Captain America: Winter Soldier vs Black Panther
By Alexis Tucker, Managing Editor
|Captain America: Winter Soldier||Black Panther|
|Running Time||2 hours, 16 minutes||2 hours, 15 minutes|
|Opening Weekend (USA)||$95,023,721||$202,003,951|
|Cumulative Worldwide Gross||$714,766,572||$940,379,601|
|Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB)||7/10 (70%)
Statistics from IMDB.com and rottentomatoes.com
The case for Captain America: Winter Soldier
Captain America: Winter Soldier was a rollercoaster. The twist with the Winter Soldier was phenomenal, and the film spent so much time developing the villain before the reveal, which made the surprise even more fulfilling. Not knowing who to trust makes this a good spy movie, and when watching Captain America: Civil War, it really shows that some threads were going somewhere. For example, Winter Soldier killing some people that turn out to be Tony Stark’s parents.
There are many pronounced scenes. The entire section with Zola on the computer is fantastic because it introduces the idea of putting one’s conscious in a computer and commentates on free will, and Stephen Strange is mentioned here. Seeing Peggy again is heartbreaking, and the audience can see the pain on Steve’s face, especially when realizing she has dementia. The moment in the elevator where Steve recognizes that he has to fight the men in there, and he begins his time as a fugitive. Cap stealing/wearing his old suit represents him leading once again and going back to old ways.
The case for Black Panther
The African culture represented in Black Panther creates a very different feeling, which isn’t replicated in any other Marvel movie. The culture is really well-developed, so it brings the audience into this world where everything is different. Killmonger is a perfect gray villain. Viewers can really sympathize and understand what Eric is thinking and why he wants things to happen. He wants to inflict pain because he is thinking, “the world didn’t care about me, so why should I care in return.” The ending with Eric is poetic. The entire movie walks the line between being light-hearted and carrying a serious message about division, and Black Panther pulls this off very well.
T’Challa isn’t a typical superhero either. He is only a “superhero” because he has taken the mantle of Black Panther, a title, along with being King. T’Challa fails as well. He isn’t infallible like Captain America, Black Widow or even Thor.
Poking Holes—spoilers ahead
As much as Black Panther is an awesome and capable fighter, the ending doesn’t exactly make sense, and there were a few scenes that felt a little over the top comic-booky. Wakanda should have been discovered a long time ago because it’s possible someone could just accidentally walk into the area, but that is just being nitpicky.
Side note: In this universe, could UFOs be attributed to Wakanda’s futuristic technology?
There are some lasting questions in Winter Soldier. Why put the flashdrive in a vending machine when anyone can get it; how does Black Widow know it’s there? How, when, where did widow disguise as one of the council members? Where is that council member as she isn’t shown? Did that council member actually die? These questions lead to some parts of the storyline being completely by chance, and this comes off as slightly lazy writing when there could be a slight mention explaining these actions, especially when the entire movie is centered around Steve and Natasha.
Conclusion Black Panther WINS!
As much as Winter Soldier was a good, solid movie and an amazing sequel, Black Panther has to take the cake for this one. Everything about it was different from Wakanda’s culture and architecture to the main “villain.” Killmonger felt less like a villain and more like an anti-hero because he stood for something, and the audience could understand why he thought the way he did. Winter Soldier was building off the previous movies while Black Panther had its own narrative separate from the other heroes, which was important for T’Challa to grow in the hearts and eyes of fans.
|Captain America: Winter Soldier||Black Panther|
| “I’m with you ’til the end of the line.”
|“You cannot let your father’s actions define your life. You get to decide what kind of king you want to be”
|“Hey, fellas. Either one of you know where the Smithsonian is? I’m here to pick up a fossil.”
|“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”
|“S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be. And it’s getting damn near past time for you to get with that program, Cap.”
|“Why, so you can lock me up? Nah. Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, ’cause they knew death was better than bondage.”