Captain America 2 Thoughts & Spoilers
I saw it earlier tonight at 8:30pm ET, which was a 2D show.
Captain America 2 is an incredible movie, a must see, a movie that may even top The Avengers. It's action-packed, features an excellent top-notch cast and well put together story.
If you haven't seen the movie yet, DO NOT READ BELOW.
We'll get this out of the way right now: Robert Redford plays Alexander Pierce, and contrary to internet speculation and rumors is not the Red Skull.
Okay, on to the film...(Note: Some stuff might be out of order or missing. I'll do the best I can do recall the info.)
The movie starts off with Cap jogging past Anthony Mackie with jokes made about passing Mackie on the left as Cap laps him continuously. The two end up chatting and introducing themselves. Mackie, aka Sam Wilson, is a veteran and now working at the VA. He's not in SHIELD or anything like that. Just a soldier whose wingman died in Afghanistan.
From there, Cap goes on a mission as he is ordered by SHIELD to infiltrate and take down a group of pirates that got ahold of a SHIELD boat/ship. Agents Sitwell is amongst the hostages. The pirates are Algerians, led by Georges St-Pierre as Batroc. We get some real awesome action as Cap, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo, aka Crossbones) covertly take out the pirates, which leads to a battle between Cap and Batroc. We learn Black Widow had a separate mission than Cap, which was to recover secret files, and she puts them on a flash drive. Cap wasn't too happy about that as he doesn't like the secrecy. If you are a video game fan, the scene was like something out of Black Ops, but amped up with Captain America.
Nick Fury attempts to read the files on the disk that Widow recovered, but for some reason doesn't have authority. Who encrypted the disk? "Nick Fury" did. (I believe I'm remembering that correctly).
Cap and Nick Fury have words as, again Cap isn't happy about the secrecy. Fury mentions it is compartmentalization, and then takes Cap to a restricted area introducing him to Project Insite. SHIELD is creating a force of three new Hellicarriers that are capable of taking out 1000 targets (i.e. people) per minute. They are basically airborne gunships that tap into satellites, where it is learned that Tony Stark outfitted them with repulsor technology. Cap isn't happy about this one bit mentioning that people aren't free then, etc.
Next, Fury is driving in his truck when he pulls up to a stop light, and he also called Maria Hill about something. Two cops are checking him out, with Fury making a joke. SMASH! Fury is rear-ended and front-sided by more cop cars. Then from everywhere, more cops and SWAT show up. Fury talks to his truck (sounded like JARVIS to me), which is a high-tech vehicle. It's bullet proof and can withstand a lot, etc. The bullets have no affect; so the cops (it's learned that they are not really cops as Fury's truck CPU tells him no police are in the vicinity) pull out a mobile battering ram to break the window. It takes a few tries and gets the window down to 1% strength when the truck provides Fury with a gatling gun where he takes out the bad cops. The truck comes back online and off it goes, driving by itself. Fury regains control of the wheel and asks for flight mode (recall in Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. that Coulson's car, Lola, can fly), but flight is offline. Fury requests the CPU to get him off the grid when we see The Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier throws some sort of disk that causes the truck to topple over (as seen in the trailers and TV spots). Fury looks to be pinned, with the Winter Soldier heading his way to finish him off. Fury pulls out some sort of bright flare. When the Winter Soldier gets to Fury, Fury is gone. The flare was used to burn a hole through the roof of the truck (it's upside down), and Fury escaped through a manhole or sewer.
Next, Steve Rogers is heading to his apartment where he encounters his neighbor, Emily VanCamp's character. They joke about doing laundry, etc. If I recall correctly, Steve doesn't know she is Sharon Carter (not until the end of the movie, I think). She makes a remark about him leaving his stereo on, which makes Cap think something is up. Instead of going in through the door, Cap goes in through a window to check things out. It's Nick Fury. Nick Fury is there and gives Cap the flash drive telling him not to trust anyone etc. BAM! Fury is shot! It's The Winter Soldier! Then Emily VanCamp busts in! She was ordered by Fury to pretend to be a neighbor to protect Steve Rogers and calls for an ambulance. Cap goes after The Winter Soldier! It's the same scene that the trailers and spots showed with Cap throwing his shield at the Winter Soldier, with the Winter Soldier catching it, throwing it back at Cap and escaping.
Now we see Widow, Cap, and Maria Hill at the hospital where Fury is getting operated on. He dies. Frank Grillo then tells Cap that SHIELD wants him to report back. Cap says in a minute, and then ditches the flash drive in a vending machine.
Cap goes and has a chat with Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford). Pierce asks him what Nick Fury said etc., with Cap not telling him much. Pierce says that he will let nothing and no one get in his way to uncover who killed Fury. Cap got the meaning.
Next, Cap boards an elevator with Frank Grillo. This is the Comic-Con footage where Cap takes out all the agents that are there to attack him. He escapes by smashing and jumping out the elevator glass wall. He heads back to the hospital to retrieve the flash drive out of the vending machine, where he discovers that it is gone. Who took it? Black Widow. Cap has words with Black Widow etc. They end up teaming up and go off to discover info about the flash drive. Grillo and his team are in hot pursuit. Widow tries to find out what she can about the flash drive using a public CPU, but she can't break the encryption. Grillo will be there in 9 minutes. Black Widow is able to discover the location of where the info originated, which Cap recognizes. Cap and Widow evade Grillo by pretending to be a couple (seen in set pics with Johansson and Evans kissing).
Regarding why SHIELD is hunting Cap, Pierce ordered that all of SHIELD hunt Cap as Pierce says Cap intentionally withheld info about Fury's death and is now a fugitive.
Widow and Cap's attempt to track down the source of the flash drive takes them to the base where Cap was trained in the army. It's old and not being used anymore, but Cap notices a building that doesn't belong. It turns out to be an old SHIELD facility - maybe the first one. We see pictures of Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), Howard Stark and Peggy Carter on the wall. A secret room is discovered where lots of databanks (from like the 50s or whatever) of info are spread throughout the room. There is a large monitor at the center of the room with a place to put the flash drive. Widow cracks a joke, "Shall we play a game?" - referencing the 1983 WarGames film that starred Matthew Broderick. The lights turn on, and the databanks and CPUs turn on. A camera "sees" both Widow and Cap - mentioning them by name. It turns out that the CPU is actually Dr. Arnim Zola! After WW2, as part of Project Paper Clip, he was brought over to the Allies to offer whatever assistance he could; however, due to failing health his mind was transferred to a CPU. Turns out, he created an algorithm that is capable of finding human targets - those against Hydra! It's Project Insight! Zola tells them about the Hydra New World Order etc. Then a missile is on its way to take out Widow and Cap. Cap manages to protect them both with his SHIELD and going into a subfloor. They then head to Sam Wilson's place seeking safety. Wilson then offers his assistance and joins the team.
We are then taken to a scene between Agent Sitwell and Senator Stern (Gary Shandling). They talk a bit, and then both whisper to each other "Hail Hydra." Stern goes off, and then Sitwell gets a phone call from "Alexander Pierce." Turns out it's Sam Wilson who tells Sitwell he better do what he says or else - a red dot is then shown on Sitwell's shirt. They get ahold of Sitwell and are trying to get info from him, but Sitwell doesn't think Cap has it in him to do anything about it. Sitwell is then thrown off of a building when Wilson as The Falcon makes his presence known saving Sitwell, who then spills the beans about Hydra infiltrating SHIELD and Project Insite etc. They all drive off when the Winter Soldier attacks and pulls Sitwell out of the car and throws him out the window into oncoming traffic! Sitwell is dead! A huge battle then takes place between them all with the Winter Soldier's mask being knocked off. Cap realizes it's Bucky! Cap says something to Bucky, which makes Bucky remember (and I think then Bucky goes off leaving them alone). Then Cap, Falcon, and Widow are surrounded and captured by SHIELD.
Then we see the Winter Soldier being questioned by Pierce. Winter Soldier seems unsure about himself etc, with Pierce then ordering him to be wiped and brain-washed again.
Next, we see Cap, Widow and Falcon captured driving in the back of a transport vehicle with two guards accompanying them. One of the guards smashes the other! It's Agent Maria Hill! She takes them to a secure bunker where we learn Nick Fury is still alive. He faked his death using something Banner created - some sort of serum that makes the heart beat only one time per minute mimicking death. Fury joked Banner tried to create something to calm the Hulk. It's decided that they have to take out the three hellicarriers, but Fury wants to save them as he still believes in SHIELD. Everyone there tells Fury SHIELD has been infiltrated and that taking out Hydra means SHIELD will be no more as well. Fury agrees and gives them CPU chips (looks like memory cards) which will override Project Insite.
Falcon and Cap head to the helicarriers where Cap battles the Winter Soldier again.
As this has all been happening, Pierce has been in contact with the World Security Council, who is in favor of Project Insite. Pierce invited the four members of the Council to SHIELD headquarters to witness the launch of it. As Insite is about to go online, Cap gets on the SHIELD headquarter's PA system stating that Hydra has taken over led by Pierce (awesome speech). We then see SHIELD Agents Vs. SHIELD Agents. Grillo is working for Hydra and launches the hellicarriers early after Cap's outs them all. The World Council is taken back by what is happening. Pierce tries to get them to see his side of things, but they will have none of that. Pierce then looks to kill one of them, when an older lady member of the Council takes out the bad SHIELD agents and Pierce - it's Black Widow! She then has a plan to dump all the SHIELD and Hydra info on the internet to expose them all, which Pierce notes will expose her past history. However, two senior SHIELD agents are needed to unlock the info. Enter Nick Fury! Fury and Pierce unlock the system via biometrics with Fury using his "backdoor" as Pierce had everything regarding Fury wiped from SHIELD. Fury's "backdoor?" It's his other eye! Fury lifts off the eyepatch revealing his scarred and blinded eye! Pierce isn't finished just yet as the security pins he gave the World Council also contain a lethal shock. And Black Widow is wearing one! Widow and Fury put down their guns, but then Widow uses some sort of electric shock on herself. Fury grabs his gun and puts two in the heart of Pierce.
Falcon and Cap manage to put the chips into the Hellicarrier. Maria Hill takes control and orders the Hellicarriers to destroy one another. The final battle between Cap and Winter Soldier saw Cap get shot a bunch of times before he placed the final chip into the slot. The hellicarrier is being destroyed and takes out SHIELD headquarters. Bucky ends up trapped under some debris. Cap helps out his old buddy, but the Winter Soldier then beats on Cap, who then tells the Winter Soldier that he is Bucky etc. and recites a line from their youth. Cap then falls into the water as the hellicarrier bottoms out. We get a scene reminiscent of the first movie when Cap fell into the water. Everything goes dark. Then a hand is scene grabbing Cap. It's the Winter Soldier! He drags Cap to the shore and walks off.
Next, Widow is being interviewed by Congress or whatever. They threaten to put her into jail, but she says they won't because they need people like her etc. Then we see Senator Stern getting arrested by the FBI. We see Sharon Carter has joined the CIA. We see that Maria Hill is at Stark Tower looking for a job.
Cap awakens where Falcon as at his side at the hospital.
The group is at Nick Fury's "tombstone" where he invites them to go with him. They decline etc. Fury's tombstone has an Easter Egg reference to Pulp Fiction with an epitaph from Ezekiel 25:17."The path of the righteous man..." I also think this is a reference to an earlier conversation between Cap and Fury as well.
Fury is shown taking his eye patch off putting on sunglasses, going underground.
Widow tells Cap she has to reinvent herself etc, and that she is going off on her own now that everybody knows all her secrets. She tells Cap to ask out the Agent 13 - her name is Sharon.
There's a joke between Cap and Falcon referencing the first scene of the movie and "passing on the left."
Mid-Credit scene: Directed by Joss Whedon featuring a lead into The Avengers: Age of Ultron with Baron Von Strucker who has Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch captured. It's mentioned that Hydra has other locations that are unknown etc. Update: It also looked as if the staff Loki wielded from The Avengers was in their possession (and possibly Infinity Gem).
Post-Credit scene: Directed by the Russo Bros. featuring The Winter Soldier. The movie also saw Cap visiting the Smithsonian and his own "Captain America" exhibit. The post-credit scene featured Bucky doing the same.
Stan Lee cameo: As Cap becomes a fugitive in the movie, he needs a uniform so he goes to the Smithsonian to get his original costume from Captain America: The First Avenger. Stan Lee plays a security guard where he states he is going to get fired because the costume is gone.
The movie also featured a bunch of nods to the first movie as well with skinny Cap, Hugo Weaving, etc.
Doctor Strange: It was learned that Hydra created Project Insite to target threats as Pierce mentions killing 20 million to save 7 billion. It's learned that Stephen Strange was on the list that Hydra thought of as being a threat (I think the list also may have referenced Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, which tied into the mid-credit scene).
The fight choreography was pretty bleepin' awesome. I was impressed as a number of fight techniques were used. Cap's obviously learned a thing to two compared to the previous movies. We saw over-the-shoulder throws, wrist breaks, kicks, punches and more. Another bonus was the use of the shield, which I felt was done really well. Overall the physical aspect of Captain America 2 was better than any of the other Marvel movies that preceded it.
It will also be interesting to see what happens with ABC's Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD, as last episode tied into the movie with Sitwell, and possibly Ward or May being Hydra agents based on what went down. My theory that Pierce was the Clairvoyant seems to be shot, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the remaining episodes. I will say that Coulson was definitely missed in Captain America 2 (where's Coulson?!), but hopefully we'll find out his thoughts in the next episode. It will also be interesting to see if Coulson and his team (or what remains) go off on their own.
My 9-year-old came with me to see the movie and absolutely loved it as well.
The movie was great. Definitely go see it.