The Captain America sequel not only had to impress upon the underwhelming first movie, but also amongst the sea of other Marvel money-making features. Does it? Yes, kind of.
After the events of the Avengers, Chris Evans as the Captain continues working for Nick Fury’s (Jackson) SHIELD organisation. When a mole is suspected within the organisation, the world faces a huge terrorist attack that the Captain and Black Widow (Johannson) must stop by embarking on a mystery thriller.
Yeah you read right, this is the first movie which isn’t all out action (though there is plenty of that). Marvel have finally churned out a feature with brains, a thriller which can’t help but feel relevant to the current state of the world. The cast are fine, all as good as they consistently are within the Marvel movies; Evans continues the Captain but this time develops him into an actually likeable figure rather than a stereotype for the American Dream, thank god. Black Widow is given more to do this time, though the extended scenes with her and the Captain grow a little tedious. Sebastien Stan as the Winter Soldier is fine and fairly intimidating despite having little to say whilst Anthony Wilson is the newcomer as Falcon, injecting the must needed fun into the film.
And I can’t state how badly needed that fun is. The movie takes itself very seriously as a thriller and was quite jarring against the other action-packed comedies Marvel make. It does have plenty of elements of this though which are complimented by a fairly engaging and intelligent plot line which was engrossing… for the most part. Unfortunately, with the over two hour running time it grew a little boring. Non the less, Marvel went for something new here and on the whole it works. I love a big final battle but the Winter Soldier doesn’t really cut it as the main bad guy, something the feel could definitely have improved on; the plot reveal of an additional villain is classy but mundane on the whole. I predicted the entire plot of the movie after 10 minutes, but maybe that’s just me.
Effects are all top notch, on the whole it is better than the first and certainly better than the Thor movies. It is one of the only Marvel movies that can stand on its own without feeling like a stepping stone to the Avengers 2 and for that, I give it three stars.
Unique, mostly entertaining and visually impressive, The Winter Soldier is a welcome addition to the Marvel freight line. Evans captains this to success.