ACTION; 2hr 16min
STARRING: Chris Evans, Scarlett, Johansson, Sebastian Stan
Nice work if you survive it: Evans and Johansson
If you’re lurking in the murky end of the political spectrum, be very afraid indeed when Marvel Studios’ Steve Rogers (Evans), aka Captain America, and Natasha Romanoff (Johansson), aka Black Widow, get going. They’re bright, they’re built and fear is a four-letter word. Which, with everything the dauntless Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division — S.H.I.E.L.D. — agents have got going on in director brothers Anthony and Joe Russo’s punchy follow-up to 2011’s The Avengers, is a primary job requirement.
Winter Soldier starts out as it means to go on, bristling with nefarious purpose and sharp-focused performances. Global evil is afoot in Washington, DC, with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s peacekeeping reach gravely undermined and snap-frozen, 95-year-old super-soldier Steve an unjustly targeted fugitive from his own side, for whom fighting dirty is as natural as drawing breath. That’s all before the sphinx-like Winter Soldier (Stan) smashes up the scene.