By Karan Dholakia
Off the heels of a pretty awesome Thor flick, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the next entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It's a pretty big year for Marvel, with Guardians of The Galaxy coming to theatres in August, Amazing Spider-Man 2 tomorrow (May 2nd for the US! - What!?), X-Men: Days of Future Past around the corner with a May 22 release date, there's so much to look forward to.
With the exception of Spider-Man (at least until Sony stops hogging the property), and the X-Men, who don't really have any involvement within this particular universe.
The Guardians of The Galaxy film seems to have a small role in the Avengers/MCU, but really, its The Age of Ultron where things are REALLY gonna heat up.
Right now though, The Winter Soldier.
The film takes place two years after The Battle of New York, and Captain Steve Rogers is beginning to (only just) settle in to modern day America.
Things are generally going well for Rogers, until S.H.I.E.L.D. and America are threatened by an individual named The Winter Soldier.
Turns out this very skilled and badass gentleman has been present throughout history for some time, but our hero Captain America has been absent for most of his diabolical exploits.
We discover some shocking truths about this Winter fellow, and the threat becomes very real.
As a standalone film in the MCU, Captain America delivers some cool action scenes, beautifully choreographed combat/stunt work, respectable dialogue and some sweet references to the rest of the Avengers; though often times you may find yourself questioning where the hell they actually are when things are going down. Seriously.
Some minor incoherencies aside, it really is cool how the events occurring in history are linked to the events in the Marvel Universe.
In terms of ranking it amongst the other standalone Marvel flicks, this would most definitely be at the top, with Iron Man following closely behind and Thor below that.
The Winter Soldier delves further into the Captain America lore that average moviegoers may not be aware of, and reintroduces those familiar with the franchise with faces from the past.
By the end of the film, we have a good idea as to where we are in the grand scheme of things, and the post-credit sequences(there are two, one mid-credits, one post- be sure to stay for both) open the door to the future of Marvel.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a very welcome entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and only adds fuel to the already mammoth franchise that is The Avengers.