Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Riveting. Stunning. Surprising. Curves are thrown at you at unsuspected moments. A great plot is filled with hair pin turns and witty one liners. Laughter erupts at unpredictable moments. In the very beginning when the logo Marvel is flashed on the screen, the audience goes wild. Everything about this film is about precision -- the tight bodies, perfect hairdos, impeccable timing of its actors, inventive sets.

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers aka Captain America has an innocence that should be patented. Cuddly and wide eyed, he has a kind of lost look that is rare in film today. A quizzical expression makes him -- while being the most viral man on the planet -- appear at times almost helpless. Until someone pisses him off.

And Robert Redford does. Redford shines as the villain, Alexander Pierce. It is good to see him go for a commercial film of this magnitude. And this is what Captain America: The Winter Soldier is about -- magnitude. Gigantic space ships, perfect women and then there is the always enchanting Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury who just does not want to die. You will fall in love with him if you are not already. He withstands one disaster upon another and you think this can't keep happening.

Jackson had never worked with Redford and to break the hero-worshiping-ice Jackson played golf with Redford and this eased their working relationship. There is ease between each member of this cast. Anthony Mackie as The Falcon glides through his part as a smooth and loyal witty friend of Steve Rogers while Scarlett Johannsen as the Black Widow does not miss a beat. Her acting is precision as is all in this film thanks to directors Anthony and Joe Russo and the stellar cast. The editing by Jeffrey Ford is tight as just when you think you've had enough of this scene the action moves to a new experience. You are held in the palm of this crew's technical expertise as this film is told in a series of layers that are peeled away, but we never see the core as there will be a sequel made apparent if you stay beyond the initial final credit role.

One complaint is that Captain America: The Winter Soldier at two and a half hours is too long. Perhaps cutting some of the early action scenes would have eased the desire to check your watch.

Portraying Councilwoman Hawley, Jenny Agutter has a meaningful role and it is a delight to see her after all these years. Her calm, friendly presence leads nicely to a contradiction that her character offers up.

Those familiar with the Marvel comic book series know the plot. Steve Rogers must battle a threat from the Soviets in the modern world in the form of the Soviet agent Winter Soldier. There are car chases, fisticuff scenes such a one in an elevator particularly memorable, motorcycle races, and an actual kiss that Rogers plants on the Black Widow. While the romance never actualizes, we are left with longing. Just as we are left with longing for the return of Captain America as soon as possible.

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