Marvel Studios' latest movie and sequel to their 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger. The first film set the scene with Steve Rogers changed into a super soldier by a genetic experiment during World War Two, then he ends up frozen in time to wake in 2012 and become a member of the Avengers.
Jump to 2014 and Captain is struggling to find his place in the modern world while working for Nick Fury ( Samuel L Jackson) and the government agency SHIELD. The Winter Soldier is a assassin who appears to try and kill Nick Fury – call to action Captain America along with fellow Avenger The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to stop this deadly new foe.
The film is a 1970s political conspiracy film in disguise – the film feels like a mix between James Bond and All The Presidents Men. What the Directors, the Russo Brothers, have done is cleverly work on a very complex intriguing plot which without giving too much away – deals with a conspiracy within SHIELD itself.
What could of easily been a by the numbers fan action-athon follow up, basically joining the dots between action set pieces and one liners. Thankfully what you have her is a solid Comic Book movie, which relies on a strong plot, excellently played out character development – not just the lead role too.
Chris Evans here is given a meaty bit a character to own – Rogers here has come to terms with what he has lost and where he is. He is a soldier however who is at a point in his life where he doesn’t know who he’s fighting for any more, he’s a man who is lost to what cause he stands for. Evans is solid in this film and owns the screen when he is on it, in Avengers I thought of him as a weak link in the Marvel armour, but in this film he has shown that Captain America has a place in modern story telling.
The supporting cast are as expect superb – in brief. Samuel L Jackson as ever gives a dominating performance as the mighty Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson has very well written Black Widow here. Unlike when she was introduced in Iron Man 2 – where she was merelypretty fodder for the teenage boys. Here the character is seen venerable, witty and extremely strong woman. Hands down the best supporting actor in this film is the steely Robert Redford – who just by being in this genre fair brings kudos to the film and he as you would expect every time he’s on screen ups all the game around him.
This film in my opinion is the best Marvel Studio film to date – its complex, twists and turns will keep you entertained without the action scenes. Mind you the action scenes here are grounded in a reality and add real jeopardy too the film like no other Marvel Studio film. If you loved the Avengers then this is for you and if you’ve never seen any of the Marvel films this is the film to watch to convert you into seeing that the Marvel Movie Universe has grown up.
5 out of 5 - Rhys