Captain America: The Winter Soldier continues the furious pace set by Marvel. Famed for many comic-book titles such as Spider-man and Thor, Marvel has recently enjoyed a cinematic renaissance. With technology finally catching up with its fantasy, its characters have had many big-screen outings.
This latest effort is a sequel to the 2011 hit. A more confident entry, Captain America: The Winter Soldier provides a dazzling spectacle doing justice to Jack Kirby’s and Joe Simon’s creation.
Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) tries to adjust to his new life. Attempting to become a hero for a modern era, he is aided by The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) among others. Facing a new threat when a villain dubbed The Winter Soldier emerges, Rogers springs to action. The Soldier’s presence unearths a conspiracy involving SHIELD agent Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and its mysterious boss Alexander Pearce (Robert Redford). Untangling the web of intrigue, Rogers tries to fight dark forces trying to destroy all he has fought for.
If the first Captain America film was an ode to war movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier riffs 1970s conspiracy thrillers. Works such as All The President’s Men come to mind which is appropriate given Redford appears in both. His presence lends an air of unpredictability in a clandestine plot providing more depth than in other similar productions.
Anthony and Joe Russo’s tight direction wraps these events in a neat package full of visual flair and exciting rhythm. Their handling of the action sequences counter-balance quieter moments which allow each to effectively hold attention. They are more than well served by the strong cast who bring much energy. Most have been in previous Marvel films but still ensure the material is enlivened by their fresh rendering of their roles. Their performances aren’t swamped too much by the CGI which is thankfully used minimally in favour of developing an engaging story.
Based on the evidence Captain America: The Winter Soldier provides, Marvel’s cinema adventures will continue. An exciting and intriguing superhero movie, it does the job in conjuring escapist entertainment for which the Marvel movie genre is quickly establishing.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 8