Be advised there are 2 post credit scenes, one that lasts about 2 minutes and one that is about 30 seconds. The first is after the initial credits that have artwork behind them. The 2nd after the longer version of the credits that is simply text.
When Chris Evans first played Cap back in 2011, I was not sold on the idea. To me he was still Johny Storm, or Lucas Lee from Scott Pilgrim. He usually played a cocky jerk, and was not really associated with leading roles. But that movie changed my opinion of him, and probably a lot of other peoples to. Evans really has been fantastic in that role. Cap is not a greatly unique hero, but he is a very impactful one. In the Avengers he pretty much plays second fiddle to everybody else. However in his solo films, you really get to see and understand who Steve Rogers really is. I think there is a reason these films are some of the strongest Marvel has put out, and Evans should be really proud of his work within them.
The first movie felt almost like a homage to the action films of the past. It reminded me of Indiana Jones in a way. It had great action, a decent story, but it still had a good sense of humor. It came off corny, but in a positive way. It still felt like a big budget film, but it had the vibe of one released from the same time period the movie took place in. It was such a great effect and really added to the overall feeling of the film. This movie however takes place in modern times, and as such that feeling is gone. But that while it does feel like a very different film, it still has a lot of ties to the original. It still tries to play off of your emotions, and patriotism. Though this time it does not paint america in the greatest light. Cap 2 also sets the stage for the rest of marvel movies, and by far has the biggest impact on that universe then any of the films so far.
The story for this movie picks up awhile after the avengers. Cap and Widow are trying to save some hostages from a terrorist group who attacked a S.H.I.E.L.D. boat. During the mission Cap finds out Furry had other objects on the ship, and he starts to debate whether or not he can be trusted. This is a common theme in the movie, and one that really helps create a lot of the tension. There is almost the feel of a mystery movie here. There is something going on, and when it finally happens you are still not sure who exactly falls on either side. The story is easily one of the strongest aspects of the movie, and one of the best marvel has put out yet. It helps that they drew inspiration from the source material, something DC should try and do better with in their movies. That being said, if you are a fan of the tv show S.H.I.E.L.D. and some how have fallen behind or not had the big spoiler in Winter Soldier ruined yet....stop watching until after you see the movie. That is my one gripe with that show, it takes place along side the movies. With Thor it only spoiled that he didn't die...not exactly a big plot point. This time they ruined the big reveal in Winter Soldier. It didn't really detract from the movie, but it easily made a big scene less meaningful. Though if you read the comics, chances are you also saw that one coming long ago.
This movie also tends to try and bring out certain emotions at multiple times. The first movie was very patriotic, and really tried to work off of that feeling...assuming you were american. This movie goes a different route and tries to make you question what freedom is, and what it is worth. It does not paint America in the same light that the original did, but it does a great job accomplishing what it sets out to do. There is one point near the end that was quite powerful, and without giving anything away, did get a few tears from me.
This was more of a team up movie, as Cap always had others working with him. So it was nice to see they also introduced one of Cap's old partners, The Falcon. Thankfully they did not include his power to telepathically talk to birds, or really any of his back story. In the books Falcon was one of the heroes that just made me shake my head, but they pulled him off quite well in the movie. They never gave him the awful red suit, and instead kept him in a more modern militaristic look. He was easily one of the more memorable parts of the film, and I really hope they continue to include him moving forward. Another role that stood out was Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill. She did not have a lot of screen time, but it was nice to see them using the character more. I don't know how much they will follow the comics moving forward, but don't be surprised if you see her more and more in the future.
One thing I really enjoyed about the movie, was the fight scenes. Marvel movies usually have a lot of action, but they don't always have the best choreography. In Thor he constantly used the hammer in ways that seemed as if they would actually lessen the blows, or would just be quite awkward to use effectively. Iron man is usually just a lot of shooting, with very little in the way of great hand to hand fighting. Cap though really did quite well though mixing both long range and close range fighting. There are quite a few gun fights, and they always have great weight behind them. Whether its the Winter Soldier using some heavy weaponry to take out some vehicles, or the anti air guns trying to shoot the Falcon out of the sky, everything just looks and sounds great. The few hand to hand fights though were where the action really shined. The Winter Soldier often fought with a knife that he would flip though the air while delivering or blocking attacks. Everything just looked so crips, and well executed. And even Cap's Shield, which would be a odd offensive weapon to wield, never really looked out of place. I also really enjoyed how each person had their own style of fighting. Widow had the more acrobatic style with the submissions and kicks, while Winter Soldier was more straight up brawling with the knife and Bionic arm assists for example. If you like action movies, this one will keep you quite happy
So we have a strong story with some mystery wrapped into it. Good actors and great action. One thing I kept hearing before finally being able to make it to the theaters, was this movie was better then the Avengers. That was something I could not easily believe, but after seeing it I have to agree. I would say this was easily the best movie Marvel has put out, at least in my opinion. I know moviegoers love Iron Man, but he does not have the depth of character that Steve Rogers does. I also don't recall any of the other marvel movies making feel quite as emotional as this one did, let alone that it pulled that off multiple times. Cap 2 was a great film, and if like me you somehow have managed to not see it before now, go fix that.
I started thinking about my rating system, I don't do half stars. Since that puts this movie along side the new Thor, I may have to rethink that. It is not a 5 star movie, but it was better then the other films I have given 4 stars to.
It is getting pretty difficult to find spoiler free Previews these days....this one, well it does not completely fit that description. Won't give to much away, but be warned. it does kind of show some things. On the plus side you get to see Winter Soldier flip his knife about 2 minutes in.
Also a lego version, because why not.