Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Okay, I'm not even going to answer the question, Did you like it? Anyone who knows me knows the answer. And this is not going to be a long, detailed review. I'm just going to throw some thoughts out there that came to me during and after seeing the movie.
Due to various things going on, I was afraid I wouldn't get to see it before next weekend, but I managed to get to the early-evening showing last night, thus on its third official day of US release. Although I'm not one for whom spoilers ruin a film experience, I had managed to avoid any real plot details beyond the most general or those known to anyone who read Ed Brubaker's great run almost a decade back now in one of the more recent “reboots” of the Captain America comic book series, the first 25 issues or so of which I have in a wonderful Omnibus edition the centerpiece of which is The Winter Soldier story arc that did the unthinkable – brought Bucky back from the dead. (It’s also available as a series of smaller trade paperback volumes.) So I was as close as possible for a comic book reader – and fan of the earlier Marvel Cinematic Universe offerings – to being a “blank slate.” Of course, the particular showing I attended would be in 3D, and I still agree with my son (who saw the movie the previous evening, but did not tell me anything other than he thought I'd like it – duh!) that 3D does not add much of anything to most movies, in fact seems to dull color and detail. It certainly did not ruin the experience for me, though. And I was anxious to see it, especially after belatedly, Friday night, finally watching the DVR'd episode of Agents of SHIELD from Tuesday, which ended with an “as-if-in-story” sequence directly from the movie, where the Winter Soldier takes on Nick Fury and his wonderful SUV – and had already seen such Internet headlines as, “So What The @#$% Happens to Marvel's AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.? SPOILERS” on Newsarama, although I had not clicked the link [LINK] (I have now, and it has some good ideas), as well as various “leaks” that the rest of the season of that TV show will deal directly with the fallout from The Winter Soldier. And I am very glad I did – because nothing is the same anymore. I will say this, though – for the first time since the TV show debuted, I'm actually looking forward to the next episode. So far I'd been watching the series more out of a sense of duty, and enjoying it all right, but finding it disappointing – and (no less astonishing to me than anyone else, given my initial revulsion last year when it debuted) enjoying the second season of Arrow a lot more. Hopefully, The Winter Soldier is going to give SHIELD's ratings a big boost – although were I Marvel Studios I would have included a this-weekend-only after-scene basically flogging Tuesday night's episode. That is a lost opportunity.
This was a marvelously (pardon the pun, which believe it or not was totally unintentional) complex and textured film, driven largely by character, primarily Steve Rogers as a living relic of an earlier age when the world seemed a lot more black and white stuck in a modern world where issues seem much more complex. Are they really? That’s a question for another time. They definitely do a great job tapping into the current zeitgeist of societal fear centering on the ubiquity of information, how much the government knows about individuals, what it is doing or may do with that information – NSA spying, drone attacks, pre-emptive strikes, how much freedom we are willing to trade for secrecy. It’s what has made Person of Interest so compelling, bounding ever higher in the ratings, writ large and translated to perfection into the world of comic book movies.