Argh, this movie. Here’s the problem, in a nutshell. I saw it in a double feature with the first one, as a premiere event before opening day. And I had no idea how to review it, because literally anything I could say that delves into character motivations or why some characters work and others do not, and how…. anything at all would be a massive spoiler. So instead I’ve sat here for days, letting the review get stale, still just as stuck with nothing to say. It’s hateful is what it is.
Instead, I will talk about the event. Even though it’s probably all stuff I’ve said before. See, I’ve certainly discussed how much I love the Alamo Drafthouse out of Austin, and I know I’ve talked about my excitement that it finally came to Dallas. What I only believe I’ve said (but have no proof, short of 12 seconds’ worth of research that clearly isn’t going to happen) is how thrilled I am by the Dallas location’s management. These guys are as genuinely excited about their movie events as the original management in Austin, and not to leave out that they’re as excited as yours truly. It’s not the single most comfortable theater experience I’ve had, and it’s nowhere near the most high-tech or immersive. But I can always be certain of the quality of the audience, and I can always be certain of the quality of the staff, and I can always be certain of the quality of the event. More to the point, I can always be certain that every film I see there will be worthy of being called an event.
I’m pretty passionate about this chain, is what I guess I’m saying. And yes, the new Captain America movie was no exception. Where else do you get to watch animated Baron Zemo from the ’60s dancing around in glee after being reminded that maybe Paste Pot Pete can help him get the mask off his face from where it’s been glued for twenty years, during the half hour pre-show entertainment?
Okay, that plus the cut I’m about to put in here should be plenty enough spoiler space. Screw it, everything hereafter is for people who saw the movie or else want to be sad.
In no particular order, but I had just some random reactions over the course of the movie.
1) Say what you will about his giant blind spots, but man, Nick Fury is exactly as hard to kill as he should be. Every part of that chase / battle was played note-perfect.
2) Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is a lot more fun (and fun-loving) than I would have expected her to be, from the comics. I think that’s a good thing, don’t get me wrong.
3) Speaking of Black Widow, I think I may know why there are no Marvel movies carried by women thusfar. Because you know what Marvel men have that Marvel women do not? (At least, between 1961 and 1979.) Compelling, or even particularly interesting, villains. It’s not that I’m trying to sell Batroc the Leaper as a paragon of character interest here, but as I watched funny, sexy, impeccably competent Scarlett in scene after scene, getting gradually more excited that they were giving her a springboard to her own flick, that was when it finally occurred to me that there’s just nobody I could name to put her up against. And then I thought, what about Sue Storm, or Jean Grey, or regular Storm, or the Scarlet Witch? And: nope, nope, nope, nope. I got nothin’. I cannot speak for Wonder Woman, of course, but I wonder if DC studios have the same problem?
3a) This is not to say that the problem is insoluble, but however much I have enjoyed the many movies that have come out over the past five years, one thing I cannot say for them is that the writers and directors went way outside the box for any of their ideas.
4) Was this their way of confirming that Agents of SHIELD will be a one season show? Or (barring the cancellation that practically everyone not me desires), is it about to get all dark and/or A-Teamy?
5) Man, poor Bucky. His name’s even in the title, and yet it’s still not about him even a little bit. I don’t want to sell short that it’s about Cap, because that’s not true at all. It 100% is about him, and about him maintaining his role as the moral compass of the Marvel Studios Universe. But otherwise, it was way more about the Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD comic than the show with that name has ever dreamed of being.
6) Getting the Avengers away from SHIELD and into Tony Stark’s midtown mansion is looking awfully plausible right about now. But also, far less specifically, I’m excited to see how these changes ripple through the next few movies. I honestly never would have guessed they’d allow this much deviation from the status quo in any non-Avengers movie, which is why I was so spoiler-conscious earlier.
7) Blah blah blah headstone cakes. But seriously, it was pretty hilarious.
Okay, I guess that’s all I have to say about that.
 Besides, the actual villain of the piece, Hydra? Is a fantastic villain.