Captain America: The Winter Soldier | 2014
Unlike Captain America: The First Avenger, which was made almost entirely in the UK, the sequel is filmed in – surprise! – America.
The film opens in the real Washington DC, though, with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) impressing Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) with his jogging prowess alongside the Potomac River and around the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial, before he’s picked up by Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) to help sort out a hostage situation in the ‘Indian Ocean’.
Following the ‘Battle of New York’ (see Avengers Assemble), ‘Triskelion’, the impressive SHIELD HQ has been constructed on Theodore Roosevelt Island, at the foot of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge in DC. After Rogers confronts Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) here about a certain lack of transparency over the piracy mission, he’s taken down for a peek at the vast ‘Project Insight’ weapons facility, supposedly deep beneath the Potomac.
Of course, it’s all faked, but the Triskelion’s expansive glass-roofed lobby is in Ohio. It’s the brand new (as in, 2012) atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, in the University Circle district.
Rogers bikes across town to the ‘Smithsonian’s Captain America Exhibition’, which is really only a few hundred yards away, housed in the Western Reserve Historical Society History Center, 10825 East Boulevard, just north of the art gallery. The film is able to take advantage of the museum’s extensive Crawford Auto Aviation Collection of period automobiles, aircraft, bicycles, motorcycles and related accessories.
Having been reminded of his earlier life, Rogers heads off to pay a visit to the aged Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). The nursing home where his 95-year-old one-time girlfriend resides is the venerable 1915 mansion at 2178 Harcourt Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. And it’s still not much of a journey for him – this is just southeast of the museum district.
It becomes obvious something sinister is going on when Nick Fury is suddenly attacked by cops on the streets of ‘DC’, and finds the security of his SUV compromised. The attack is launched at the corner of East 6th Street and Rockwell Avenue, in the heart of downtown Cleveland, and pursued along Superior Avenue, where he’s confronted by the mysterious Winter Soldier before finally being able to effect a subterranean escape.
With Fury out of the picture, head of the World Security Council Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) begins to delve into the circumstances of the former chief, and Cap finds himself at odds with – and then on the run from – the organisation.
He escapes the Triskelion, but the roadblock set up to prevent his escape is actually on the Lorain Road Bridge over the Rocky River and Valley Parkway, Fairview Park west of Cleveland, where he’s even attacked by one of SHIELD’s Quinjets.
Running out of allies, Cap links up with Natasha. A convenient Apple store gives them the opportunity to access the the contents of a memory stick given to Cap by Fury (and to give the MacBook Pro a moment of product placement). The shopping mall, with its fountain pools, is Cleveland’s Tower City Center, 230 West Huron Road. It’s on an escalator here that the couple put on a public display of affection to disconcert SHIELD agents. The Center occupies the rear of the Terminal Tower, overlooking Public Square (which became ‘Stuttgart’ for Avengers Assemble).
Learning just how deeply SHIELD has been infiltrated, Cap and Natasha seek help from Sam Wilson at his apartment, 2193 West 7th Street at Novak Alley, in Cleveland’s Tremont district.
Wilson sets out to find agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández), discovering him cosying up to Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) at the Occidental Restaurant of the Willard Washington DC Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Yes, it really is DC this time, and a hotel featured in another futuristic conspiracy movie, Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report.
Stillwell is ‘invited’ for a ride but, before he can reveal much, he’s snatched from the car and there follows a furious battle with the Winter Soldier on Lakeside at West 3rd Street (downtown Cleveland again) where the shocking identity of the masked warrior is revealed – shocking if you’re not a fan who already knows all the twists, that is.
The Soldier is whisked away to be ‘wiped’ and rebooted in what is shown to be the Cleveland Trust Building, at the southeast corner of East 9th Street and Euclid Avenue (did you recognise this as the ‘New York’ bank from which Captain America previously rescued cornered civilians in Avengers Assemble?).
Cap and his crew regroup to plan their fightback against the takeover of SHIELD in a grungy concrete bunker. This temporary base is the forbidding Lakeview Cemetery Dam, a huge concrete-filled dam in the middle of Lakeview Cemetery, 12316 Euclid Avenue, again not far from University Circle in Cleveland.
The cemetery is, incidentally, last resting place of President James Garfield but, more importantly for film fans, for the ashes of professional Cleveland grump Harvey Pekar (immortalised by Paul Giamatti in American Splendor) and of the legendary Prohibition agent Elliot Ness (immortalised by Kevin Costner in The Untouchables).
If you’re wondering about Los Angeles, the studio filming was at the Raleigh Manhattan Beach Studios, south of the city, and a few odds and ends were filmed in the area, including the hospital in which Cap and Wilson recuperate, which is the St Vincent Medical Center, 2131 West 3rd Street, near downtown.