4/7/14 04:12 pm - Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I wrote a comment in nancylebov's journal which was pretty substantial, so I'm adjusting it here as a quasi-review.
I liked Cap a fair bit. I'll probably see it again at some point, but likely not in the theater (we did see it in 3d, and I think it was useful, but we have 3D at home).
I didn't find Fury's death surprising, nor his return; I didn't predict exactly why he returned, but it was the right reason and well within his character.
Super-science is fairly common in the Marvel universe, so it's plausible that Black Widow would have access to some kind of holographic disguise. This is an agency that puts up force fields, after all.
It's not obvious if you're not following the series, but the view of Shield in the movies consistently outbudgets that shown in Agents of Shield, enough to be mildly irritating. This makes sense given movie vs TV show, but they don't succeed at keeping up the illusion and it was obvious here (hopefully at least the -events- will shade into the show, as if they don't it breaks the show conceptual contract).
The fact that the real police didn't show up was odd when it happened, but it made sense once one realized that Shield itself was behind the attack (albiet a shadow agency within Shield). As Shield, they'd have the ability to direct the cops away from the op and avoid interference. That there wasn't a big media event around them was surprising, but again, a shadow federal government might have been able to surpress this, if not a twitterstorm (but then, they could have sent up a counter-meme that it was police chasing down a perp -- something they might have done even if they didn't orchestrate the event).
Pierce very much felt like a villain, but then just being played by Redford helped here. And some of it for me was just story placement.
I very much enjoyed the various call-outs to Dr. Strange (significant in that it's the first time a non-Asgardian "Magic Hero" from the Marvel universe has been mentioned; they've generally stuck close to pseudo-science even with Asgard), Quicksilver/The Scarlet Witch, and Iron Man/The Avengers, which did increase my enjoyment (and then there was the visit with Peggy Carter). Particularly the Strange/Mutants ones, as they were surprising to me. (Presumably, they'll never actually -call- the mutants mutants, but we all know what they are).
I did also like the representation in the movie. Black Widow was much more significant as a super-spy who was willing to blow her own secrets in order to expose Shield/Hydra's (shades of Wikileaks/Snowden there), Hill's cameos as Shield official second in command were significant even as she was shunted aside in the takeover, and having the inside view of the Hydra spin be the neighbor was a nice change of pace (especially with, as drcpunk noted, a trad gender role reversal at the moment of truth, where the refusnick/damsel is a guy and the rescuing gun-puller was a woman). The bad guys were all men (essentially), but there were actually more significant female positive characters in the movie than male ones, between Black Widow, Carter, Hill, and the neighbor (vs Cap, Falcon, and Fury).
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