The ninth installment in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe has Captain America unraveling conspiracies, Robert Redford and mucho trouble brewing at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ.
After a mildly entertaining first film, Cap was saddled as the wet blanket of the Avengers team. Thankfully, a great sense of humor and a few character tweaks have given Chris Evans the chance to finally make the real American hero sympathetic, cunning and as stated earlier, pretty darn funny. Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson also do their best work to date in their Black Widow and Nick Fury roles. Anthony Mackie and Cobie Smulders also star.
Suit up for the most thrilling, action-packed stand-alone Marvel movie so far—Joss Whedon's Avengers is still tops.
But who or what is keeping Cap so busy with multiple freeway chases, building demolitions and tossing that shield of his?
The Winter Solider, that's who! Here are seven perks for being the seasonally named robot-armed baddie:
1. Name in Title: Sebastian Stan was barely in one of the other films. Now he's the Cold War's deadliest assassin brought out of deep freeze. Initially, he's got his sights on Nick Fury, but he pops up everywhere Cap and his team do. He's the star attraction. Comic fans will tell you that the Winter Soldier tale is one of the most beloved of Captain America comic book runs.
2. Cold War Cool: Double-crosses, a plot that spans decades, and the ever handy term "need to know" are all on board as Cap tries to uncover who the Winter Soldier is.
3. Handling Nick Fury: A deadly car chase (one of many) is centered on a Fury on a casual drive in downtown D.C. Jackson finally gets to show just how badass the cameo sporting character truly is. He dispatches an army, literally until meeting his match with the masked Soldier.
4. That Cool Metal Arm: Cap's shield and Wolverine's skeleton made of the strongest metal in the Marvel world: Adamantium, technically, Cap's shield is "proto-adamantium." Turns out the most challenging counter against a flying shield is a really stable bionic arm.
5. Memory Wipes Makes (Trying to) Kill Cap Way Easier: Like Echo (Eliza Dushku) from Joss Whedon's short-lived Dollhouse series, erasing the old brain drive is a must. Especially if your former self might not as have been all that Wintery.
6. Paging Pierce: Redford brings the right mount of '70s conspiracy vibe to the proceeding as Alexander Pierce head of S.H.I.E.L.D. We only wished for more scenes pairing with Sebastian Shaw.
7. Last Easter Egg: Confidence is high that we'll be seeing The Winter Soldier soon. The last scene that arrives at the end credits is surprisingly touching.