Tag Archives: Cobie Smulders

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

After some exciting trailers the highly anticipated sequel to 2011’s Captain America film is here! But with all that hype can Steve Rogers and co possibly live up to the expectations?

Two years since the events of The Avengers and Steve Rogers is working for S.H.I.E.L.D and trying to find his place in the modern world. However as he finds himself involved in a conspiracy that threatens the world’s freedom he’s left wondering who he can really trust.

I liked the film, I really did, but I didn’t love it like I hoped I would. I think what I missed was a sense of fun that Marvel normally brings to its films like in Thor 2, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. Thats not to say the film isn’t funny at points, it is, I just wanted more. But then that might have jarred with the conspiracy thriller feel that this film is going for.

I also found some of the twists a bit predictable and they took too long to reveal the identity of the Winter Soldier, especially considering most fans already knew who he was (granted some people may not have known but still I think this should have been revealed earlier in the film).

However despite this the film did have a lot of good points. Chris Evans is his usual charismatic self, making Steve Rogers a charming and noble man rather than the do-gooder bore he could have been. I liked seeing more of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) this time around and even though they played up the possible chemistry between her and Captain America I’m glad she wasn’t relegated to playing the ‘love interest’ role.

Again Marvel cast their supporting players well. Regular characters such as Nick Fury(Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) get a welcome return. We also get some brand new characters with Anthony Mackie’s first appearance as Falcon. I did feel we could have learnt a bit more about his back story but at least he was more well-developed than just being Captain America’s  black best friend.

As ever the fight scenes in the movie are great and are just as thrilling as anything Marvel has ever done in their other films. I also liked the fact that Anthony and Joe Russo-mostly known from directing tv shows such as Community and Arrested Developement– tried something different with this movie, making it more a conspiracy action film than the usual Marvel movie. Theres also for once a great mid-credit scene featuring some new characters to be seen in the next Avengers movie.

Rating 3.5/5 – solid work from Marvel but lacking a bit of fun

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

I knew I was going to love the first episode of Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D as soon as it was announced. I’ve missed having a Joss Whedon show on my screen and I loved the team up of Whedon and Marvel in the Avengers movie. I spent the first half hour geeking out over reference to the wider Marvel universe and going insane whenever another actor from the Whedon universe appeared (“There’s Gunn! Oh my god there’s Shepherd Book!). Now that I’ve had the chance to calm down I thought I’d give my opinion on how this tv spin-off has worked.

Well there was plenty of the Whedon wit that I love so much, some good twists-I had no idea the damsel in distress was the doctor, and Centipede sounds like an interesting villian. I also hope we see more of J. August Richards’s troubled Mike and Cobie Smulders’ agent Maria Hill. But what about the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Its only the first episode so some had more focus than others but here’s my opinion of them so far.

It was great to have a familiar face in Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson. Although it’s an ensemble show, Coulson proves to be a great focal point for the audience. Many of the show’s funniest moments come from Coulson, highlights include his overly dramatic entrance, and stabbing agent Grant Ward with the truth serum. The show quickly whizzes through his death in the Avengers film, Fury faked his death to inspire the Avengers. However it appears Coulson is unaware of the real circumstances of his ‘death’, which will no doubt lead to much angst later on in the series. So what is his secret? At the moment I’m thinking clone but its way too early to tell.

Of the rest of the cast, Chloe Bennet as hacker Sky also impresses. She’s funny, smart and somehow manages to have glossy hair, flawless skins and great clothes all while living in a van. Only on tv.

Brit Scientists Fitz-Simmons make for an adorable pair. I like their enthusiasm for the job and their bickering and talking over each other like a married couple. In the wrong hands they could have been annoying but I found them endearing. As Joss Whedon projects always involve the death of the nicest, sweetest character (alas poor Tara, Fred, Wash etc) I’m predicting one half of Fitz-Simmons will bite the dust somewhere along the series. I’m leaning more towards Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) with Fitz having a breakdown and avenging her death. Ian De Caestecker was great in tv shows The Fades and The Secret of Crickley Hall, so he definitely has the acting chops to handle such emotional arcs.

Ming Na-Wen as Melinda May was unfortunately not used that much in the first episode so its hard to tell what she’ll be like, however she showed great promise. It’ll be good to know why she gave up field work for a desk job. She also seems to be the show’s kick-ass female (another requirement for any Whedon show) and had a great fight scene. Hopefully we’ll see more of her in the next episode.

Grant Walt was the least interesting of the main characters, coming across as a bit dull. Howeverhints at his mysterious family history could provide some interest in the future. Actor Brett Dalton also showed some great comedic skills when he was hit with the truth serum so maybe his character will improve soon.

All in all a promising start. Lets hope it continues onto the next episode.

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