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When you buy a ticket for a Captain America movie you know what you’re going to get: A super-powered dude in blue doing crazy things with a shield, busting people in the jaw, and being very American. Good news! Captain America: The Winter Soldier scratches those itches just fine. Captain America picks up soon after the Avengers movie left off. He works for super-spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. now, but he’s having doubts if being a superhero is right for him. It’s the same great power/great responsibility trope that lots of superhero sequels chew through, but fortunately it doesn’t get too hung up on it. There is much punching to do, and Winter Soldier doesn’t make us wait long for it.
Not to give too much away, but the main plot driver is that something is rotten in S.H.I.E.L.D. But what? Who’s good? Who’s bad? Who even knows anymore? Trust no one. These are also just good rules to live by in general.
The most compelling scenes, as you might expect, are the confrontations between Cap and his metal-armed nemesis. There are a handful of them, and they’re all great. Basically you’ve got two evenly matched bad-asses just slugging it out. They aren’t these polished, balletic scenes. They’re mean. There’s just something very satisfying about two super-powered humans wailing on each other.
Marvel has yet to make a bad film. Captain America: The Winter Soldier joins the ranks of those especially great entries, and earns a place high on the list of all-time best superhero films. It will please fans who already like what Marvel’s done. And it will have broad appeal to mainstream audiences who already love this genre, plus a lot of viewers who might not normally like superhero films.
I highly recommend this film. 5 out of 5 buggy wheels.