Goddamn, I Need A Nerd-Cigarette: A Review of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

April 4th, 2014 // 21 Comments
Captain America The Winter Soldier

For the past few weeks, the advance word on Captain America: The Winter Soldier is that it’s as good as The Avengers if not the best Marvel movie to date. It even made curmudgeony ol’ fusspot Jeff Wells‘ heart grow three sizes as it should have because the hype is real. Winter Soldier is the best Marvel movie to date that smacks you around like a vibranium shield to the dick. Which sounds more painful than pleasurable, but shh, shh, that’s in the past now. It’s in the past.

WARNING: This review contains spoilers although almost every single one of them has been included in promotional materials by now and, surprisingly, didn’t lessen the movie at all. Even the part when Robert Redford turned out to be Doctor Strange which I did not see coming. Kidding! Kidding. That didn’t happen. (Or did it?)

The Shit That Worked

- Everything. Everything worked. Usually about halfway through these things (Looking at you, Thor: The Dark World.) some sort of shoe drops that snaps you right out of the movie and makes you wonder when this shit’s going to be over. That did not happen once. Everything clips along smoothly, and there’s not a single scene where the momentum grinds to a halt. Which is pretty damn impressive for a film that functions as a 70s political espionage thriller as much as it does a CGI superhero movie starring Shield Man, Karate Lady, Flying Brother, and EmoHair RobotArm: Super Assassin.

- The casting. I have never been completely sold on Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, but he definitely found his groove and just in time to be killed and replaced by Bucky in the third movie. And speaking of Bucky, Sebastian Stan was fucking awesome as the Winter Soldier. The costume was perfect and he was goddamn ruthless which I’ll get back to in a second. Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury finally got some scenery to chew along with character development even if he’s still nowhere near the intricate spymaster as his comics counterpart. Robert Redford was perfect even though it never stopped being weird seeing Robert Redford in a Marvel movie. As great as Winter Soldier was, my brain could not stop going, “This shouldn’t be happening…” Anthony Mackie, fucking solid. Frank Grillo, badass as Crossbones even though he never did anything to indicate he was Crossbones including wearing the mask or even being referred to as Crossbones, but he was definitely Crossbones. Cobie Smulders, better than Lindsay Lohan: Movie Star. And most surprisingly, Scarlett Johansson wasn’t a superfluous character shoehorned in to setup The Avengers.

- The fight scenes. Good god, the fight scenes. The characters in this movie, even Captain America, do not fuck around. I would put this flick toe-to-toe with any action movie except for Hard Target. In Hard Target Jean-Claude Van Damme punches a snake. Nothing beats punching a snake. Nothing.

- The CGI. For a movie that has three flying aircraft carriers blasting the fuck out of each other above Washington D.C. while a man with metal falcon wings zips around them getting his black ass shot at, the effects sold the shit out of it. There was not one laughably bad scene on account of the CGI which is a goddamn miracle when it comes to superhero movies.

- The suspension of disbelief. If you want to nitpick this movie, there are things to nitpick. For example, Black Widow should’ve snapped in half at least twice while fighting the Winter Soldier. Not to mention, we’ve seen Cap’s kick send men flying off a ship, yet somehow he’s not caving their skulls in when he roundhouses them in the face. But after the fantastical shitfest that was Thor The Dark World, these are tiny little quibbles that still work – and how – within the “rules” of Winter Soldier‘s world. Rules that will go right out the fucking window in The Avengers: The Age of Ultron, but that’s neither here nor there yet.

- The story. Having already read Ed Brubaker‘s Winter Soldier run, I was worried about what this movie was going to bring to the table considering I already knew the twists and turns. Turns out Marvel was smart enough to lift just bits and pieces and then write their own story around the existing framework. So if you’re looking for the same exact story as the comics, you’ll get something respectful to that, but really, why would you want to see a story you already know played out exactly as you know it? That’s some boring-ass shit.

- The middle-aged black woman in the theater who clearly had no idea Bucky is the Winter Soldier. I’m a giant nerd, so I already knew going into the movie who he was. On top of that, I work in the media, so I’ve been pummeled with press material full of Sebastian Stan openly talking about the role because Marvel isn’t J.J. Abrams. So when you’re in that kind of bubble, you forget that the average moviegoer has barely a clue about these characters outside of what they’ve already seen in the previous films. Which is why during the pivotal scene where the Winter Soldier loses his mask and Captain America sees his face for the first time, this woman as clear as day yells, “It’s his freeyend!” like she saw a goddamn ghost. I will never, for the rest of my life, be able to watch that scene again without laughing every single time. Whoever you are, Theater Talking Lady, God bless you. God bless you.

- The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tie-in. Not because it was clever synergy/cross-promotion of two Marvel products that gave diehard fans an extra layer of story, but because the show set the bar so clown-shoes low for how S.H.I.E.L.D can look onscreen that Winter Soldier looked like a goddamn masterpiece. (Also, if you had Sitwell pegged as The Clairvoyant, I’ve got some bad news for you.)

- The running gag. Throughout the movie, there’s a running gag where Black Widow keeps bringing up potential women for Captain America to date while in their middle of missions. It’s innocent, and sounds way worse than it plays onscreen, but the more I thought about it, she’s trying to save his life. Because here’s a fundamental fact that the movie tries to carefully dance around, but once you realize it, there’s no ignoring it: Captain America is a virgin. And a virgin who hasn’t had sex with a woman’s vagina is more prone to say things like, “No, childhood best friend, I’d rather die than kill you,” instead of remembering his super-soldier body can score crazy pussy and kicking his best bud into an exploding aircraft carrier so he can continue doing just that. It’s really the greatest act of kindness any character’s shown him in all three movies he’s been in, if not his entire comic book history.

The Shit That Kinda Worked

- Arnim Zola. If there was one possible scene where the movie kind of went pear-shaped, albeit slightly, it was the Arnim Zola exposition-fest which could’ve been way, way worse if you’re familiar with how he’s been portrayed in the comics. Also, the movie had to move the needle on AI to get this Marvel universe closer to Ultron, so I was willing to let it slide whereas Photo Boy was wondering what the fuck that shit was all about instead of focusing on working my the movie. Instead of focusing on the movie. Ahaha!

The Shit That Shat

- The post-credit kicker. After watching a two-hour, tightly crafted political action thriller, it’s a huge tonal shift to jump right to cartoonishly German Hydra agents talking about “zee twins” and how “zey are a miracle” because Fox owns the exclusive rights to the word mutant and, oh I dunno, the father of these two new characters. No biggie.

- Sitting through the rest of the credits to watch Bucky go to the Smithsonian. Will he fight for good in Captain America 3 or teach us the history of aviation? STAY TUNED.

And that about wraps it up. Sorry, it took so long to get this up (That’s what she said.), but as you can see, I wrote way, way too many words because I’m a lonely dork. But if it’s any consolation, this review like so many others before it will almost certainly get me negative laid. And if you’re wondering exactly how that works, let me explain: Somewhere, some place, a woman is sitting quietly when suddenly her vagina begins to talk. “Hey. Hey, you,” it’ll say. “Listen up. One day, you will meet a man. A loose definition of the word man. And upon meeting that man you will decide against all logic and reason to put his penis inside of me. And should that happen, I want you to know that at the most humiliatingly possible moment of your life, I will queef. I will queef loudly and clearly with just the right amount of wet raspberry flapping at the end so that anyone within earshot has literally no doubt about what just happened. The choice is yours.”

Negative laid.

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  1. brian

    never or a second did I think Fury was dead. If there was any chance of him living. He’d fake the death. Overall great movie.

  2. Swearin

    I’m reading this review while in line for the movie. I nerd-drink your nerd-milkshake.

    What I want to know is, if Cap is a virgin, couldn’t Black Widow just give him a pity fuck or something? I know she used to be a Soviet so the walking, talking embodiment of American dick-swinging probably doesn’t do it for her, but the guy has got a government-issue perfect bod, gotta count for something, right?

    Final thought; I hope Robert Redford isn’t just all “get off my damn lawn” like Harrison Ford or Clint Eastwood would’ve been in the role.

    • Oh man, my friends and I talked about Natasha doing Steve A SOLID about the whole virgin thing too. She kept pushing him instead toward Agent 13, which, for a woman supposedly has loose morals, is VERY disappointing.

      Redford is truly great here – I completely understand what Fish was saying about the “seriously, WTF is he doing here?” effect his presence has on the film, but it certainly makes it looks way more legit than a movie of this time deserved to be. And yeah, this statement totally included Anthony Hopkins being Odin.

  3. God I wish, WISH, that I also had a middle-aged black woman in my screening of this movie who had no idea that Bucky was the Winter Soldier! Kinda makes me wish I brought my mom to see it! But the lady who raised me think that super-heroes movies are made for juvenile morons… so, needless to say I’m a big disappointment to her.

    Superb movie. The hype is real. Fish’s right – you have to stay for the bonus scenes, but they aren’t worth shit compare to the film. Summer 2014 has already started.

  4. anonymous

    I liked the movie overall but not everything worked. They called the movie The Winter Soldier but he wasn’t even the main or even scary badass bad guy he was supposed to be. He wasn’t even on screen for more than 10-15 minutes tops. Kind of copied Iron Man 3 with Mandarin.

    If you are going to make him the bad guy, make him the damn bad guy or a least one that really stand out.

    Also seem like Captain America should soldiered up and banged Black Widow to me. She was asking for it bringing up his sex life every 10 minutes.

  5. Doctor_Joystick

    You know why I love you Fish? Because “You’re mah freeyend!”
    Fuck the movie review, your observations of people and this silly life we live are what make this site so great. Thanks for making me chuckle on a boring Friday night.

  6. D-chi

    I was expecting much more Winter Eyeshadow, but what can you do? Seriously though, the movie was fantastic.

  7. Johnny Barbells

    …back in the day, me and my crew went to see “predator” …when it got to that scene where bill duke is on watch the night after jesse ventura was killed, there’s a shot of bill juxtaposed against the night sky, his very dark skin has a blue-ish hue, and some dude in the middle of the theater exclaimed; “DAMN! HE A SMURF!!!” …the packed theater broke out in laughter …it’s 27 years later and i still think of that every time i watch predator …and i broke out in the same kind of laughter just now reading your anecdote about the middle-aged black lady …i could hear her voice in my head …fucking hilarious …oh, and, i can’t wait to see this movie.

  8. My Theater Talking Moment was for Pet Sematary. In the scene where the main character first dreams he’s walking through the woods with the dead guy, then pulls back the covers in the morning to show his feet are muddy. When he pulled back the covers, people in the theater screamed, and the guy in front of me yelled — in a really pissy tone — “Y’all are screamin’ at DIRT??”

  9. Cock Dr

    Goggle reveals all RE: “Van Damme punching a snake”
    I miss a lot not having cable/watching TV or hardly ever going to the movies, but this internet thingie fills in nicely.
    This flick doesn’t have Viggo Mortensen in the cast so I’m not really interested but I do thank the blogger for the review, especially the anecdote about the Talking Theater Lady.

  10. Black people talk at the movie screen? GET THE FUCK OUT. And yes, I am vocalizing these words as I type.

  11. It was a great movie but I have to mention something that has not been said (Spoiler) JSP was amazing! Him vs Cap was a fantastic way to kick off the movie! I hope he does more movies down the line.

  12. Sweetpea

    I am dying at the “black woman” line because that woman was my mom.

    It was one of the reasons why I wanted to watch this movie with her. I knew and my brother knew and she was all like, “Who is the Winter Soldier?”

    And then the reveal happened and you could have bought her for ten cents. She genuinely didn’t see the twist coming and it was great to watch her reaction.

    The internet spoils so much for people, it’s nice to be reminded what it’s like to walk into a movie having no idea what to expect

  13. erocalous

    I cant stop talking and thinking about this movie, it kicked me in the face. I have this movie up there with the Dark Knight, which is Mt. Everest high in my book

  14. Slash

    Seems like something worth sharing, though not “Captain America” related:

    I recently saw “The Wolf of Wall Street” (funny; not Scorcese’s best, but still highly entertaining, and if you hate DiCaprio, it’s a good movie to watch, because I wanted to punch his adorable face numerous times throughout). There’s a scene where the chick the DiCaprio character wants to screw (but is not married to) appears, completely naked except for shoes (of course).

    The theater was quiet for a moment, then a man (I wasn’t close enough to see him, but I am assuming he was black) said, loudly enough for all to hear: “Dayum!”

    We all laughed. He was just saying what we were all thinking.

  15. nonnie

    where’s photo boy’s part of the review

  16. I jizzed when I saw Fury’s headstone.

  17. Wanted to read this review since it came out, but fought the urge until after I watched the movie. Just saw it today, and YES a million billion times in agreeing with this. Awesome movie.

    And yes, it was weird as fuck to see Redford in this. It really hit in the scene near the end when Col. Samuel L Fury and Redford were face to face.

    Did anyone else see the Bible verse on Fury’s tombstone? “The path of the righteous man.” -Ezekiel 25:17 AWESOME

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