As is noted multiple times on its new Blu-ray release, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” brought a different take on Marvel superhero films by bringing the action down to Earth and in your face. With handheld cameras and hand-to-hand combat, this sequel succeeds as one of Marvel’s best yet.
A combination spy thriller and action adventure, “The Winter Soldier” follows Captain Steve Rogers in a modern day caper that ultimately shakes up the entire landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the aid of Black Widow and newcomer Falcon, the good guys take on a new set of villains – but it’s not always clear who exactly those baddies are. It’s a movie that stays interesting from opening moments to closing credits, mixing lots of laughter with plenty of suspense.
On Blu-ray, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is easy to get sucked into. It looks and sounds great, making just about any home surround system sound like a movie theater. It’s not necessarily a great film to show off the color range of a new TV, as much of the film is dark and desaturated, but its high energy action sequences – particularly Nick Fury’s car chase – are great demo material.
For bonus features, Marvel includes one fantastic look at how those action scenes came to be, following the film’s actors from training to rehearsal to filming both in front of green screens and on location, shutting down miles of streets. Particularly impressive are Chris Evans’ combat moves, Sebastian Stan’s agility with a knife, and Scarlett Johansson’s wire work.
On the lighter side of things, a gag reel features a few amusing flubs on set while another short extra dubbed “Cut the Check!” follows Anthony Mackie’s favorite catch phrase whenever he feels he nails a scene. Neither are over-the-top funny, but they are entertaining.
Deleted scenes are mildly interesting and perhaps reveal a tiny extra detail or two for the hardcore Marvel fans about some of the film’s minor and major characters. The movie’s running commentary has interesting stories but plays a bit drab due to the Russo brothers’ low key style of speaking.
For those following the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is certainly a must own on Blu-ray. Anyone who is a casual superhero movie fan owes it to themselves to at least pick up the original “Captain America: The First Avenger” along with “Marvel’s The Avengers” and this new release to complete the story arc. You might miss a few beats in between, but you’ll still get the best mix of storytelling, humor, and action that Marvel has released to date.