Those two words came up instantly in my head after watching The Winter Soldier, as the movie offer the most impact I've seen so far to The Avengers franchise than any other heroes' individual outing thus far.
The Winter Soldier takes place two years after The Avengers, where Captain America continues to work with SHIELD even though he doesn't like it, as he has no other way to go after 70 years in cryostasis and teamed up with Black Widow.
This basis set up for a more grounded approach in comic book movies, as the story mostly heavily influenced by the state of our real world, driven by fear and heavily political. This creative and different approach makes Captain America's second solo outing one of the best Marvel's adaptation in recent years, and aside from The Avenger, this is the best Marvel Cinematic Universe movie since the first Iron Man.
As for action sequences go, The Winter Soldier has also adopted a different approach. Contrast to the heavy CGI of previous films, Marvel this time has opted to go for a more grounded approach, with CGI sequences much reduced this time around. This has resulted The Winter Soldier to have a more exciting and realistic actions compared to its siblings.
Character-wise, The Winter Soldier is also brilliantly done. Chris Evans is Captain America, just like Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man, he really portrayed the character well, Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson is back as the super duper sexy femme fatale secret spy, Black Widow, and Falcon is really really cool! The Winter Soldier himself is a really good character, he really makes the movie feel terrifying in many ways and exciting as well. Cobie Smulders is also back as Agent Maria Hill, whom has a more expanded role than The Avengers, but I still can't get over the Robin Scherbatsky of How I Met Your Mother, whom she also portrayed. Captain America: The Winter Soldiers features an actual and great character development that is interesting to watch.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fine and smart entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It serves up with a smarter script, interesting character developments, terrifying villain and a more grounded and realistic approach to the action sequences. It is definitely worth a watch!
Pros: Smart and interesting script, heavy impact to the overall franchise, great character development, terrifying and well-matched villain, realistic action sequences
Cons: That Robin thing, although it is smart, the plot could be bit better.
SCORE: 4.5/5 (Watch)