Having to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier after watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a bit anti-climatic in one or two scenes, but only a little, although it did raise the question as to what the new spy organisation will be called now. Watchers of the Joss Whedon small screen version of the Marvel verse may have been asking themselves that same question after last Tuesday’s episode. Whedon’s show about Agent Coulson and his small band of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents has received its fair share of complaints from viewers who wanted more crossover and tie-in episodes.
Thus far, only Samuel L. Jackson as super spy, and big boss, Nick Fury has made two appearances on the small screen spy verse. This fact obviously has not satiated the longing of Marvel fans who want Thor, or Iron Man, or Captain America, et al to show up, even fleetingly, on the television show. At least one Asgardian showed up. While it wasn’t Thor, or Loki, it was the lovely to look at and dangerous to fight with Lady Sif, it was at least, a nod to the big screen Marvel hammer swinger.
With what may possibly be the best big screen tie in ever on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when they worked in the apparent demise of Nick Fury from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the working in of small screen hierarchy, in the guise of Agent Stillwell in reverse, it looks like the movie may be providing what looks to be more characters to guest star in the television show.
Anthony Mackie as the Falcon and the beautiful Emily VanCamp as Kate could be used for cameos on a regular basis since they appear to be members of the tattered remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. who will most likely be regular players in future super hero Marvel films. Looking past these newer characters, Jackson has already spoken of another future cameo on the ABC show making his appearances number three in total.
It does make sense that he would show up quite often, he is, after the head of whatever the spy organization changes its name to. Back to the film, Captain America 2, the movie zips along at an almost frantic pace. There were quite a number of humorous moments and the lengthened car chase where Fury is chased down by HYDRA baddies was brilliantly done.
This version of Captain America had twice the adrenaline of the first film and three times as much action. It also featured the cinematic legend that is Robert Redford and gave the audience a lot of Jenny Agutter, which is always a good thing. Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans made a great trio. There was crackling on-screen chemistry between all three and when the group were joined by Cobie Smulders, as Maria Hill, and Jackson, the feeling of camaraderie was there instantly. As was the feeling of uneasiness between Fury and Cap.
Sebastian Stan was spot on as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier and the FX for his metal arm looked amazing. Speaking of Stans, the constant cameo that is Stan “The Man” Lee hit a high point in this film. His portrayal of a museum guard was definitely the funniest that he’s done to date. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter was heartbreakingly good.
Of course most of the film dealt with the interaction between Cap and the Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff. It looked as though they have working together a lot. The banter, along with the caring attitude of the two, plus their obvious differences, made this film work really well for both. It also left things wide open for a Black Widow spin-off feature.
Overall, by the time the film finished, and word to the wise Captain America/Marvel fans, do not leave when the end credits start rolling. There are a couple of great teasers mixed in there that should be seen, the film satisfied those parts that the first Captain America did not. The Winter Soldier has changed Marvel’s world of S.H.I.E.L.D. but to what end? Will they keep the same name or when this week’s episode of Phil Coulson’s, now, damaged team come back on Tuesday, will they have a new name? Name issues aside, what about the leader? Now that Victoria Hand is dead, and Nick Fury has gone into hiding, who will run things? It will be interesting to see just what will happen to Whedon’s TV show.
By Michael Smith
Brenden Palms Casino Theatre