It may be spring, but a summer blockbuster is now in theaters. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the sequel to the 2011 film, Captain America: The First Avenger that introduced the superhero. While Captain America also appeared in the wildly successful The Avengers, it really isn’t until this film, that the Captain has firmly cemented his place among Marvel’s superhero elite. This is quite possibly the best film thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, we did enjoy Thor: The Dark World and The Avengers was thoroughly entertaining with its superhero lineup, but The Winter Soldier surpasses all previous Marvel films with countless action scenes, strong continuity from its predecessor, and a politically relevant plot.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up some time after the events in The Avengers. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in an effort to rescue a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel from a gang of pirates. The action starts there and rarely lets up as the pair find themselves battling bad guys on multiple fronts.
Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, gets in on the act as well with a truly epic highway scene that moviegoers have not seen since The Matrix Reloaded.
The good guys have a number of baddies to deal with but none quite as formidable as The Winter Soldier. The masked antagonist proves to be incredibly lethal and a worthy opponent for Captain America. Skilled in hand to hand combat, The Winter Soldier is responsible for a number of different memorable battle scenes with incredibly intricate choreography.
The movie offers a number of different twists and turns, some predictable but others not at all. Movie studios generally create movies to be as self contained as possible such that familiarity with the preceding film isn’t necessary. While one could enjoy this movie on its own, it really needs to be watched after Captain America: The First Avenger. Captain America: The Winter Soldier relies heavily on its predecessor. Major plot points and character references connect the two films, more so than any other series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far.
The film isn’t without its flaws though. There are a bevy of supporting characters throughout that a final battle scene between two of these minor characters lacks impact on the final outcome and the film overall. However, the filmmakers leave not-so-subtle hints that some of these supporting characters will likely be developed into more prominent roles in either a future Captain America film or perhaps a spin-off.
There’s also the issue of the title. As previously mentioned, The Winter Soldier certainly serves as a highlight but the central plot only tangentially involves the character. The central theme revolves around the balance of freedom and security, a theme important to a patriot like Captain America and relevant in today’s society.
The highs of Captain America: The Winter Soldier more than compensate for its minor flaws, though. While the movie does carry a PG-13 rating, it will surely attract and please some young moviegoers. Parents should note that there is gun violence and intense battle scenes. We recommend using prior Marvel films to gauge whether Captain America: The Winter Soldier is good for kids. (And again, we recommend using Captain America: The First Avenger as a refresher). Really, young children under the age of 8 or 9 may be better off enjoying the free Captain America printables and activity sheets for kids we have available to download since the movie itself may be too much for them – scroll down to find them below!
As is always the case with films in this series, you will want to stay until the end (the very, very end) to view a pair of end-credit scenes. These scenes often serve as a lead-in to future films and also a nod to the most die-hard of fans to recognize characters deep in the Marvel mythology. From die-hard comic book fanatics to casual moviegoers, everyone should run to watch this must-see movie event of the year.
Free Captain America Printables & Activity Sheets for Kids
Your little ones will enjoy these free Captain America printable coloring sheets and printable activity sheets! They can have fun with their favorite Captain America and Marvel characters either after watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier or if they’re too young to watch the movie.
- Free Captain America Printable Coloring Sheets (PDF)
- Free Captain America Printable Activity Sheets (PDF)
Disclosure: We were provided a complimentary advance screening of the film to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.