Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)    1 Stars

“In heroes we trust.”


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Cast: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson

Synopsis: As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with another super soldier, the black widow, to battle a new threat from old history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.




Stan Lee’s Marvel seems hell-bent on creating a cinematic parallel universe if Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and its numerous brethren) is anything to go by. Names familiar to fans of the comics – but alien to most of the rest of us – are randomly thrown around with a disarming casualness which suggests that if we’re not familiar with their owners then we should be – and no doubt will be x number of years in the future. There are relatively minor characters in The Winter Soldier who play a major part in the comic books, and who seem earmarked for larger roles in future movies, while sly references to future developments – The Winter Soldier briefly wielding Captain America’s shield, for example (wink, wink) – litter the film like a paper trail. It all suggests a certain presumption on the part of the filmmakers which, while demonstrating an admirable commitment also whiffs a little of arrogance.

The movie’s ok – in fact it’s better than many similar cookie-cutter super-hero flicks. As he learns to adjust to a world far removed from the one he remembers, Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans – Puncture) gets wind of a plot for world domination by the covert Hydra organisation who, it turns out, are behind the majority of global wars and terrorist attacks since WWII as part of a plan to destabilise global society to such a degree that the populace will freely sacrifice their freedom in return for security. With a regular frequency that grows a little demoralising, an action set-piece comes along every five minutes or so, pitting Rogers and his SHIELD allies Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie – Pain & Gain, Runner Runner) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson – The Prestige) against various foes. The fight scenes are rapid-cut, but in a way that still allows us to follow what’s going on, although the 12A rating means that they’re strangely bloodless affairs.

You really have to buy into the whole superhero culture to get the most out of movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, otherwise its’ lack of any kind of sense of its own absurdity starts to irritate. A movie featuring a guy flying around with mechanical wings really shouldn’t take itself so seriously. It’s nice to see Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Robocop) reining it in for a change, though, and any film which has the ever-so-proper Jenny Agutter (An American Werewolf in London, The Parole Officer) fighting like a Ninja has to be worth a watch…

(Reviewed 8th December 2014)

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