The Standard’s cinema reviewer Gavin Miller takes a look at Marvel’s latest offering.
This is arguably the best movie to come from Marvel yet – yes, even better than Avengers Assemble.
After the perfectly watchable – but more-of-the-same – release of Thor: The Dark World last year, Chris Evans makes sure the Marvel superhero juggernaut continues well on track into its third phase with a smart and exhilarating second standalone outing for Captain America.
After the events of New York, Steve Rogers – the super-powered, shield-wielding man that is Cap Am – is still struggling to embrace his role in the modern world, particularly exasperated by the questionable tactics of Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and the SHIELD agency.
Can he trust Fury? Can he trust Fury’s boss Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford)? Can he trust top agent Brock ‘Crossbones’ Rumlow (Frank Grillo)? Can he even trust Avengers team member Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)?
All these questions become answered in a cleverly subversive plot that takes this above the average superhero movie – and punches this towards the top of the genre ladder with the likes of Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
With some great action set-pieces, nice – but not over-cooked – comedic touches, and few genuine emotive moments, this sequel really does satisfy as SHIELD looks to introduce controversial surveillance heli-carriers in the sky to watch our every move in an attempt to prevent crime before it happens.
Throw in the addition of ally Sam ‘Falcon’ Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and maniacal new arch-nemesis in the form of The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), then you’ve got A) a bloomin’ good movie, and B) a hard film to review without significant plot spoilers.
If it wasn’t for some of the film’s clever work coming undone in the slightly weaker (but still noteworthy) ‘all-guns blazing’ final third – this would have undoubtedly been a five-star film.
As it stands this just doesn’t set up the Marvel canon nicely for the next Avengers film Age of Ultron – but is also a great movie for neutral movie-goers too.
Rating: 4/5 stars