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Movie review: Captain America - The Winter Soldier (12A)

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to putthe world at risk.

Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The ninth movie in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ is another breathtakingly ambitious action thriller.

It also sets itself up as a 1970s-style paranoia picture before inevitably yielding to the perceived need for an explosive climax.

Rocketeer director Joe Johnston directed the visually stylish first Captain America movie as an engaging character study which appreciated Second World War history.

Chris Evans is again perfect as the muscular superhero with human weaknesses.

Though lacking action film experience, sibling directors Joe and Anthony Russo (You, Me and Dupree) soon introduce giant aerial warships via Project Insight to kill terrorists before they can strike.

“I thought punishment usually came after the crime,” observes Steve Rogers (aka Captain America).

Conspiracy theories are swirling around Washington DC where Rogers is living quietly two years after being told at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) that he has been ‘asleep’ for nearly 70 years.

Rogers’ lack of pop culture awareness gives him an interesting vulnerability and world security is at risk after an attack on a senior colleague from the espionage and law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D.

With Captain America facing enemies galore, can covert operative Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and new flying ally The Falcon / Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) help him to overcome the formidable Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)?

As Bucky Barnes, he was even once rescued by best friend Steve Rogers. Later thought to have been killed during WWII, he’s now a deadly, brainwashed assassin.

In a welcome nod to 1970s’ movies like Three Days of the Condor, Robert Redford guests as senior S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Alexander Pierce, though the 3D makes the now 77-year-old star looks as if he’s gingerly walking across a Thunderbirds’ set.

Marvel Studios’ president of production Kevin Feige is on a tightrope trying to create individual blockbusters within an increasingly complex Marvel mosaic.

But Winter Soldier has enough intrigue to satisfy fans and a Heat-style street battle cements it as a stand-alone thriller, albeit one which doesn’t really reflect how ‘winter soldiers’ were 1970s’ Vietnam veterans concerned about US war crimes.

Too many close-up fist fights are fuzzy in 3D.

Chopping them could have considerably shortened the 136-minute running time, while distributors Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures might have asked for the head butts to be removed.

Don’t leave too soon, though! There’s an extra scene during the credits and one more at the death, too.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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