With Kevin Feige’s recent announcement that there is a plan for Marvel Studios through 2028, it is no surprise that their films are no longer one-shot stories, easily contained in a single film. Captain America: The Winter Soldier gets down and dirty and leaves some ends hanging open.
On the heels of Thor 2: The Dark World, is this weekends Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which grossed $10 million on Thursday. Where Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, the first Phase Two films, were more personal stories for each of their main characters, Captain America’s latest venture has a broader focus on the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is definitely going to have giant ripple effects. Yet at its heart, The Winter Soldier is a character story that allows us to see the struggle Steve Rogers faces every day, the internal war he fights with his moral compass and the ways of the world he now lives in.
The Winter Soldier brings a handful of characters that have had minor roles or been in the wings and brings them to the forefront, evoking some emotion. Nick Fury’s trust issues are addressed, we get a deeper look into Black Widow’s backstory and were introduced to a handful of new characters that some of whom may become big players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the next few films. Those characters include Falcon, Agent 13, and Anthony Pierce.
Even with all this focus on characters, this movie poignantly addresses several current issues, including global surveillance, acusing innocent parties of uncommitted crimes (Minority Report, anyone?) and determining right versus wrong in an increasingly morally grey world. At certain moments, The Winter Soldier almost feels like a superhero movie mashed-up with Sandra Bullock’s The Net or Will Smith’s Enemy of State.
The film smashed through more plot twists and turns both through espionage and straightforward action. The fight scenes were fast-paced and well choreographed. They were not just explosions, punches and kicks, but a vehicle for moving the story forward and an opportunity for character development.
The consequences of the events of this film will certainly be changing the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The next Marvel Cinematic Universe film will be Guardians of the Galaxy, out in August 2014. At this point, it is not expected that there will be direct connections to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.