Admittedly, this is not the first movie I’ve ever seen more than once in theaters. I saw Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers at least seven times in theaters, and if I had had the time/money, I would’ve seen Star Trek Into Darkness at least two or three times in theaters. But Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a truly great movie, and I caught a couple of things that I missed the first time through.
There are more SPOILERS in this post, so read ahead at your own risk!
…And the Shitty Dialogue
I noticed it the first time, but it was even clearer the second viewing: Scarlett Johansson somehow ended up with all the cheesy lines. Cheesy dialogue is a hallmark of both action films and superhero/comic book hero films, and while I tend to turn a blind eye to it in terms of evaluating the merit of such a film, I do have to mention it.
However, seeing as Cap had most of the cheesy lines in the first film, I would call this a win, as now it’s the sidekick character churning those lines out, which, honestly, is how it should be. The hero is supposed to be the smart, eloquent, inspirational one, and the sidekick is the comic relief. While ScarJo is far from comic relief in almost any film (have you SEEN the trailer for her upcoming film Lucy?!), her dialogue in Winter Soldier does come off a little comical on more than one occasion.
COMPLETELY NON-MARVEL CROSSOVER!
OMG, I got so incredibly excited when I noticed this bit at the end! Part of the plot in Winter Soldier is that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) fakes his death in order to avoid any further assassination attempts by Hydra, and then Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders) helps Cap, Natasha/Black Widow, and Sam/Falcon escape SHIELD custody and takes them to a remote location where Fury has been hiding out. But, what would a fake death be without a tombstone? At the end of the film, Cap and Sam go to visit Fury’s “grave”, and right there, underneath his name and the dates of his birth and “death,” it reads: “‘The path of the righetous man…’ -Ezekiel 25:17”.
As you major movie buffs will know, the epitaph is a quote from Quentin Tarantino‘s 1994 much-loved, violent crime film Pulp Fiction (and a paraphrased quote from the Bible), and it was Sam Jackson’s character, Jules, who spoke those same words in that film. I forgot my glasses in the car the first time (that happens to me a lot), and it’s only maybe a five-second shot on the tombstone in that scene, so it was easy to miss if you weren’t paying close attention.
The Now Infamous Meme
As I’m sure you guys have noticed, the internet has blown up the past week with a meme that reads “Hail Hydra,” in which there is an image of someone whispering in another person’s ear, usually their arm around or on the other person’s shoulders, and the caption/meme reads “Hail Hydra.”
This is taken from a scene in Winter Soldier between Garry Shandling’s character, Senator Stern, and SHIELD man Jasper Sitwell, whom we’ve seen on A0S (played by Maximiliano Hernández), in which we first discover how deep the Hydra conspiracy goes. Stern leans in to whisper in Sitwell’s ear – after an innocuous, if unbecoming, conversation – and says “Hail Hydra.” Chills. Sitwell was supposed to be a good guy, damn it! (Not to mention Bill Paxton’s character John Garrett on AoS! Mind=blown on that one, but that’s another conversation entirely.)
Here are some of the better examples of the meme I’ve come across:
The Mission: Impossible Effect
Also, because of the ginormous soda I had during my first viewing, I had to get up and use the restroom during the movie, and I missed a pretty cool piece of tech in the maybe minute and a half I was gone, but this time, I was able to see the bit that I missed. It was not super-crucial, plot-wise, but it was pretty cool: Natasha wears an electronic refracting film thing over her face, like a mask, and gains access to Alexander Pierce’s office (Robert Redford) pretending to be the British member of the SHIELD overseers/security council.
It was impressive because of how good the mask was, and how cool that would be to have just a piece of thin electronic material that shapes to your face and converts it into displaying a completely different one. It reminded me of the Mission: Impossible films, which made use of (or over-use, especially in MI: 2, if you ask me) masks to deceive assets of their true identities. While it was cool the one time, I worry about the Mission: Impossible effect. As long as they (Marvel) don’t keep pulling that trick out of the hat in later movies, they should be ok.
Can we have more Winter Soldier? (Ahem, I’m talking to you, Joss Whedon.)
He was completely terrifying the first time through the movie, but the second viewing, I decided that Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier was too interesting not to go deeper and learn more about him. I have a feeling he’ll be involved in the third Captain America film in some way, as his moral standing and identity were left incredibly unresolved at the end of the Winter Soldier film. While it’s too much to hope that he might pop into Avengers 2 for some reason, just as fan, I would love to see what Whedon would do with the Winter Soldier character if the option was available.
The Winter Soldier seems perfect for the Whedonverse in my mind: torn between two concepts of reality, past and present, good and evil, friend and foe, man and machine. That sort of dichotomy and ambivalence is something Whedon is well-acquainted with both in writing for his original characters (e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and the ones he adopted (The Avengers), and I think that his spin on a Winter Soldier story/film would be harrowing, hardcore and completely fascinating. It’s just a fangirl fantasy right now, but tell me that wouldn’t be totally awesome: a Whedon-written/directed Winter Soldier spinoff film. Maybe if we write to Marvel, they’ll consider it.
Oh, and SHIELD was disintegrated.
I didn’t get into this in my first review much, partly for spoilers and partly because the weight of it hadn’t sunk in completely until I watched the follow-up Agents of SHIELD episode. In Winter Soldier, the SHIELD building, the Triskelion, was demolished after the helicarriers crashed into it, and the organization itself has been dissolved, with its employees seeking alternative employment: Agent Hill turns up at HR for Stark Industries and Sharon Carter (yes, that’s Cap’s former flame Peggy’s descendant) has joined the CIA, seen at the firing range.
This hasn’t been iterated or resolved on AoS quite yet. We just got the impact of it, seeing suspicions and blame running amok last week, and even some of our favorite characters revealing themselves to be a part of the Hydra conspiracy, Garrett (Bill Paxton) and perhaps even one of Coulson’s own, Agent Ward (Brett Dalton)! (I’m not convinced Ward isn’t playing a con of some sort, pretending to be Hydra in order to help bring it down, but we won’t know for a while yet.)
If you want a little more background, check out this article, which talks about the plan for the story in Winter Soldier and the future of the Marvel Universe.
I suspect that the coming weeks of episodes of AoS (FYI, the finale date is May 13th) will be focused wholly on what the new Hydra threat means for SHIELD as a whole, as well as for Coulson and his team on a more specific level. There is word that Agent Hill will be returning for sweeps (that’s either the second to last ep or the final ep of the season in May), so that’s all right. I was sort of hoping Smulders’ role as Agent Hill would be would be coming over to AoS on a more permanent/regular basis now that HIMYM has wrapped its final season, but seeing those final scenes in Winter Soldier, it looks like she may be working more closely with Stark and/or Bruce Banner in the future rather than Coulson and his team.
This is just a GIF from last week’s (April 8) episode of Agents of SHIELD (about 8.5 minutes into the ep). It was possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever heard Coulson say:
Victoria Hand turned out to be one of the good guys, which is sort of a yay? I don’t know. I love Saffron Burrows usually, but I can’t say I have loved her role on AoS. Too no-nonsense with the geek glasses and yet trying to be a punk with the red hair streaks? It’s confusing.
Also, AoS has NOT been renewed YET for a second season on ABC (keep track of renewals and cancellations here, the Hollywood Reporter website has a running list). I’ve got my fingers crossed, because, yeah, I want an Avengers 2 set-up and some more Marvel Universe crossovers next year! But also, I really love this show. It’s sort of a cop show, they have a mission or a problem to solve each week, but the characters are adorable, the action is a lot of fun, the dialogue is snappy, and it crosses over into some of my favorite geek territory: comic book superhero films. Plus, Clark Gregg on a weekly basis? It doesn’t get much better than that!
If you can believe it, I think the movie was even better the second time around, though the Whedony/Winter Soldier spinoff idea and the Pulp Fiction reference probably are responsible for the bulk of that sentiment.
If you haven’t already, go see it! And also if you haven’t already, start watching Agents of SHIELD on ABC! Tuesdays! Check your listings for the time in your area!
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