Up to this point, the MCU set a certain superhero tone that may have been getting dry. “The Winter Soldier” changed that. Instead of having aliens fall from the sky, they opted for a more grounded, political thriller type of story. And seeing how the universe turned out all these films later, it’s safe to say this movie was a huge turning point.
Starring Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson as the returning Captain America/Steve Rogers and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff. Both character arcs evolved into a much better trajectory. Rogers became more of a household name while Romanoff stepped into a more independent role for her future.
A key new addition is Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson/Falcon, who’s arc we know very well by now. The title character plus “villain” is The Winter Soldier, played by returning Sebastian Stan. With a complex story and real emotion behind it, there was no way this story could’ve failed. Let’s discuss a few details as to why this film kept up all these years later.
Warning: A few spoilers here and there.
“After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in the nation’s capital as he tries to adjust to modern times. An attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague throws Rogers into a web of intrigue that places the whole world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new ally, the Falcon, Rogers struggles to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, but he and his team soon come up against an unexpected enemy.”
The plot in a really simple summary, explores ideas of how are world is protected. What happens when you put power in the wrong hands? What are the consequences of that? When you try to resist, does that cause any problems or make enemies? Short answer, it does.
The story sheds light on hidden agendas and how innocent people are lied to, just for the people of power to potentially get what they want.
The edge of your seat action is one of the most memorable and fan favorited in the entire MCU. Featuring some of the best hand-hand combat imaginable. But what makes the action so special? When there’s a story behind it. The Russo Brothers did such a good job providing real stakes whenever Steve and Nat are being hunted or dread whenever The Winter Soldier is near for the kill.
The overall tone of the movie just felt different from other Marvel properties. They focused on serious issues without the relying of humor. It felt like we were all watching something special, and we were.
When Steve unmasks The Winter Soldier, to his surprise, it’s his best friend Bucky Barnes. However, Barnes has no memory due to being captured and brainwashed by HYDRA back in World War II. That’s 70 years’ worth of torture. Audiences immediately know Barnes is the victim of a bigger cause. Which carries most of the emotion throughout the third act of the film. Especially during the final fight.
When Steve is on the brink of death, he accepts his fate no matter what it is. But not before trying to trigger some sort of memory for Barnes. He succeeds, causing Bucky to save him and starting his path to refigure who he is. An arc that was recently explored in ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’.
It doesn’t matter what you’re into. ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ has it all. Rather you just want to watch a good action movie or an avid MCU fan. This historic film laid the groundwork for many characters and its future stories to come.