CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is a dumb movie. I don’t mean that it is a bad movie—though, I do think it is a bad movie—but that it’s a completely un-smart movie. What’s more, it treats its audience as if they’re dumb—spoon feeding them plot points and hints about future movies that are for sure to happen because everyone saw this Marvel…cinematic excretion is too harsh a word ( I didn’t think it was that bad), but…”attempt”? This was a cinematic….attempt.

Strangely, though, people seem to be talking about it using only hyperbole. And I understand that not everyone is—hell, not even most people are—but a lot of people are. And they seem to be driving the conversation surround this thing. They’re comparing it to THE DARK KNIGHT and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, calling it an intelligent, engaging, topical spy thriller with a lot of deep and incisive criticisms about 21st Century America.

The problem with this kind of praise is that, by opining that it is intelligent and deep, its lack of intelligence and depth becomes a viable target. So I’m not talking to the people who can readily admit the films flaws and enjoy it anyways. I’m talking to the people who are falling over themselves to praise its realism, its superlative quality, its intelligence and depth; people who are bragging to their friends that they’ve seen it three, four, or even five times in theaters because oh my god it’s so good you have to see it oh my god I can’t believe you haven’t seen it what don’t you love America…

Starting outwards with the big and moving inwards to the small, we’ll begin with the plot, structure, and pacing of the film. I was bored by the film, finding it overlong and not lean enough to be an entertaining spy thriller, a claim it makes implicitly with its content and made explicitly for it by my target audience. There are two characters in particular that I think serve no function in the film, and exist only as balls to throw up in the air for Marvel Studios to juggle into the next movie. Sharon Carter (only referred to as Agent 13 in the film) and Sam Wilson/The Falcon.

Both character arcs suffer from separate problems, but one underlying cause: they’re in the movie because Marvel wanted them in the movie. They serve no narrative function other than one prescribed to them. It’s no different than the Characters Follow Plot hokum that filled last year’s STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS and MAN OF STEEL. It’s efficient causes versus teleological causes; guess which one is stupid and guess which one is entertaining. Sam Wilson and Agent 13 are only in the film to fulfill some predetermined role, a role which they must fit, not one that’s an organic outgrowth of their character and their actions.

Agent 13 is an interesting character in a completely separate medium, and they could have certainly added something to the movie by introducing a love interest for Steve Rogers. This would have played nicely against Black Widow constantly pushing Steve to date. Instead, they introduced a character with less than five lines that played off nothing. That by itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, y’know, sometimes minor characters grow into major characters in later films (which is obviously the plan here). The problem arises when Agent 13 is presented as having importance now. She’s not a background character, she’s a character that, while she’s onscreen, is framed, blocked, and treated as if she is a major or important character in this film. She’s even included in the ending montage, as if she was one of the central characters that we’d been following along with this whole time. In the scene where she engages Brock Rumlow/Crossbones (as played by Frank Grillo), those shots are composed to lend her a sense of gravitas, or importance. She is our audience surrogate for these few minutes, and there is such a narrative shift that it is almost as if we’ve entered a separate movie. It’s not that she plays such a small role and is expected to play a large role later. It’s that she plays a small role but is presented as having some sort of immediate relevance and importance when there is none.

Similarly, Sam Wilson seems to only be in the movie because someone thought that Captain America needed a sidekick, because I guess The Black Widow wasn’t enough of one. He’s shoehorned into the film as a veteran who runs in to Captain America by chance and just happens to also be a superhero. Coincidence after coincidence after coincidence, which is a strange creative choice when “Sam Wilson works for SHIELD and is Captain America’s friend” gets the same film made but with less accidental run-ins and coincidences. The simple unnecessariness of Sam Wilson in this film can be best exemplified by the scene in which Captain America and Black Widow are told about his wings. “How can we capture one of the most highly-guarded men in the world, in broad daylight?” Captain America asks. “That’s where I come in,” says Wilson. Cut to: they don’t use the wings to grab Sitwell. At all. Point blank. They tell you explicitly that Wilson is required to accomplish something and then cut directly to him not being required to accomplish that thing. “Oh, Shea,” you’re probably saying, “They do use Wilson! He helps interrogate Sitwell.” That’s true. But they don’t use him to capture  Sitwell, and Widow or Cap could’ve filled Wilson’s actual role very easily. Fellow This Is Infamous writer Captain Dan posited to me that Sam Wilson needs to be in the film because the story of his wingman provides a sympathetic foil for Captain America’s guilt about Bucky/The Winter Soldier. That’s an interesting idea, but it isn’t one that’s explored for more than two quick lines (literally just two), two lines that garner no reaction from Captain America outside of a very brief “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Completely disregarding Black Widows lack of arc (hesitance in two seconds of film is not an arc) and the obvious stupidity of Captain America (he hides the film’s MacGuffin in a vending machine—in front of eveeeeeeryone!), the most egregious lack of character arc is found in the titular Winter Soldier. Towards the end of the film, as he begins to discover who he was, The Winter Soldier is hinted at as having some drama to his character. In the closing scenes of the film, he’s demonstrating a hesitation and a realization of who he was and what he’s done. But the film is named THE WINTER SOLDIER for god’s sake, and to not give his story any meat is a waste of space. And not only does he have no arc—hell, he’s barely in the movie—but he doesn’t have any agency (in a movie that is named for him) either. Alexander Pierce is the one pushing the buttons and pulling the strings—everything from Sitwell being on the boat in the beginning of the film, to Arnim Zola’s involvement, to Fury’s assassination. The Winter Soldier does literally nothing but follow orders…until the post-credits scene. Which, again, is just indicative of a higher regard for movies that have just now been greenlit; a creative prioritization of movies that you don’t even know you’re going to be allowed to be make instead of the one you’re currently making.

And these useless characters are packed into a movie that’s as ham-fisted as it is expositional. Its whole movie is predicated on twists and turns that it telegraphs hours in advance. The way it cuts from Fury in his office, unable to crack the thumb drive, to Alexander Pierce talking to the council or whatever, I knew immediately that he was the bad guy. That’s not me bragging about how smart and observational I am, it’s a criticism of the movie. The way Redford acts in his scenes with Chris Evans are dead give aways; Redford plays his character with a sinister swagger that appears to be too much for him to handle, bleeding into the scenes in which his character is still supposed to be perceived as a good guy. And Nick Fury? Dead? Aw, you shouldn’t have. Oh. You didn’t? Yeah, I don’t know what the bigger give away was: the deadpan performances from both Evans and Johannson (again, almost as if their characters knew what was coming, like the actors portraying them (Though, Cobie Smulders was killing it)) or the fact that, because of what the film had already set up and where in the film the scene takes place, there was no reasonable expectation that Fury was already dead. I don’t think any but the most naïve of viewers honestly believed that the character was dead. And yet Chris Evans still hits us with that Ted Logan “What if cat’s have their own version of the internet…” face when—shock, shock, surprise—Fury is revealed to be alive.

For a movie that telegraphs its larger set-pieces so far in advance, the least it could do would be to have some dialogue that’s worth listening to. But no, it can’t even manage to stop talking when it should. Instead, almost every line of dialogue in this film is an over-explanation of epic proportions. It’s as if every line from every single character is attempting to justify its place in the movie, trying to explain its preceding and succeeding line, yelling information at the dumbest of audience members. “Nick, gee willikers,” Cap says, “I’m really not okay with all this plot stuff that reads like its writers’ only knowledge of politics is that Ben Franklin quote about giving up freedom for security making you stupid, and I have to tell you about it because everyone involved either lacks the ability to dramatize that tepid idea or we all think the audience is too stupid to get it.” And the whole movie is like that. The film literally tells instead of shows. There’s no nuance or sub-text, and for those who are still convinced that a movie that costs a lot to make can’t be criticized for being dumb, the film lacks humor, wittiness, delivery, and a simple, basic trust that the audience aren’t all morons.

To make matters worse, the stale, crippling dialogue fills a movie that’s plot, while it doesn’t have anything necessarily “wrong” with it, is wholly unoriginal, uninspired and simplistic. By simplistic, I don’t mean to disparage a simplicity of storytelling—something that can be found in things like DREDD 3D, THE RAID, DIE HARD, DRUG WAR, 13 ASSASSINS—I mean that it’s flat, homogenized, made digestible by anyone that’s slept through a third grade social studies class. It presents itself, and is talked about, as if it actually has something to say about topical intelligence community controversies, but it actually has very little intelligible let alone intelligent to say. For those keeping score at home, the only throughline running through every ounce of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is, if you haven’t noticed, a heaping platter of dumbed down and homogenized gruel, suitable for the palettes of even the lowest common denominators.

Now, I’m sure that most of you who have stuck around are thinking “Yeah, but it’s a superhero movie, so it doesn’t have to be smart. It’s just trying to be fun.” If you substituted “superhero movie” for “comic book movie,” I sincerely, genuinely, honestly and truthfully would like you to leave. Thank you. For the people who sweepingly derided an entire genre of film instead of an entire art form: the problem with that idea is that, beyond useless characters, expository dialogue, and telegraphed “twists,” the actioner/thriller/spy-fi aspects fall flat. This is more of a subjective argument than objective one, particularly as we move to the more surface-level elements of the film, but it’s no less substantive an argument and no less important a conversation that nobody appears to having.

For an action movie, the action in THE WINTER SOLDIER is, with neither malice nor hyperbole, short bursts of roughly-hewn, sloppily edited, blurry piles of shit, with choreography that is impenetrable because of the tightness of the shooting and the number of cuts per fight. There is an immediate and obvious lack of technical ability on the part of The Russo Brothers; it’s clear within seconds that they simply lack the experience, knowledge, and facilities to shoot an action sequence coherently. The best fight in the entire film is the Batroc scene which opens the movie, because it’s the fight with the most fluidity and coherence. It’s short, but it has the longest sustained takes and, relatively, the greatest amount of clarity. There’s a lot of cutting in action instead of on action, but it’s not constant here, as it is in other fights. It’s a lesson that’s been misappropriated from Christopher Nolan by nearly everyone, because that’s how he shot action and those Batman films were holistically good and very successful. The only problem is that, as a Batman director, Christopher Nolan’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t know how to shoot a hand-to-hand action sequence. Like the Russo Brothers, among other devotees, Nolan keeps the shot very tight, which makes it more difficult to delineate spatial relationships, action, and contact. The difference is that Nolan makes less edits during the fights—more than he should, but less than his acolytes tend to—and utilizes less camera movement. The Russo Brothers on the other hand, take plays from Nolan, Paul Greengrass, and Darren Aronofsky, and the result is a close-in camera that’s constantly moving, stitched together with some amateurish editing. It’s a complete mystery to me how anyone who has seen a Gareth Evans, John Woo, or Johnnie To film (or even just the Hallway Fight from OLDBOY)  could be content with something so haphazardly thrown together, something that so obviously lacks coordination, style, elegance, and fundamental competency. The Russo Brothers come from a purely comedic filmmaking background and not only is it readily apparent, but I’m not sure what was going through the mind of the Disney executive that made the decision to hire them for an action movie.

Though, to their credit, they do come from a television background, so they have plenty of experience working to supplant their own voice with the voice, style, and aesthetic of someone else. And that really seems to be what Marvel/Disney is going for: a bland, homogenization in which every Marvel movie feels, looks, acts like every other Marvel movie; a goal that they are achieving admirably, even if it’s a boring, useless-to-the-world-at-large goal. People praise THE WINTER SOLDIER because it’s different from the rest, but the only difference (really and truly the only difference) is that it has a darker color palette—because The Russos were trying to ape Christopher Nolan.

I don’t know how auteur filmmaker Edgar Wright will fair in this environment, but he, based on his past work, is going to do a better job of shifting between serious and humorous then the team of The Russo Brothers and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.

The jokes in this movie fall completely flat. D.C. Pierson—who I think is incredibly talented and funny—as that Apple Genius was such a bizarre scene that it was almost as if someone forgot to move it into the “deleted scenes” folder on the hard drive. It’s completely dislocated from the bits around it that it, to the point where it is off-putting and strange. But all the jokes in the movie are like that; the rivets on this plane aren’t even close to flush. And it’s not that Black Widow makes a WAR GAMES joke about five seconds before a Nazi who has uploaded his consciousness to a computer tries to blow up our protagonists with a missile. And it’s not that Captain America has already taken the time to catch up on WAR GAMES but not STAR WARS or STAR TREK or ROCKY,  or even that they move from joke to seriousness. It’s that this film doesn’t do it very well. Each joke exists in its own universe, completely separate from the one that it was reluctantly stitched into.

Even at its lowest levels, its details, beyond the highly-derivative plot, useless and outright dumb characters, the childish dialogue, its poor camera work and flat jokes, THE WINTER SOLDIER can’t even get some basic shit right. Let’s ignore for a second that Black Widow spends the whole movie mucking about with a  S.H.I.E.L.D. phone when they’re trying to stay off the grid and that she tries to crack a S.H.I.E.L.D. thumb drive at an Apple store, two ideas that are completely ridiculous and stupid. After Fury is shot by The Winter Soldier, Cobie Smulders/Maria Hill mentions that they don’t know who shot him because the bullet had no rifling. Now ordinarily this is a very small detail that I could just gloss over, but Smulders delivers it with such importance and then Black Widow tells her story and places even more importance on that detail: the film mentions the detail twice, with emphasis. It may have been an accident of poor delivery (which isn’t an excuse), but it goes out of its way to draw attention to something so monumentally stupid. If The Winter Soldier is identifiable by using guns without rifling, several problems arise: 1) rifling was invented for use in firearms to improve their accuracy. A bullet fired from a gun without sufficient rifling will begin to yaw [move at an angle] almost immediately; a bullet fired from a gun without any rifling will suffer the same effect, only worse. After more than a few feet, accuracy from a gun without rifling becomes physically impossible. Fellow This Is Infamous writer/podcaster Token Tom mentions shot guns as being guns that don’t have rifling, and while he is right, they don’t, they’re bad examples because, like any gun that doesn’t use rifling, they lose their accuracy after a few feet, so they become useless for distance shots. He also posits that The Winter Soldier uses a shot gun for most the movie, which is just factually inaccurate—he uses a handgun for most the fights and tries to kill Fury with a rifle. So, yeah, several rifle shots across the street aren’t happening. Again, not a problem in and of itself in a movie starring a super soldier and a dude with a robot arm, but it both calls unnecessary attention to itself twice and is another example of the films underlining idiocy. 2) It displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how ballistics work. If you shoot someone and they recover the bullet, they would have to find the gun you fired that bullet from, fire it again, and then match the bullets, a science that is historically inaccurate. A single bullet, without the gun, does not make you identifiable or traceable. 3)If your goal is to remain hidden an unidentifiable, using a gun that doesn’t feature rifling leaves a Winter Soldier-shaped hole in assassination investigations, and actually makes it easier to discern who pulled the trigger than if he just a very common gun. You can call this nitpicking, but do so is to avoid admitting to a film’s flaws that it itself points out repeatedly.

What’s more, at the end of the film, Black Widow remarks that she was able to get information on The Winter Soldier from her connections in Kiev. This is weird because The Winter Soldier is explicitly Hydra, but implicitly Russian—he does have the big red star on his left soldier, an altogether unnecessary carryover from the comics that was there because he was a Russian agent. If he’s a Hydra agent, why does Widow’s connection in the Ukraine have information on him now, when they didn’t after Widows first run-in (it’s possible she never went looking, but that’s hard to believe)? And why go all the way to the Ukraine in the scene directly following Widow throwing up all of Hydra’s secret files onto the internet? More unnecessariness…

Now, if The Winter Soldier is Russian then why does the Ukraine have the information? And if Widow is explicitly Russian in this film (and I don’t buy Johannson as a former Russian national, and there is really zero reasons for them to have kept that detail in…) and The Winter Soldier is implicitly Russian, why does Widow go to the Ukraine rather than Russia? Captain Dan posits that Ukraine would have that information because of their close relationship with Russia; they would be the best at spying on Russia because of their odd mix of antagonism and alliance, as well as their proximity. He also assumes that Russia wouldn’t share that information because Russia is Russia. He has a point on both, but it wouldn’t explain why Widow wouldn’t be able to access that information when she was a Russian national. It also doesn’t explain why they didn’t just go to the internet—where they had just put all this info—to get what they needed.

Neither of these are the straws that broke the camel’s back, but because of attention that the film calls to them (for reasons that continue to escape me) they’re sure as hell straws, and they did contribute to the camel’s back breaking. And they’re worth mentioning, as slight as they are, because they represent everything that’s wrong with the movie.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is a film that consistently includes characters, dialogue, details, cameos, and jokes that don’t serve any function. Because of how they frame, introduce, talk about, and treat these things, even the most basic of audience members can see that we’re being told that they are important. They’re things to notice and pay attention to. But by doing that, the filmmakers and the film draw attention to its heaping mess of flaws that would go completely unnoticed if it had just figured out how to shut its mouth. Every single one of the films problems could be fixed by cutting scenes, dialogue, changing the title and by getting a little better action sequences.

And I’m sure that the most majority of you think I’m being overly critical of a tentpole blockbuster from Disney. That would be a fair argument, one that discounts completely movies that cost a lot to make, but a fair one…if I hadn’t talked about the film using only the language and framework that are already being used to drive the conversation. Expect to be talked to about stuff they way you talk about that stuff.

Or maybe Disney gave its audience exactly what they want. They have, after all, had financial success after financial success, including this most recent blah fest. The flaws of these films, which increasingly resemble assembly line products, appear to go completely unnoticed by most people watching them, including people whose opinions I typically value and who are not dumb by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe I’m bitter or overly critical. Or maybe I’m tired of things being “good enough” or being exempt from having to justify themselves because they cost a lot of money. Maybe I’m tired of safe, boring, same-old films from Disney and Marvel that are inches from being made exactly like 99% of their comics output: nameless, faceless, conventional status-quo machines that invite exciting young creators to come innovate before filing the serial numbers those creators.

Mostly I’m just tired of people being so forgiving of stuff that has no aspirations beyond making someone a gross pile of cash and then being forgotten. So call me bitter or cynical or joyless (I mainlined THE RAID 2 and JODOROWSKY’S DUNE back-to-back, so my life is full of joy, thank you very much), but Jesus Christ am I someone who expects people and things to try. And CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER couldn’t even muster the energy to do that.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 3

About The Author

A veteran of comics retailing, Shea Hennum is a Texas-based writer whose criticism has appeared at Loser City, The Comics Alternative, Comical Musings, and Bleeding Cool. His fiction has appeared in places like Loser City, eFantasy, The Fringe Magazine, Danse Macabre, and Schlock. His writing about comics will be featured in upcoming issues of Keatinge & Del Duca's Shutter from Image Comics.

  • Cockface Asshole

    How about just go and have fun at a movie… basements are cold these days

    • SonOfSonOfMikePlow

      And the internets are yours.

    • Shea Hennum

      I had fun watching The Raid 2….

  • Memphis Reigns

    I don’t know what you watched, but I watched a kick-ass action movie that never ran out of steam. When cap infiltrates baltroc the leapers ship, THAT was the captain America I wanted to see, running like blonsky from the Incredible Hulk, kicking ass and generally just being a super soldier.
    The physics of the shield throwing were ‘ahem’ thrown out the window in the first avenger, and I never felt as if this movie was going for realism in the first place.
    It’s fun, furious and fucking awesome, standing toe to toe with iron man and the dark knight.

    • Shea Hennum

      I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      • Memphis Reigns

        Thanks bud. I’m sure when you pull your head out of your ass you’ll appreciate it too. Until then, take care dude :)

  • SonOfSonOfMikePlow

    Over here in the UK we have a woman called Katie Hopkins. She makes her living by making outrageous statements designed to be contrary to general opinion and thereby generate controversy, generate internet comments and raise her profile.

    She’s way better at it than you.

    • Thomas R Clark

      Can I quote you on that?

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      Mike, trust me… He’s not trolling. We’ve been having this argument/debate at the HQ for awhile. He truly honest believes every word of this.

      • Longaway

        That’s just sad.

        • Shea Hennum

          My business cards just read “Pagliacci,” actually.

    • Calmixx

      He means it – honest.

  • Thomas R Clark

    Coming next week? Shea points out the fallacies of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

    • Shea Hennum

      I like The Wizard of Oz.

      • Thomas R Clark

        There IS a human in that body. OMG!

        • Shea Hennum

          Victor Fleming, man. Dude knew how to roll film.

      • nrose101

        That is one movie I wouldn’t mind being torn apart.

  • James Simms

    I had a blast with this movie but to each their own. This was an interesting read and had well articulated arguments.

    • Mike MacLeod

      You must have a loose definition of the word articulated.

  • David Nunez

    The main purpose for Sharon and Sam existing in the film is so that they can show that not everyone is untrustworthy. That there is some hope in the hopelessness. The theme is underlined for Sharon because she is the hope for love in Cap’s hopeless search for love. It actually strengthens her character showing that she stands for Cap’s cause, making her even more desirable.

    • Longaway

      I was in the middle of a long drawn out essay pointing this out, amongst other points contrary to the writer’s position.

      Thanks for saving me the trouble.

    • Shea Hennum

      Great, then she should have had a more substantive role in the film.

      • Fuckyoubitch

        If you knew anything from the comics, you would know that Sharon carter is Peggy Carter’s niece and becomes a member of the avengers as agent 13, she is an extremely important character that will no doubt be expanded on in captain America 3, do your fucking research

        • Shea Hennum

          I do (but this isn’t the comics), I know, no, for sure (that’s the problem), and thanks, I’ll take it into consideration.

          • Fuckyoubitch

            The movies are based on comics you fucking retard, do I seriously have to spell that out to you? You cannot be that stupid, can you? No matter point being, you are wrong

          • Shea Hennum

            Are you *sure* you’re not my undergrad rhetoric professor?

          • Fuckyoubitch

            Nothing clever to say, hmmm, typical, you’ve gone off topic now trying to defend your stance, truly pathetic

          • Shea Hennum

            I’m not sure those words mean what you think they mean. But I’m glad you think I’m clever.

          • Fuckyoubitch

            Wow another troll on the internet, surprising… Well, I thing I aloud you to waste enough of my time, so fuck off, you cunt I’m done with you just like the rest of the world, and again you bring no surprises, nothing analytical or even slightly productive, just a waste of air

          • Shea Hennum

            I’m sorry you feel that way. Have a good evening.

          • Thomas R Clark

            aloud? You spoke so he could hear you? I wouldn’t’ allow that.

          • art

            I realize Fuckyoubitch and I are being hot heads. So, allow me to extend an olive branch. The Good Burger line cracked me up.

          • Shea Hennum

            Thanks. It’s true!

          • Thomas R Clark

            That wasn’t nice. Shea IS entertainment-challenged, for sure. Mentally handicapped? Hardly.

          • Shea Hennum

            I do laugh at Good Burger, yeah.

          • Fuckyoubitch

            No, he’s retarded for sure

      • David Nunez

        Problem is that if she would have had a bigger part and just ended up with Captain America in the end, then the theme is undercut. Nothing left to hope for.

    • William Mitchell

      and she winds up being the one who shoots him and “killing” him. Kind of important to bring it up now before he dies in Avengers 2 or 3.

      • David Nunez

        This may not ever happen in the movie universe, so it has no basis in this conversation! Also.. spoiler alert much?

  • Mike MacLeod

    This could have been a great opinion piece if it weren’t for the horrible grammar and unwarranted jabs at the readers of the article. Aside from pointing out some perceived plot holes, you really fail to prove your point that this was a bad movie.

    • Shea Hennum

      Thanks, I appreciate the input. If you want to do critique 4 critique, shoot me an email.

  • Dale Van Brocklin

    What was a movie he DID like, and why? Was there ever a super hero movie he liked, and why? This may prove if he’s going against the general consensus, or is just trolling. I’m all for going against the consensus – Confused Matthew HATED The Avengers, and several other Marvel movies, and his ideas made total sense, although I have enjoyed every Marvel movie except Thor 1. There were good points and mostly bad points in Man of Steel, and good and bad in The Dark Knight Rises. I thought Winter Soldier was the most solid Marvel movie to date, and I’d love to hear how and why another super hero movie was better.

    • Shea Hennum

      I liked The Incredibles and the first two Nolan Batman movies quite a bit.

  • http://utau-inu.com/ Brain Stew

    Cap saw Star Wars which was crossed off his list but not Star Trek. Your piece is factually inaccurate and your opinion therefore invalid. Or something. Just kidding. But he totally watched Star Wars.

    • Shea Hennum

      We’ll always have our Elysium jokes. <3

  • art

    i hate hipsters.

    • Shea Hennum

      Thanks for reading.

      • art

        sure thing!

  • hamboiglah

    Ah, the devil’s advocate.i applaud you for encouraging debate on the film…but it is a Marvel comic vased film. I thought it was a really fun and very entertaining film, although I did have some minor criticisms on the plot.however the some parts of the whole for me equal a very good Marvel film and probably what I considered one of the top 3 Marvel films made to date

    • Shea Hennum

      Genuine curiosity: what do you mean by “…it is a Marvel comic vased [sic] film.”

      • hamboiglah

        Just referring to the fact that this is based on a Marvel property. Great film, especially upon 2nd viewing. I argue that alot of your assesments were made for the sake of promoting this story (Im okay w that) It was a good flick, good story and had a heavy influence on the overal Marvel Universe in TV and the small screen. Good luck homie. I’m sure you LOVED ASM 2

  • art

    You know what I’m tired of? Smug little bastards telling me I’m wrong or attempting to belittle me for liking/not liking something. I try to go into articles with an open mind to someones opinion, but not when their opinion is that everyone is an idiot for having a different opinion and should “just leave.” When will some of these arrogant “critics” realize that people like what they like and that is no reason to put them down for that.Some people write opinion articles to persuade and this guy wrote one to bring everyones’ piss to a boil. I usually don’t like using the word troll because it gets thrown around a lot,but in all seriousness,fuck this troll.

    • Shea Hennum

      Thanks for asking. Yeah, that’s an interesting question, but I think not giving me enough time to answer was a little rude :( I would’ve gone with the “move towards less anonymity online,” actually. Man, I would’ve been wrong.

      • art

        I realize you’re being facetious and would already know the answer to any question asked,but I figured I’d include the answer in the comment for the rest of us who are not as intelligent as you. It must be so much fun watching movies with you.

        • Shea Hennum

          I’m being facetious because you’re telling me exactly what I said you’d tell me at the end of the essay.

          • art

            At the end of the article, you thought maybe you were being too critical of the film. Your opinion of the movie is not the issue here. As I said,you like what you like. The problem is your jabs at people for liking the movie.

          • Shea Hennum

            I don’t care whether or not people like the movie…

          • art

            Then why did you feel a need to write this lengthy essay with the title saying that we’re wrong for liking it.I’m not the only one here who feels you came off very insulting

          • Shea Hennum

            I didn’t do either of those things.

          • Ange Campagna

            You literally say in the title that everyone is wrong.

          • Shea Hennum

            Never once, in the title or the 4006 words presented or anywhere else, say that people are wrong for LIKING the movie. Which, again, I don’t care if people do or not.

          • ErnestRister

            “I’m talking to the people who are falling over themselves to praise its
            realism, its superlative quality, its intelligence and depth; people who
            are bragging to their friends that they’ve seen it three, four, or even
            five times in theaters because oh my god it’s so good you have to see
            it oh my god I can’t believe you haven’t seen it what don’t you love
            America…”

            That’s where you get yourself into trouble. If those are the people you’re talking to, then a better tact may have been simply expressing your problems with the film, instead of setting the premise that people who were excited about the film’s ideas were wrong or somehow acting like fanbots. I’m not crazy about Frozen, but in my review of the film for Talkbacker.com, I don’t go off on the people who made it a cultural phenomenon and praising it to the heavens. I just spoke about my feelings about the movie. People can take those remarks or leave them, as they should. You have issues with people praising The Winter Soldier, this bothers you — but your piece seems to say a whole lot more about you and your annoyance than it does about the topic at hand. People are wildly praising a movie, you think they’re wrong for doing so — that’s social criticism, not film criticism.

          • Jason Lore

            @ Ange – Have you ever used the term “overrated” to describe a film? The very nature of the term essentially means “Most people think the film is great, but in actually it is not as good as they think it is.” Or, to put it another way, “Most people are wrong about it.” That is precisely the same vein in which Mr. Hennum is speaking – and he uses objective criteria to support his view. Art is taking something personally when it has nothing to do with Art at all.

            I happen to disagree with his overall conclusion: I thought it was a really fun movie. But the observations Mr. Hennum cites in supporting his view have merit. And the larger point, which is that Marvel gets kudos for churning out merely decent films, is bang on accurate. That was exactly how I felt with regard to the overall reactions to Iron Man 3 and Thor 2.

            The reactions to the two JJ Abrams Star Trek movies are really great examples of this. They are two shitty, brain-dead movies, yet both have over 90% good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. It boggles the mind.

          • Shea Hennum

            That’s not the title. Never once say people are wrong for LIKING the movie. The title says that people are wrong ABOUT the movie, and essay explicitly, clearly, and repeatedly says that I’m talking to a minority of people and I’m attacking the rhetoric they’re using. Couldn’t be more clear.

    • Josh Burke

      He gave a very clear critique of the film, but he’s right, he never said you shouldn’t like it. He’s simply saying that it shouldnt be compared to any good or great movie, because it clearly isn’t in the same league. You can like whatever the hell you want to like. Thats not so much the issue. Its an art critique on a film made to simply be enjoyed. Thus the dilemma you’re running into seems to be that you simply can’t understand such a critique. Movies like this are made for you, and children. Not to say you are or ARE NOT child-like. :)

  • William Mitchell

    I tried, I tried really hard to read this subjectively but as soon as I felt I was being attacked for being a Comic book Fan, I was done. Sorry N Shit.

    • Shea Hennum

      Yo, you’re a comic fan? Why I ain’t see you at the last meeting?

      • William Mitchell

        Hipster humor, it’s cool,…

        I’m rubber, you are glue and all that..

        some of your ideas would have came across better if you didn’t write like an angry movie critic, sometimes people watch movies to have fun or because they can relate to the characters…

        It’s not your cup of tea, so instead of just saying, I didn’t feel it as a theme at all, you attack others who did like it…

        It’s cool man, you are complete right…

        • Shea Hennum

          Was it not clear that action movies are most definitely my cup of tea?

          • William Mitchell

            I can’t tell if you are trolling or if you really are that much of a prick… it’s hard to tell…

          • Shea Hennum

            It’s both. But yeah, I’m actually super into action movies. My problem with this was that it was a *bad* action movie. This flick actually had everything I like in a movie, so it wasn’t that it wasn’t my cup of tea, I just found a lot that it just didn’t do very well. I liked Fast & Furious 6, if that helps.

          • AL

            fast & furious 6 ? that explains everything

          • Shea Hennum

            I guess? It’s a pretty brain dead movie, but it’s also a movie where they fire cars like bullets and doesn’t pretend to be anything different. And Justin Lin shoots action better than The Russo Brothers.

          • William Mitchell

            And I’m not just going by my interaction, I’m also looking at other replies you are giving your readers too.

      • AL

        because you were at the fake meeting that all the hipsters are sent to.

        • Shea Hennum

          I did buy my glasses from a company named after two Kerouac characters, so it’s possible.

  • http://utau-inu.com/ Brain Stew

    I feel like the Sam Wilson character was way more interesting and important to the theme of the film than I had anticipated going in. Like Widow, with her mid-stream deadpanning of suggestions for Cap’s hookups, I thought Sam showed Cap that there was a life beyond the battlefield (and in a way his past life) and that you could choose to fight for something (or not,) as he chose to put the wings back on to help out a friend. The same theme could be applied to Agent 13 who I felt demonstrated that people can still make the right choice.

    • Shea Hennum

      Yeah, I like that idea, and I like Dan’s ideas about what he found too. I just didn’t read any of that into the film.

  • Fuckyoubitch

    I love how every single person disagrees with this hipster. The author is a joke, trying to grasp what little attention he can get and the result of the matter is truly pathetic, and no I did not waste a second reading this shit of an article, I just looked at the title and read the comments, you are truly alone you fucking hipster

    • Shea Hennum

      Thanks for reading.

      • Fuckyoubitch

        I did not read a word of your article, you degenerate, fuck sake you’re an amateur troll, there are many better than you at this

        • Shea Hennum

          I’m no Armond White, sure. But I am trying.

          • Fuckyoubitch

            And failing

  • The Walking Cuban

    I watched dark knight rises, enjoyed it a lot, iron man 3, enjoyed it a lot, Cap 2, enjoyed it a lot. People have broken down the mistakes of the first 2, I agreed, watched em again… And enjoyed em a lot. Same will probably happen here. Do I then fall into the category of liking a movie despite its flaws? But I liked them before I knew the flaws. Cuz they’re entertaining! Guess I’m wrong.

    • Shea Hennum

      Surprise, surprise, you’re actually…right! It’s okay to be entertained by something that’s flawed.

      • The Walking Cuban

        I can live with that

        • Shea Hennum

          You weren’t my target audience with this, but I appreciate you reading.

          • The Walking Cuban

            All good. Your opinion is your opinion and I ain’t gon knock, but I do agree more with the other readers because these are facts that I wouldn’t notice on my own and facts or not, I can’t retroactively dislike it and more than likely will still like it. PAYCE

      • Fuckyoubitch

        Clearly you are a unemployed virgin boy who lives in his mothers basement with way to much time on his hands, so I’ll offer you some advice from a superior, me, you are wrong and a small, small minority in this conflict, this movie has already reached half a billion dollars and has been celebrated by audiences and critics alike. And lastly(and most importantly) get your fathers cock out of your ass and get a job, ideally mcdonalds, I’m afraid that’s all someone with your credentials can achieve. You will not have a happy life, true, however you can live with moderate dignity for the remainder of your sad life

  • biff tannen

    What a herb. Just enjoy the movie sheesh.

    • Shea Hennum

      You’re probably going to think I’m kidding, based on my other responses, but I’ve never heard the phrase “What a herb.” So…?

      • biff tannen

        Google is your friend

        • Shea Hennum

          Yeah, I did that. All I got were incredibly long Yahoo! Answers threads about whether or not chicory is an herb.

  • Ryan Perez

    I find it funny, that so many people comment on an article they find to be distasteful. I completely disagree with Shea. There, my input…off to other articles.

    • Shea Hennum

      Cool, thanks, I appreciate you reading. If you’re looking for other stuff to read and like comics, I’ve written a bunch of comics stuff for this site.

      • Ryan Perez

        I’ll have to give ‘em a gander.

        • Shea Hennum

          I mostly write about stuff I like, so they’re a lot less divisive than this.

          • Ryan Perez

            Sounds good to me. I’m not bothered by discordant opinions. I dont get all bent out of shape over an article that doesn’t coddle my inner-child, or pet my ego. If i disagree, thats it…and as far as i go with it, emotionally.

          • Shea Hennum

            Respect.

  • Rambofirstblood GamingAccount

    “how he shot action and those Batman films were holistically good”

    Yeah….kinda lost me with that comment…TDKR…the dullest and dumbest soopahero movie I had the misfortune to see.

    • Shea Hennum

      “…and very successful.” I’ll cop to the first descriptor only only applying to the first two, though.

      But dullest and dumbest? Yo…you see Ghost Rider?

      • Rambofirstblood GamingAccount

        No.

        • Shea Hennum

          Good life decision. It’s, uh….it’s not good.

          • Rambofirstblood GamingAccount

            I heard, and well, it was Cage. I dont really pay him any attention anymore.

          • Shea Hennum

            Yeah, he’s ultra Nic Cage-y in that flick too.

          • Rambofirstblood GamingAccount

            I liked him, even up to the bunny in the box…but after that, we were done.

          • Shea Hennum

            He was perfect for Wild at Heart, ’cause…yeah. But he kind of plays the same dude in every movie, and that’s largely problematic.

  • http://www.derlisgonzalez.com DAGJWFAN

    Shea, my friend, you’ve completely missed the point. I don’t think most films would be able to withstand the level of scrutiny applied to Winter Soldier here.

    People aren’t loving this movie and talking about it using only hyperbole because the thing is perfect. People aren’t loving it because it’s dumb and people are dumb. People are loving the shit out of this film because it’s FUN. And movies aren’t fun anymore.

    TWS is a fun movie. That’s why people feel it’s so good. Most blockbuster movies aren’t fun anymore. That’s an issue that would warrant an entirely different article and a complex discussion, but the core of it is that: Blockbuster films have stopped being fun.

    Look at Man of Steel. That’s how much not fun movies are now. Even freaking Superman, who should be a beacon of hope and all that walked around his own film moping around and looking like the weight of the universe was on his shoulders.

    Cap 2 was fun. That’s it.

    • Shea Hennum

      I don’t know, man, The Raid 2 was preeeeetty damn fun. And it stands up to the scrutiny I applied to The Winter Soldier.

      But yeah, thanks, I appreciate you reading. Billy pays me by the joke, so I’ve been really struggling to feed my daughter this afternoon.

      • http://www.derlisgonzalez.com DAGJWFAN

        The Raid 2 was! You’re right, but I’m talking about big studio fare.

        When was the last time you went to watch a big, studio-funded, blockbuster action flick that was just fun? Silly, but not to the point of stupidity, wholesome, adventurous fun, and not just an attempt to remake the Bourne movies or The Dark Knight?

        All the big studios have been trying to do for the last 10 years is remake Bourne 2 and 3 and TDK. I firmly believe that’s part of the issue. So when they throw a movie like Cap 2 at us, that, despite its flaws, it’s so damn fun, people will fucking love it.

        • Shea Hennum

          I enjoyed Fast & Furious 6 a lot, actually.

          • http://www.derlisgonzalez.com DAGJWFAN

            Exactly! That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about, and I feel like those type of films are growing rarer and rarer. And that’s a whole other issue.

          • Shea Hennum

            I guess? Those movies still exist, pretty abundantly. What do I care if they’re seen by a million people or cost a hundred fifty billion dollars or not?

      • Linkfx

        The first 15 minutes of the Raid 2 were pointless and excessive exposition that nullified the drama and brutality of the mud fight. The actor who plays Rama is a fantastic fighter but can’t carry a dramatic scene to save his life and the subplot of the wife is seriously patched on window dressing that is basically abandoned. You can tell the script was adapted to fit ‘the raid’s hero and not built organically from the ground up as a sequel and continuation.

        • Shea Hennum

          I agree. Good thing The Raid 2 wasn’t boring, so I didn’t mind its flaws.

  • Linkfx

    The Raid 2 was not great either.

    • Shea Hennum

      Have I mentioned that I saw The Raid 2 recently?

      • Linkfx

        ‘I mainlined THE RAID 2 and JODOROWSKY’S DUNE back-to-back, so my life is full of joy, thank you very much’. I assumed that because they were recent releases you saw them recently. But perhaps you saw them in festivals. Either way you had mentioned it. I was just trying to say movies so far this season were a let down. I haven’t seen Jodorowsky’s Dune but I hear only good things. The Raid 2 however was a bloated imitation of greatness.

        • Shea Hennum

          I liked The Raid 2.

  • Chris

    You lost the argument for me when you objected to the comparison to The Dark Knight because The Dark Knight was guilty of exactly the same things you didn’t like in The Winter Soldier. Batman was only in about a third of a movie called The Dark Knight! There was never any reason for Gotham’s crime bosses to join with The Joker–he killed all his henchmen and burned all the money. Nobody noticed a boat load of explosives. The Joker wasn’t secure when in the precinct house but he was when he was tied up with rope. There were many more plot holes in the movie. I think The Winter Soldier is at least as intelligent as The Dark Knight which makes neither one of them much in the intelligence department. It’s also not the spy thriller many reviewers are calling it–the comparisons to the Bourne movies are ludicrous. But The Winter Soldier is entertaining. I think Captain America is a difficult character to play and not be cheesy but Chris Evans manages it quite well. I liked the Sam Wilson character but I suspect he was there as a nod to veterans of modern conflicts as well as an attempt to get an African American into the film. I’m okay with that. Poor Emily Van Camp was ill served by her role, though.

    • Shea Hennum

      I still like The Dark Knight.

  • Dalinkwent

    This is basically nitpicking of the highest order. I personally loved the movie and I can understand why not everyone would share my opinion, and thats perfectly fine. This just seems like someone going out of their way to tear the movie a new one because it didn’t blow them away. Theres many classic, iconic movies that become a rambling mess if you think about the logic and details for too long.

    • Shea Hennum

      Sure. But do you like those movies any less when they become a rambling mess?

      • Dalinkwent

        It always depends on how big the issue is and how successful the movie is based on its own merits. I noticed The Dark Knight has some glaring plot holes and silly aspects, but the overall story, characters and themes are still intact so those issues aren’t that important in the overall scheme of things. Some of the issues you raised are valid and many fans of the movie have made similar arguments, but the idea was a success based on the overall intent. Falcon’s role could have been bigger and more substantial sure, but fans enjoyed his growing friendship with Steve and the fact he played a role in helping Cap bring down Hydra and work through the idea of Shield being compromised and Hydra being everywhere. That was his function at the end of the day. So just how big a role he played is secondary, same with Sharon considering she’s likely going to play a much bigger role in future movies.

        • Shea Hennum

          No, it’s a matter of if you mind the flaws. Which I did. You did not. I’m not trying to persuade you that your, or anyone else’s, enjoyment is wrong. I make that pretty explicit.

          • Dalinkwent

            Its not that I minded the flaws, its just that they were mostly irrelevant in my overall enjoyment of the film. I’m not trying to be combative with you are anything just because you’re critical of a movie I like, you’re just offering an opinion. Its just that in my opinion, you’re mostly nitpicking about things present in many films of this caliber. Including Dark Knight which you mentioned in your piece and almost seemed troubled anyone would dare compare Winter Solider to. Either way, its always nice to read different opinions and perspectives, even if you don’t fully agree with them. So nice write up in that regard.

  • James Handley

    I loved this movie. I loved it for what it is. A comic book movie. In fact, I love the entire Marvel cinematic universe, and I know it’s all about making money. Me thinks a lot of things are however. To reference Patton Oswalt, people like money and sex, and the only way to get those things for most people in the world is to be a horrible person. These people looked at other people who have money and get sex and think, “Hmm, I would like the money and to get laid, but I don’t want to be a horrible person.”

    This article is hilarious, and it reminds me of how I used to be in my “Fuck the Man” stage of my life (deepest heartfelt apology to everyone I annoyed). To hate fuck something THIS much means that you wasted a decent amount of time hate fucking. So much time hate fucking it that you thought it was important to sit down and write out this . . . I dunno . . . review?

    So before you scream,”Sell out, money making, whores!” Just take a deep breath and calm the fuck down.

  • Naterne

    Ah, I love people who are contrarian just to be contrarian. You and Cowherd are like twinzies…so cute!

    • Shea Hennum

      I really like Citizen Kane, if that helps.

  • James Handley

    My post got deleted so I will try this again but more PG-13.

    I loved this movie. I loved it for what it is. A comic book movie. In fact, I love the entire Marvel cinematic universe, and I know it’s all about making money. Me thinks a lot of things are however. To reference Patton Oswalt, people like money and sex, and the only way to get those things for most people in the world is to be a horrible person. These people looked at other people who have money and get sex and think, “Hmm, I would like the money and to get laid, but I don’t want to be a horrible person.”

    This article is hilarious, and it reminds me of how I used to be in my “F the Man” stage of my life (deepest heartfelt apology to everyone I annoyed). To hate something THIS much means that you wasted a decent amount of time simply hating. So much time hating it that you thought it was important to sit down and write out this . . . I dunno . . . review?

    So before you scream,”Sell out, money making, whores!” Just take a deep breath and calm down.

    • Shea Hennum

      I’m not F the man. I’m F boring art.

  • Cyreides

    My god with the inane bitching.

    • Shea Hennum

      I know! Whoever wrote this is a reeeeeeeal asshole.

  • Joe Poole

    LOL! I made it through one and a half paragraphs and had to stop reading. YAAAWWWWWNNNNN! Captain America was ACE!

    • Shea Hennum

      Thanks for reading.

  • Govmule4

    Your writing contains too much hyperbole to be taken as a critical argument, that’s why your comments section is so hate filled. Not many action movies would hold up to this kind of scrutiny. Also, I like the way they partly introduce characters in marvel movies these days. Maria Hill is a good example from Avengers, I think it’s partly studios building hype, but I like the ongoing nature of it. It makes you feel like there is someone you are getting to know, rather than the formulaic labels of main, support or background character. In fact, I would argue that when you’re not sure where that character fits, the movie is doing something right.

    • Shea Hennum

      You’re watching the wrong action movies then. Drug War, The Raid 2, 13 Assassins, Ip Man, Casino Royale.

      And this comments section isn’t that hate filled…

      • Ted Webster

        Casino Royale is Garbage (my opinion)!!!! The Marvel Universe is doing things the way they do it in the comic books where story arcs cross over several books/movies. They are even getting their TV shows and Web series as part of the same universe. so to hold Cap 2 up as a single movie is unfair, as it is only one chapter.

  • Jeremy

    We’re not wrong. You are. Just because you aren’t intelligent enough to understand something doesn’t mean you should attack it as “dumb.”

    • Shea Hennum

      But isn’t that what you’re doing?

      • Jeremy

        No I understood what he was trying to say perfectly. It’s just nonsense.

        • Shea Hennum

          I don’t know, man. Something about what you’re criticizing and the way you’re criticizing it seem pretty paradoxical….

          • Jeremy

            You’re opinion, I disagree. Looking back might could have stated things a bit better, but hey we’re all only human right? Look I get it. You are trying to state a dissenting opinion that is in minority to what is popular, but to start out your thoughts with “Why You’re All Wrong” borders on arrogance, and invites some of the highly negative feedback you are getting. Just being honest I don’t agree with your take, and frankly your piece is just not that well done. I can appreciate dissenting opinions if there is some merit to it and the author doesn’t just assume he knows better than everyone else. Just my view. Have a good day.

  • Bart Arao

    I love the movie. Watched it twice. But somehow I see your point. But
    I’d have to blame the general public for having movies that spoon feed
    you information, or over-expositions. Most people can’t fill in the
    blanks that is why producers and directors ends up with movies that
    treat the audience like idiots. Case in point, why wasn’t Iron Man and
    Hawkeye helping out? OMG, there could be a hundred different reasons for
    this but people are not happy with it. And throwaway lines to justify
    why Iron Man and Hawkeye are absent would be stupid and out of place.
    Unfortunately, idiots are more in number that the smarter ones, so there
    we go, dumbed down movies. Its a safer bet for studios.

    And the best way to enjoy these movies? Appreciate that
    they are even made and lower your expectation. Remember the casting
    call segment of Wizards (90’s?) – hell we’re seeing comic book movies
    now. So that’s better than zero (just no more Superman Returns or
    Catwoman).

    • Shea Hennum

      This guy gets it.

    • Josh Burke

      Yezzir!!! Dingdingdingdingding! We have one intelligent kid in the lot.

    • Memphis Reigns

      They’d be smart to say this happened while hawkeye and iron man we’re ‘indisposed’ at the moment.
      Maybe I’m giving too much credit to marvel, but they seem to give a lil bit of a fuck about tying everything together.

      • Eddie Scarito

        Marvel has already stated that CAP 2 takes place at the same time IRON MAN 3 was happening–which explains Stark’s absence.

        • Memphis Reigns

          Well, there you go

  • Ozpinhead

    I enjoyed the movie a lot for the action film that it was. I agree with you that the film has flaws and it’s not as smart or as relevant as some people are trying to make it. However, you lost me when you imply that Paul Greengrass filmmaking is somehow better or a positive reference to drink from. I don’t agree at all regarding your remarks about how the action was filmed.

    • Shea Hennum

      I didn’t state or imply that Paul Greengrass was good, just that they took plays from his book.

  • nyniggazbcrying

    I stopped reading the last few paragraphs. After he complained about how the winter soldiers bullets wouldn’t work……really….obviously your not a fan of marvel comics. I could go thru everything wrong with twilight but I don’t like the source material so why would I? Captain America wasn’t great but it wasn’t as bad as tdkr or the last iron man. Cant wait for your guardians of the galaxy review

    • Shea Hennum

      I like Marvel Comics as much as I can be said to like comics by a certain company. Elektra: Assassin is the jam, boi.

      And I wasn’t factoring in the source material at all. That would be dumb. Movies should stand or fall on their merits and flaws. A movie that shoots for realism gets treated like it’s shooting for realism.

      • nyniggazbcrying

        I have to disagree comic book movies are a lot a like comic books themselves. Situational. How tough is batroc to hang 1 min one on one with cap? He literally doesn’t use a parachute. Of course no rifling works. Where do u see this movie steeped in realism ? I cant agree with being wrong about being a good movie just because it wasnt dk realistic. Marvel movies never are. Of course fury wasnt dead. Did u think the skulls would conquer new York? Smart guy dumb opinion

        • Shea Hennum

          Nah, smart guy, smart opinion.

          Of course Fury was dead? Yeah, but we were supposed to believe that the characters didn’t know that.

          Where do I see this movie steeped in realism? Its content, its color palate, the seriousness with which it plays everything.

          • nyniggazbcrying

            There is very little realism in any marvel movie. Going in there thinking other wise was a mistake on your part

          • Shea Hennum

            To shatter your illusion of how I process art: I didn’t go in thinking anything. My ideas of its attempt at realism is based solely on the film itself.

  • Ange Campagna

    I sure hope Captain America 3, written and directed by Shea Hennum, fixes all the mistakes of this film as, after reading this, I assume Disney will hire him. He knows how to do EVERYTHING not only different, but better, than any filmmaker that’s come before. What have you made? Oh yeah, nothing. You work in a comic book store and bitch about movies online. You are literally the comic book guy from The Simpsons. I could have written this article better than you. Your word choices were dumb. The sentences those dumb words made up we’re stupid. Those stupid sentences made idiotic paragraphs, and those idiotic sentences made for one crappy article.

    • Shea Hennum

      I wouldn’t work for Disney unless they put a gun to your head.

      • ErnestRister

        I’ve worked for Disney — they’re no different than any other major studio. You get hired to do a job, you do it, you get paid, life goes on.

        • Shea Hennum

          Yeah, that’s the ethos I don’t like. I wouldn’t work for Time Warner either, if that makes you feel better.

          • ErnestRister

            Doesn’t make me feel anything, Mr. Hennum.

          • Shea Hennum

            Glad I could help.

          • ErnestRister

            But it’s not like Time Warner and Disney are knocking on your door asking for your services, right? So I guess the disinterest is mutual.

          • Shea Hennum

            Man, it would be awkward if I’ve ever implied that they were or should be, right? Phew. Dodged THAT bullet.

          • ErnestRister

            Well, you say you write fiction. Disney and Time Warner both own major publishers and are always looking for new talent. If they’re beneath you, more power to you. Good luck and best wishes for your career.

          • Stalkeye

            And BOOM goes the Dynamite!

          • Shea Hennum

            Being in the same business as a corporation is not the same as wanting to be in a business owned by that corporation. But thanks for the well wishes.

    • Josh Burke

      You sound VEEEEEERY intelligent, with your overabundant use of the word dumb, you dumbass you. HeyZuesChristeeos, be more particular, stop with the generalizing, and if your going to critique the man, do it right! Be specific. Lets have a good argument here. Show me you’re capable! We believe in you, homie.

      • Ange Campagna

        That was my point. And don’t call me a dumbass. I didn’t go calling anyone names, dickhead. But now I will, you fucking moron.

        • Josh Burke

          >:( Mommy!!!! Someones got his feelings hurt!! WAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

  • Jack White

    yes! I’m glad someone isn’t jumping on the band wagon. this movie was such a let down. very boring and bland. well done for voicing very relevant opinions

    • Shea Hennum

      Thanks for helping me prove to that dude that not everyone who takes the time to comment on this is angry that I dare mock a film they liked. I appreciate it!

  • Stalkeye

    “He’s shoehorned into the film as a veteran who runs in to Captain America by chance and just happens to also be a superhero.”

    Yeah, I can tell just by the sentence structure, not to take this reviewer seriously. *PFFT*

    • Shea Hennum

      An English teacher would tell you to remove the second comma from your sentence. Good thing I’m not an English teacher.

      • Stalkeye

        Funny being that You’re supposedly the “Professional” Writer while I’m just some “Dude” commenting on your lack of structure. (Note: And I’m not the only one either.)

        As for my Commas, FIXED!
        Here’s a Cookie. :P

        • Shea Hennum

          I’m not professional either, actually. I don’t get paid.

          And…yeah…you are the only one commenting on my lack of structure…

          But thanks for the cookie. Shit’s mad tasty.

          • Stalkeye

            “And…yeah…you are the only one commenting on my lack of structure…”

            Oh, I guess you didn’t thoroughly read this comment below:

            I could have written this article better than you. Your word choices were dumb. The sentences those dumb words made up we’re stupid. Those stupid sentences made idiotic paragraphs, and those idiotic sentences made for one crappy article.

            *Ahem* You’re Welcome.

  • http://fb.com/kendodesign Ken

    Agree. 95%

    It was fun, with witty humor, lots of action, some political and spy like parts. But not the hype people make it out to be…I see it more written out like a comic spy style—-err movie…..vs a spy thriller movie…..p.s Christian Bale is a great actor but a terrible Batman.

  • Thomas R Clark
  • Josh Burke

    Okay, just to set the record straight, for all you fucks out there tripping balls and getting all defensive, please, do me a huge favor. Sit down, relax, take a deep breath. Gooooood. Now pull your panties out of your ass, wash your hands, take a nice long sip, gulp, now chug of wine….. That’s much better. Listen.

    You need to understand that he isnt even refuring to a large majority of you. He is simply critiquing this, in MY opinion, ridiculous movie, as if it were a work of art. In my personal beliefs its not… so the post isnt worth writing, but lets say it is and its still worth reading, and debating, logically.
    Many of you just lost all sense. He’s already made you look very similar to the apes we are all related to by giving you a very fair, well thought out, logical critique, and you reply by getting emotional and name calling? Well done good retards. Well done.
    He isn’t saying you shouldn’t have enjoyed the movie. He is simply saying, based on a certain criteria generally used to review movies and/or writing, its shit.
    But GOOD GOD PEOPLE, Shea himself loves to listen to Drake, and we all know that his raps are shit. You canenjoy shit. I personally very thoroughly enjoyed Two Girls, One Cup. Good God Almighty, that shit made me cum over and over again. Plenty of people like shit, some like the smell, some like to be shit on, but in the end, as art, its shit.
    Don’t compare any Marvel movie to The Dark Knight, please. You must be out of your minds. That wasn’t even that great of a movie, a hard 7 out of ten, and it still will always be better than any of these Marvel movies that will continue to blow up the box office.
    Go read a good book, chill out, have sex, enjoy life, and stop letting articles on the internet from getting yourself so amped up over………… nothing.
    Thats what it is. The Winter Soldier is nothing. Just one more movie to be forgotten by everyone but yourself in ten years. You’ll show it to your kids and they will agree with us, that, “Dad, you’re a fucking idiot”.
    Oh, and FWI, obviously the more you bitch at this guy, the more sarcastic he becomes. He’s feeding off your ignorance like a leech. Stop talking and he dies, or finds some other ape to suck up…. erm i mean….. suck on.

  • G@BRIEL GR@Y

    Wow this article seems to have enraged quite a few people, I was only made aware of it via the ‘disgruntled.’

    I tend to think The Winter Soldier is a flawed over-long movie with a few decent set pieces and some well performed characters. Beyond that I think nothing because it’s a comic book movie, even if it’s a brave thing to try and capture a 70’s thrillers genre tone for the texture of the narrative. It was a hollow experience for me, but I admired its attempt to try something darker in tone. It’s taken Marvel until now to attempt a tone similar to that of The Dark Knight. It proves they are willing to take risks, as with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Switch off your brain and watch superheroes do super things as shit blows up all over your face. If people want high art they should go and watch the latest P.T. Anderson feature. These features are for children and teenagers and all criticism is a personal perspective that’s individual to the person giving it. Whether regarded as ‘informed’ or not. So the person claiming why I’m right and you’re wrong is no less right than the person who posts in the comments arguing against that statement.

    Subjective.

    That’s why I’m right and you’re wrong.

  • Thomas R Clark

    Shea – you didn’t point out that Redford didn’t button the bottom button of his waistcoat

  • KilliK

    a superhero comic book movie which doesnt step into realism? GOOD.

  • Memphis Reigns

    Holy shit billy, your buddy finally got you over 150 posts on your talkback. Congrats bro!
    All you gotta do now is get this dumb cunt to write the exact opposite of popular opinion ALL the time and you’ll be good. Don’t worry, he doesn’t have to actually compare anything to whatever he holds as merits. See how much sense that made? Exactly, that’s what we have to put up with.

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  • Praiseworthy McSmart

    Thank you for writing this. I just don’t understand the love for this movie.

  • Dr. Storm Crow

    Hey, I thought it was great. Yes, the film tried to play more clever than it had any right to, but honestly, it was a film that I was entertained immensely by. I can’t even tell you the last time a movie did that for me, truly just gave me a two hour block where I could just get swept up in the narrative and allow my disbelief to be properly suspended.

  • Jorn Williams

    Honestly, some things are better left unsaid or unwritten. Ok, ok we get it. You didn’t like the movie…different strokes for different folks. Of course there were plot holes. And everybody has their own opinions about characterization. But good lord man, I can not fathom why you spent this much time rambling on about a mindless action film and felt like you had to pick it to death. I mean damn, it’s like critiquing an action film where you say “oh my god, I can’t believe that the director and screen writer let bruce willis’ character make that jump..how ridiculous! ”
    Just take it for what it is.. and ya know what, if you hated it that much, be sure to stay away from future Russo brothers’ films.

    The only thing on this article the I can agree with is the choppy, in your face, highly edited fight scenes. I believe the reference to Paul Greengrass movies (bourne films, green zone) was accurate. (although I love Nolan and yes he knows how to accomplish this editing the best) However, I think that it does take away the essence of a well crafted and choreographed fight scene.. just like the one-track shot on Old Boy that you mentioned or even the full 6 minute tracking shot of shows like True Detective, ep 4. Scenes such as those are very impressive to see fleshed out to that extent..It helps me fully appreciate the impact of such a fast-paced , high adrenaline movie event. I do hope that this trend in hollywood for highly edited, shaky cam action moments with upcoming directors starts to become less severe.

    But I digress back to what I think is your article’s overall theme, “people who saw the movie wasted their money and are completely short-sighted with their own personal reasons for enjoying the film.”
    You remind me of a Rex Reed. Saying all of these things that you didn’t like about the movie and that you thought were completely amateur. Well Shea, I would love to see your resume of high budget, blockbuster films that you’ve done.. or heck, I would even give you credit for a list of lower budget movies that you’ve taken through full production to the theaters. It’s like seeing one of those rabid pro football team fans that sit there and yell at their star athlete for having a bad night when they can’t even comprehend what it’s like to be under that kind of pressure every game.
    You have no idea what kind of limitations were given to Russo Bros from Marvel due to their expanded universe or what exactly is going on behind the scenes.
    Was it one of the greatest action movies I’ve seen?..of course not.. was it a fun popcorn flick that is nice to take your kids to(if they are old enough) to get out of the house?… I believe so.

    Believe it or not, I almost never comment on articles even though i read them daily on everything from pop culture to world news…but after reading your article that feels as if you’ve ostracized everyone for liking a decent film, compelled me to throw in my two cents.. Moral of this story, use your time more wisely and know when to pick your moments.
    Keep it positive and stop writing angry bro.

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      So if you don’t like something, you’re not supposed to say anything at all? Doesn’t that miss the entire point of critiquing a work?

  • Medreng

    Maybe because we were lied into watching Dark Knight rises and Man of Steel (as they are suppose to be really good) and Winter Solider manage to out do it predecessor?

  • Rich

    Great points in this article. I wasn’t fond of the movie myself and thought it was boring (just my opinion). A majority of your points were things that I hadn’t even thought about when watching the movie, and it really nailed key issues that I noticed. Really enjoyed reading this.

  • Terry Shannon

    Couldn’t get past the snark of the opening paragraph.

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      And yet you made it all the way down here to comment, with no context whatsoever in regards to the actual op-ed.

      • Terry Shannon

        Yeah. It’s called scrolling. It doesn’t take much effort. However, putting up with more snark from the comic book store guy in an effort to read his op-ed was more effort than I was willing to put out. Is that enough context for you?

  • BrianRommel

    “I don’t mean that it is a bad movie—though, I do think it is a bad movie.”
    So it’s not a bad movie but you think it is. I’m dizzy, can’t read any further.