“As long as I can remember, I just wanted to do what is right,” says Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans). “I don’t know what that is anymore.” (Welcome to the club.) Steve talks to Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), with whom he shared a chaste kiss in 1945 in the first Captain America film. But that was – in film time – almost 70 years ago. Peggy’s grown old. And Steve’s 95, but he’s been “born out of time,” as Nazi scientist Dr. Zola (Toby Jones) says of himself, later in the film. Don’t worry about these temporal complications. Pay attention to the here-and-now. There’s plenty going on in this action, sci-fi, comic-book adventure.
Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? What’s Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) up to? What’s Alexander Pierce’s (Robert Redford) game? Will you enjoy this smart comic book flick? I did.
Playing Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Evans is earnest, brave and modest, just as he was in the first film, but now he has a sense of humor. “Before we get started,” he tells bad guys in a crowded elevator, “does anyone want to get out?” Then all hell breaks loose. So he’s tough, too. “Anyone gets in my way,” he says to powerful Secretary of Defense Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), “they’ll regret it – anyone.” Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson are Nick Fury and Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. Both have multiple opportunities to reveal character as well as battle bad guys – whoever they are. Anthony Mackie is Sam Wilson/Falcon who has really cool flying gear. His and Evans’ scenes play especially well.
Others in the cast include Sebastian Stan as Steve’s old friend James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes and Robert Redford as duplicitous Alexander Pierce. Toby Jones is the menacing voice of Nazi scientist Dr. Arnim Zola. Hayley Atwell plays aging Peggy Carter, Emily VanCamp is Sharon Carter and Stan Lee has a cameo as the Smithsonian guard.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is smart, well-written and well-played comic-book action. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote the script, brothers Anthony and Joe Russo directed. Everyone keeps the story unwinding in sometimes unexpected ways and the requisite action going. It’s a paranoid plot: some good guys may actually be bad, as in the Jason Bourne franchise, and – whoever the bad guys are – they are well-hidden and world-threatening, as in the James Bond franchise. Car chases and lots of guns.
Rated PG-13 for violence, gunplay and action, it runs 128 minutes. Not for little kids who lost interest about 10 minutes in.
Second “Captain America,”
S.H.I.E.L.D. into trouble runs,
Who’s “the Winter Soldier”?
It’s Nazis, action, guns.