Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Running Time: 136 mins
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an American film and the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After reawaking in present day, Captain America struggles to accustom himself to this new world, whilst also coming under threat from a ruthless villain from the Cold War era: The Winter Soldier.
This is a huge improvement on the first film. It’s not only got a much more action-packed, significantly more fun story, but also a lot of intelligence deeper within the plot, which makes it a lot more unpredictable and exciting to watch. Meanwhile, there are some great performances here from a brilliant ensemble cast, as well as even more striking visuals.
Firstly, the biggest improvement from the first film here is the plot. There, it was slow, with little decent action and largely uninteresting characters, whereas here, it’s full of great action right from the start, and then it develops into a very unpredictable, intriguing and well-layered plot that keeps you genuinely engrossed until the conclusion.
The best thing about this story is how intelligent it is. Yes, there’s the generic ‘bad guy who wants to take over the world’ bit, but the genius of this film is that you don’t know who that is, because this is full of loads of different villains who can all be suspected of wanting to take over the world, and that leaves you second-guessing and becoming more and more frantic as the excitement and the tension ramps up throughout.
Also, there’s a lot of really good action here. While the story is a lot more fun and exciting than the first film as a whole, the action in this film takes a different tack, and is actually a lot grittier than the previous movie, which I liked, because it created a lot of battle scenes where you were on the edge of your seat, engrossed in this very realistic fighting where you don’t know who’s going to come out on top.
As well as all that, I’ve got to commend the performances in this movie. Chris Evans is just a hell of a lot cooler as Captain America, whilst Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson and even Robert Redford all give absolutely badass performances here, and they all really contribute to making this a properly fun film to watch.
The only problem that I did have with this film was that it occasionally copped out of some potentially riskier, but more intriguing plot lines, most significantly towards the end, when the villain is revealed too early, and as a result you lose the tension and high stakes in the final battle scene, which ultimately became a little boring.
On the whole, though, this is a well-acted, well-written and hugely exciting and action-packed blockbuster, so that’s why it gets a 7.6 from me.