It's time for another movie review. Last night I saw Captain America: Winter Soldier and I quite enjoyed it.

 

I think this may be the first of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies where it's really helpful to have seen movies outside of the subseries itself. By that, I mean seeing something more than the first Captain America. If you saw Iron Man, you're set for Iron Man 2. Iron Man 3 references some events in Avengers, but you don't have to have seen it to know what's going on. Since Winter Soldier is a sequel to Captain America, you certainly should see that one first. They don't spend time retelling who Captain America is, and those sorts of things. If that's all you've seen, though, you don't really know who SHIELD is or what they're about.

 

I'm okay with this. I don't like superhero movies or franchises that waste time retelling things we already know. Superman's from a doomed planet, we know that already. Get on to the story already. This movie does give a brief retrospective of Captain America's history, but it does it in a way that's appropriate to the story, with Cap walking through a museum exhibit while reflecting on recent events. The movie doesn't spend time explaining what SHIELD is, or talking about the Helicarrier from Avengers, or showing how Cap and Black Widow know each other. It just assumes you've seen that in the other movies, and gets on with the story. Now I don't think you need to have seen those to still enjoy this movie, but it's certainly helpful, and it gives the story more impact. Seeing this one first would be like seeing Empire Strikes Back first. You don't know who the ghost guy is, you don't get why Indiana Jones is in trouble, and while you get that this Vader guy is a bad dude, finding out who he really is doesn't have the same drama as it otherwise would.

 

One thing that I particularly liked about this moving was seeing relatively normal people being awesome. Captain America aside, there's not any super-humans going around here, and even Cap may or may not qualify as one. There's lots of highly trained, highly motivated people doing their jobs and doing them well, and that's something I would like to see more of in movies. Man of Steel had elements of that, with the US military having a definite role to play. It wasn't just up to Superman to save us.

 

I also like how this movie helps with the impression that it and the other movies take place in the same universe. There's references to Bruce Banner and some of his work, there's technology supplied by Tony Stark, and the President is the same as in Iron Man 3. There's also hints at what may be coming in the future, though I don't want to say anything here. And that's not including the scene in the middle of the credits or the one at the end of the credits.

 

To summarize, this is a fun movie, one that I had been looking forward to for a while and which did not disappoint me.