Few films whet the appetite quite like the latest trip into the Marvel universe – a familiar stomping ground which is continuously churning out compelling, spectacular and ultimately highly entertaining feature films at present – and the latest, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, continues on this trend in fine fashion.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, we return to the world of Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. Adjusting to life in a contemporary world, before he even has the chance to settle in, it’s up to Rogers to save the world once again. Though with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) targeted and attacked, he’s left do it at his own accord, recruiting the likes of Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to infiltrate and expose a corrupt corporation, where he comes up against an old foe: the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier plays with the genre, as a film that could easily be branded a psychological, political thriller, offering more than just your average superhero movie. There’s an incredibly strong story here: one that keeps you utterly engrossed from the start to the bitter end – helped along by an array of breathtaking action sequences. Meanwhile, Evans shines once more as the lead, bringing a real human element to the role, truly encapsulating the renowned figure and making it his own. However, regrettably such commendation cannot be extended to the antagonist of the piece: the Winter Soldier. He’s something of a disappointment – not from an acting standpoint, but as a character, failing to provide enough of a threat to proceedings, as he isn’t quite infallible or intimidating enough, and you never once doubt our protagonist’s ability to defeat him, which detracts from the suspenseful nature of the plot.
But this is undoubtedly a film that anybody can enjoy. It remains faithful to the other Marvel productions, and big fans of the original comics will leave as impressed as those new to the story. Because what the directing duo achieve most significantly, is that they never once compromise that intrinsic sense of entertainment for the intelligence of the narrative, and the film benefits hugely as a result.