Captain America: the many layers of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Andrew Hernandez, Invader EIC

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” co-directed by brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, brought a look at post-Avengers Chris Rogers, Captain America. Rogers, as any other person who woke up about 70 years in the future, was still adapting to a new world. Not long after the opening credits left the screen, Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow, drove in. Romanoff and Rogers’ relationship was one to watch throughout the film. A continuous comedic theme had the writers playing off Rogers adaption to a new world with Romanoff continuously suggesting different women for him to take out (do not worry, it did not get too cheesy). Captain America was on a quest to save millions of people from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s stolen technology but this proved easier said than done. With a series of plot twists that left Cap’ unsure who to trust, Agent Romanoff and himself ended up on a mission to save S.H.I.E.L.D., or at least save people from S.H.I.E.L.D. In an unexpected turn of events, Marvel crammed Hydra into the thick of the madness, leaving many irreparable changes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Russo Directors’ did an amazing job developing the characters and creating a story line that included Marvel’s deep repertoire. Their implementation of the television hit, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” proved Marvel is creating an all inclusive Universe of characters.

“Our first Captain America film was a World War II picture, and the next is a political thriller,” explained Marvel President, Kevin Feige, to scifinow.co.uk, on what Marvel had set out to create with the second installment.

Inductive reasoning from Avengers Phase One (the set of films leading up the first Avengers film) would imply that “Captain America 2” has the most to do with setting up the upcoming “Avengers: Age of Ultron film.” Stakes were high for this estimated $170 billion film, according to imdb.com, with more than just the Captain America franchise at stake.

Rogers found himself immersed in S.H.I.E.L.D., the secret agency that brought the first Avengers film together, after the Battle of New York had been won. The first Captain America film had Hydra, a pseudo-division within Nazi Germany that tested and created next generation weapons, as the main antagonist. In the sequel, Marvel sculpted the plot twists perfectly, ensuring that Hydra was still front and center despite Nazi Germany falling many years prior. The use of the Winter Soldier was unfortunately minimal, but still had a major effect on the plotline.

“Captain America 2” is most likely going to be the film in Phase Two (the second set of movies leading up to “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) that will bridge the gap between the first two Avengers movies. Both post credit scenes offer the most evidence for this. This movie’s plotline, or other, will likely play a part, no matter how small, in the upcoming Avengers sequel, as will the other Avengers’ and their movies. With “Guardians of the Galaxy” coming out later this summer it will be interesting to see how a new film fits into the slew of sequels that were Phase Two.

I have a feeling Hydra will be a part of the “Avengers 2,” but even if they are not, Marvels almost perfect hand will be adapting the story to fit in later films.

Avid Marvel fans understand that “Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.” (Marvel’s terrific television adaption of the Avengers Universe) has been irreversibly affected by this film. This film had an entire TV show on its shoulders, let alone a franchise. The show was undoubtedly changed as the final episodes of the first season showed viewers, but then, so was the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe the moment Rogers and Romanoff hit the big screen in this follow up film. The tensions built during the film set stress levels high and created a large cliff hanger; where does the story go now? Now that everything built around S.H.I.E.L.D. has been destroyed how will the characters known and loved by many come together for “Age of Ultron?” Is another linchpin death in the Avengers’ future? These are the unanswered questions left after Marvel’s audience watched the Phase Two movies that have been released as of now. This is why Marvel can get away with the changes from the comics to the big screen, they have a plan. They know what they are doing and they want the audience to need more.

Marvel created this need by introducing a connected Universe. This franchise created a more inclusive story by using “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as the bridge that connected the Phase Two movies for viewers. The events in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” revealed that Marvel had created a franchise that not only affects the movies, but also affects the TV show, thus creating a bigger threat to all Marvel properties.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s” beautiful story and jaw dropping plot twists created a thriller unlike any other. The cinematography had blood pumped and eyes opened. The film editors knew when to cut to the close up scenes and understood when it was okay to pause for Agent Romanoff’s horrifying vulnerability that created the intimate moments of the story; the final moments between Steve Rogers and the Winter Soldier an understanding for the need of Rogers’ closure. Stakes were higher, Rogers understood more pop culture references and the film was an expectation breaker of a sequel.

In the end, I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. Co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo brought the Captain America Franchise, and the Marvel Franchise, to a whole new level. I can’t wait to see what’s next for S.H.I.E.L.D. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Marvel.