MCU guide – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Posted on 21 April 2016
By Alex Green
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Widely regarded as one of Marvel’s finest films, Captain America: The Winter Soldier changed the game for Superhero films and raised the bar in terms of expectation from the genre.

CA: TWS is a very personal story for Cap as he struggles to find his place in the modern world. Following the events of the Avengers, the film sees Steve working for S.H.I.E.L.D and under Commander Nick Fury.

When he sees how far Fury is willing to go to eliminate any threats, Steve starts to really question his involvement with the organisation and ponder what he would really do if he left the game.

In a world where doing the right thing doesn’t always mean the right results, Steve is stuck between choosing what is right or listening to the orders he always been comfortable following.

When SHIELD is discovered to be have been infiltrated by HYDRA for several decades, Cap is turned into a fugitive and along with Black Widow and newcomer, Falcon, is sent on the run whilst trying to investigate the HYDRA problem.

With his conflicts still in motion, Cap comes face to face with a new villain, The Winter Soldier. A HYDRA weapon for almost seventy years, the Winter Solider is a master assassin, used by HYDRA to kill any potential threats to them.

When the Winter Soldier is revealed to be none other than Bucky Barnes, Cap’s fallen childhood friend, Steve is given a whole new dilemma when he comes face to face with HYDRA. In a battle of morals and consciousness, Cap and his team make a plan to take down HYDRA before they unleash their deadly plan.

At the same time, Cap comes face to face with Bucky, all the time reminding him of who he really is and how he’ll never kill him. When HYDRA is defeated, Cap and Bucky fight to a stalemate whilst the Winter Soldier walks off to unknown territories.

Not only is the storyline deeply personal and gripping, it’s something completely different from most other superhero films. The film is a brilliant heist and deeply moral leaning tale that could easily exist without the Marvel tag, as a brilliant solo film.

Not only is the story a leading factor, the direction is slick and takes leave from the more CGI heavy options often found in Marvel films for more of a real feel to the film, delivering brilliant action sequences that are neatly mixed with poignant personal character moments.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo not only created a film that feels real but gave fans a film that at the heart is firmly a comic book story. Based loosely on the comic of the same name, the Winter Soldier keeps true to its returning characters and introduces the new ones in a fun and exciting way.

The Russo brothers took on board a lot of elements but managed to fit them all in comfortably and be able to produce one of Marvel’s best works. Credit is due to writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for creating this story and making all these elements work so well.

Marvel bosses liked The Winter Soldier so much that both screenwriters and directors were signed on for a sequel, the upcoming Captain America: Civil War as well as the two future Avengers: Infinity War films.

As rave reviews come in for Civil War, it looks like Marvel chose wisely in the choices for their future films.

Some of the geekier spots in the film include mentions to current and possibly future Avengers in the form of Bruce Banner and Stephen Strange, this showing that Marvel were already planning a Doctor Strange film way back in 2014.

Cap shows a list of things to catch up on from the seventy years he missed in the ice, some of them including Thai food, Nirvana, Star Wars, the moon landing and Falcon’s recommendation of Marvin Gaye’s Troubleman soundtrack.

After Cap exclaims “Bucky?” after seeing the Winter Solider unmasked for the first time, Bucky angrily responds with “Who the hell is Bucky?”, a line now famous to those who have read the Winter Solider book, with the exact same exchange happening on page as on screen.

Nick Fury’s pretend grave also reads “Ezekiel 25:17, The Path of the Righteous Man…” referencing Sam Jacksons character in Pulp Fiction.

And finally, it wouldn’t be an Easter Egg hunt without our favourite writer, Stan Lee making a cameo. This time, Stan appears a security guard at the Smithsonian Captain America exhibit who is distressed to learn the Cap suit has been stolen and exclaims that “Oh man, I am so fired!”.

Join us next time for another guide to the MCU where we’ll be looking at the weird and wonderful Guardians of the Galaxy.

Our previous instalment of the MCU guide went over Thor: The Dark World, you can read that here: