevator fight was great too, zero argument.)
For a movie subtitled The Winter Soldier, there wasn't all that much Winter Soldier in it, was there? I mean, there was a lot of him, but not in a "this is the main focus of the film" thing that a subtitle would suggest. They could more accurately have called this movie Captain America: America's Winter and been more on the mark. I'm thinking they thought there would be more of him in early drafts? I thought they used the Winter Soldier well nonetheless, such a terrific emotional wound point that kept coming back in larger doses, all that delicious angst sandwiched into what looks like hand-to-hand combat; yeah, right, whatever you wanna call it. I'd never even heard of the Winter Soldier before the MCU but this made me want to see more of him. And cuddle the hell out of his brainwashed broken bod. And imagine Steve doing the same.
I had been saying that if they didn't include the "Who the hell is Bucky?" line, the comics fans would go apeshit, and if they did include it, they'd also go apeshit. So, either way, apeshit. Glad it's a happy apeshit for 'em.
If I had come into this movie as a Falcon fan, wanting to see what they did with the Falcon, I would have been disappointed. I absolutely loved what they did with Sam Wilson as a character in the movie, but since this was Cap's movie, they deliberately downplayed the Falcon's super-heroics; grounding him as they did so that Cap could save the day alone would have upset me, had I been gunning for the Falcon to hold a piece of the film as large as Cap's. But I wasn't. And this wasn't an Avengers movie, where everyone does their part and nobody gets taken out of the action so that the lead can do his/her thing. So I enjoyed Sam immensely but if there are Falcon fans who feel disappointed I'll understand where they're coming from.
On the other hand Sharon was perfect. Nicely, nicely used to good effect in that smallish role. I feel very rah-rah about her character right now; something about the way Emily Van Camp brought her to life connected with me.
The one special effect that didn't work? Peggy's old lady make up was just wrong. Ninety-year-old eyes need a misty ring around 'em and her teeth needed to be way less perfect and, gah. It was just wrong wrong wrong.
If I hadn't seen stills from the movie I would have missed Natasha's arrow necklace--it's tiny and her hair kept hiding it--but I knew it was there and kept looking for it and look look it's not just there during the time they're undercover on the run but she's wearing it in the last scene she keeps it eeeeeeeeee. *clintasha hearts all over th' place*
Nick Fury And His Talking Car is my new favorite buddy cop movie. I could have watched that for an hour.
Am sad they made Sitwell a traitor and then offed him. He was a very affable traitor, I noticed.
Didn't love this as much as The Avengers but this is definitely the Cap movie I needed. THANK YOU.
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