Captain America The Winter Soldier (2014) annotations
Release date: 4th April 2014
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenwriters: Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus
Right out of the credits we see a man running. He’s jogging along the Potomac River, Washington DC. In fact, he’s running on on Ohio Dr SW over a tiny bridge leading into Tidal Basin.
The man is Sam Wilson, who will soon be the Falcon. He’s played by Anthony Mackie.
Falcon is a big part of the Captain America comics lore. He was a villain turned hero, with the winged harness given to him by Black Panther. He also had the telepathic ability to talk to birds which is abandoned for the MCU, although it was brought in cleverly in Captain America Civil War (2016).
He first appeared in Captain America #117 (September 1969). He was created by Stan Lee and Gene Nolan.
Mackie made his film debut in 8 Mile and has gone onto acclaimed roles in films like The Hurt Locker. Mackie told Movieweb:
When I read the script, I was really excited by the relationship between the two of them. In that first scene, I was really happy with how it broke down the relationship between Cap and Sam, and it let you know who they were going to be to each other for the rest of the movie. I feel like that was very smart of the Russo’s and Joss. It gives the audience a very clear understanding of the ride they’re going on from the beginning. But, you know, usually with moviemaking, it’s more of a set up. This is where we are. This is who we are, this is what we’re going to do. This is what happens, the end. With this, you’re literally thrown right into it, so that’s why I always say this movie is like Marvel’s The Avengers 1.5, because it’s basically a to be continued.
And then rushing past him is Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. Once again he’s played by Chris Evans.
This is Evan’s 4th appearance as Captain America in the MCU. We last saw him in Thor: The Dark World (2013). Evans told Collider:
On this movie it’s about him trying to, not just acclimate to the modern world, but I think it’s always been Cap’s goal to do what’s right and be of service, to help where he can. In this movie, I think the question is, “Well, what is right?” I think it was a lot easier in the 40s to know who the evil was. [laughs] There’s no disputing Nazis are bad. [laughs] Now it becomes a little bit more difficult to answer. There’s more of a gray area. What is the right thing? Are you of service to that cause?
They run past the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, then the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool with the Washington Monument in the distance.
They stop for a breather and a chat at National Mall & 3rd Street Southwest. That’s the US Capital Building behind them.
This wonderful list that Cap has. Interestingly, different countries had different lists! Some (like Nirvana, make all the lists). Check out the lists here.
The US list.
- I Love Lucy – the seminal 1950s comedy starring Lucille Ball.
- Moon Landing – happened in 1969. Don’t listen to that silliness.
- Berlin Wall (Up + Down) – the symbol of the Cold War that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.
- Steve Jobs. Former head of Apple.
- Pisco. A South American brandy.
- Thai Food. Yum.
- Star Wars/Trek. What happens when Cap watches Star Trek (2009) and sees Kirk’s Dad?
- Nirvana, indeed a band from the early 90s.
- Films Rocky (1976) and Rocky II and (1979).
- And Sam’s suggestion, the Troubleman soundtrack, Marvin Gaye’s 1972 follow up to his seminal What’s Going On album.
- Yuri Gagarin. The Cosmonaut was the first man in space, doing so in 1961.
- Vladimir Vysotsky. A Russian singer/songwriter (and also actor) who political songs were ignored by the official government, but people loved him anyway.
- Soviet Union Dissolution – the breaking up of the block of nations occurred in 1991.
- Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears. A Russian film from 1980, it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
- Disco. Rules the airwaves in the 70s. Better than you remember.
The UK list
- Sherlock TV show. Running since 2010, it puts Sherlock and Holmes in the modern day. Again, what would happen after Cap meets Doctor Strange. He did also meet Everett Ross (in Civil War).
- The Beatles. As Alan Partridge said, Wings were the band the Beatles could have been.
- World Cup Final 1966. England won over West Germany. Held at Wembley, it was the most watched television event ever in the U.K.
- Sean Connery. Legendary actor, and still the best Bond.
South Korean list
- Dance Dance Revolution. A popular dancing arcade game.
- Ji-Sung Park. South Korean football player who joined Manchester United in 2005. He could probably keep up with Cap’s speed.
- Oldboy. The 2003 action film by South Korean director Park Chan-wook. Evans would later star in Park’s Snowpiercer in 2013.
- 2002 World Cup. South Korea and Japan co hosted the cup. South Korea came fourth, and Brazil won.
- France 98. Refers to the team that won the 1998 World Cup, which was also held in France.
- Louis de Funés. French actor and comedian, a huge star in Europe for many decades in hundreds of roles.
- Coluche. Another comedian, who had a distinct, absurd style. He even ran for President in the 80s.
- Daft Punk. Pioneering French duo, known for their robotic head masks. Wonder what Tony Stark thinks of them.
- The Fifth Element. 1997 Luc Besson directed gonzo sci if adventure.
- World Cup (something). Italians love football.
- Vasco Rossi. A huge rock star in Italy, with 26 albums under his name. He has his own edition of the SongStar video game.
- Roberto Benigni. Italian comedian and actor, know for his manic energy. He is best known internationally for his film Life Is Beautiful (1997).
- Ferrari’s victories at F1 Grand Prix. The Italian deluxe car brand has won many times.
- The Chilean Miners. 33 miners were trapped in 2010 in a mine near Copiapo, Chile. They were all rescued.
- Maradona’s Hand Of God. Referring to a controversial goal in the 1986 World Cup between Argentina and England, where the legendary Diego Maradona scored a controversial goal, apparently with his hand.
- Shakira. Modern pop star. Her hips don’t lie.
- Neri Vela (1st Mexican Astronaut). Rudolpho Neri Vela is indeed Mexico’s first astronaut. He flew in a NASA shuttle in 1985.
- Octavio Paz (Nobel Winner). Mexican poet. Known for works like The Labyrinth of Solitude in 1950. He won that Nobel prize in 1990.
- Rafa Nadal. Rafael Nadal is considered one of the tennis greats.
- Chupa Chups. Famous tiny lollipop originating in Spain.
- Héroes del Silencio. A Spanish rock band who were huge in the late 80s and early 90s.
- 1978 Constitution. It is the current supreme law in Spain, when it became a democracy.
- Camilo José Cela. Spanish writer, known for his works like The Hive (1950).
- AC/DC. A hard rock band from Australia and a favourite of Tony Stark’s. They did a lot of music for Iron Man 2 (2010).
- Space Travel. Almost nothing to do with Australia and just a note in general.
- Steve Irwin. A real life crocodile hunter a nature and animal enthusiast in TV.
- Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. A sixties Australian TV series about a boy and his kangaroo.
- Tim Tams. A delicious chocolate biscuit from Australia. Your author literally had two just before writing this.
- Ayrton Senna. The great Brazilian F1 racing car driver. He died in 1994.
- Wagner Moura. Great Brazilian actor. Best known to international audiences as the star of Narcos.
- Xuxa. Stage name of a children’s show presenter turned megastar in Brazil.
- Mamonas Assassinas. A satirical rock band who all died in a plane crash in 1996.
- Chaves. There’s lots of Chaves, but this is a reference to the sitcom El Chavo del Ocho.
- Currywurst. A particularly potent and probably unhealthy sausage. Bloody delicious.
- Oktoberfest. A big beer festival held in Munich. Starts in September so it’s slightly confusing when friends tell you they are going to Oktoberfest but it’s not October.
Phew! Interesting it’s only the top of the list that changes. Most likely the cost of digitally changing the text around Chris Evan‘s writing hand was not worth it.
A car pulls up. It’s a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7.
In the car, it’s Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow. Played by Scarlett Johansson.
I didn’t want to just be kind of thrown into this movie because, “Oh, it was a part of this franchise and we need to fill this in.” It needed to make sense obviously. And, you know, I think what we worked really hard on and what we found was actually this kind of commonality between the two characters. I mean, they come funnily enough from kind of opposite ends of the moral spectrum in some ways. But there’s a certain kind of, I think a – I think that they are both characters that have no tolerance, you know, for kind of “the lie.” I mean, they both – even though the Widow is certainly part of the lie in many ways and maybe Cap doesn’t totally buy into that for himself, neither one of these characters want to feel like they’re being lied to.
Mission time. We are over the Indian Ocean.
Explaining things is Brock Rumlow. He’s played by Frank Grillo.
Crossbones/Rumlow is one of Cap’s best foes, and played a crucial role in Cap’s history. He’s a soldier and former mercenary, who has worked with many of Cap’s fiercest foes like Red Skull and Baron Zemo. He played a crucial role in the Civil War comic book series as well. He also had ties to HYDRA, which will play a bigger role later in this film, although he doesn’t take the mantle of Crossbones until Civil War (2016).
He first appeared in Captain America #360 (October 1989). He was created by Mark Gruenwald and Kieron Dwyer.
Grillo has worked as a tough guy in many films such as Warrior (2011) and The Grey (2012), as well as TV shows like The Shield. Grillo told Screenrant:
For me it was. I loved the first film and I read the script and it was really fantastic. Chris Evans is really fantastic, it was a total no-brainer. Being responsible for a film so beloved by the fan boys – I love that balance.
The ship being held hostage is called the Leumarian Star. It’s a real vessel called the Sea Launch Commander, docked in Long Beach, California.
The name, Leumarian, is a reference to an underwater race in the Marvel comics.
The lead bad guy is Georges Batroc. He’s played by Georges St-Pierre.
He’s the MCU version of Batroc the Leaper. He’s a bit of a silly 60s invention with that name, but over the years other writers have turned him into simply a formidable foe, mainly for Cap. He’s also French in the comics, with a leapy kick boxing style. No silly pink costume though.
He first appeared in Tales Of Suspense #75 (March 1966) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
St-Pierre is actually a mixed martial artist from Canada. This is his most significant screen role. He’s a three-time former Welterweight Champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
One of the hostages is Agent Jasper Sitwell. He’s played by Maximiliano Hernández.
This is Hernández’s 3rd time as Sitwell in the MCU. We last saw him in The Avengers (2012). He also appeared in the Agents Of SHIELD TV (Series 1).
The aircraft has the same propeller system as the SHIELD Helicarriers.
Cap jumps out of the plane. The soldier who asks if Cap was wearing a parachute is Jack Rollins, played by Callan Mulvey.
Jack Rollins was character who had a one issue appearance in the comics. He was an undercover SHIELD agent that was captured. His only appearance was in Nick Fury vs SHIELD #1 (June 1988) and he was created by Bob Harris and Paul Neary.
Cap jumping out without a parachute is a nod to the first issue of The Ultimates, a reimagining of the Avengers published in 2002. The MCU takes a lot of elements from that series.
Cap fights several soldiers on the boat.
Note Cap’s costume. It’s new, and a lot less colourful than what we saw in The Avengers (2012). It’s more in line with the costume he wore in the comic book series Super Soldier, published in 2011. Cap’s shield is also muted in colour.
We briefly see Sitwell being held hostage with the others.
Black Widow kicks some ass too.