Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a sequel to the first Captain America and continuing on from the Avengers, was released five years ago. The story set in the modern day, the movie saw a change of tone from the previous one as well as a change of directors, something that caused this movie to excel on many levels. Although it is considerably darker than both the previous installment and the Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier packs a thought-provoking emotional punch and gripping action.
After the events of Captain America: The First Avenger and the Avengers, Steve Rogers makes an effort to adjust to normal life in Washington, D.C.. As he works with government agency S.H.I.E.L.D., a mystery begins to appear that uncovers a shadowy organization with deep infiltrations that threaten global intelligence operations and security.
Soon he finds that there’s no one he can trust except for Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) and a few friends both old and new that he joins forces with along the way. As the massive conspiracy comes to a head, a powerful new enemy known only as the Winter Soldier emerges, an unprecedented and dangerous new threat to both Steve and everyone around him.
The storytelling and plot are wonderful, and content stays relatively clean compared to other somewhat similar movies. Language is infrequent yet still present, and there were comments that were unnecessary although minor. Aside from the two above notes, the film stays clear of suggestiveness and language.
The violence, however, is another matter. It has multiple intense scenes where machine gunfire and explosions are everywhere to be found. Characters are beaten up severely, but none is too graphic or gory. The movie doesn’t shy away from the painful realism of battle though, and the consequences that come with that. A lot of the combat is rather physical, taking a swift departure from what was shown in previous installments. A safer age range for this movie would probably be 14+, though that’s up to the parents, as always.
Is this movie dark, tense, and violent at times? Yes, it is; without doubt. But it uses that to bring some very profound thoughts and questions to the forefront. Steve Rogers is consistently willing to lay down his life for his country and the world. Would we be willing to do the same for ours?
In an attempt to avoid spoilers, one of the primary antagonists of the story turns out to be a friend of Steve’s. But as evil as the things are that his friend has done, Steve never gives up on him. He would rather sacrifice his own life than fight his friend, regardless of who he’s become. This weekend, we’ll be looking at Loyalty, and this movies ties in perfectly with that theme.
It also brings up some questions about society today. Topics such as government corruption, preemptive justice, and the fallout of a single choice are brought up, giving you a lot to ponder afterwards. Sacrifice and Patriotism, two powerful themes, are majorly featured in a truly grand and emotional way.
One of the movie’s key points is “Taking a stand.” And regardless of some of the other elements of the movie, that’s what I believe we should take away. This is definitely a heavier movie to watch, but it’s impactful. You can buy it here, if it interests you!
As the Winter Soldier emphasizes in many ways, I think it’s time that we as teens take a stand for what we believe in. For our faith, for our country, and for our world.