Based on the Marvel Comic Book series, and featuring the ever-hunky Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, the titled superhero, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" exposes another nasty villain hell-bent on taking over the world.
Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their roles as Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a.The Black Widow, and Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Cobie Smulders, as Fury's fierce sidekick, Maria Hill. When Fury becomes the target of an assassination attempt, no one at S.H.I.E.L.D. is safe. And, to make matters worse, Steve is struggling with his role as avenger, and how he fits into this modern world. The fact that he is constantly hounded by an ex-Soviet agent, known as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), doesn't help either.
Marvel Studios does a marvelous job keeping this series alive. The cast is top-notch with Robert Redford showcased as Alexander Pierce, a member of the World Council and lead defender of S.H.I.E.L.D. He and Jackson make a great effort and bring a certain amount of cache to the film. It's great fun watching all of them, including Anthony Mackie who appears for the first time as Sam Wilson, a.k.a. The Falcon, a new ally for Steve and Natasha.
If we allow it, the special effects can be somewhat humdrum in this era of over-the-top digitalization. But the directors, brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, chose minimal CGI and had many of the sets built for the visual effects. In a stroke of genius, and tax breaks, they had Cleveland, Ohio stand in for Washington, D.C. --- Washington never looked better.
The screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who also penned "Captain America: The First Avenger", contains a great deal of humor and human interest. This isn't just super hero cavalcade.
The Russo's biggest problem, however, is the length. I realize David and I must sound like broken records, but, just once, could these films shorten their protracted fight scenes? It's completely unnecessary and makes the films of this genre overlong.
Marvel Comic junkies will be thrilled with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". It's everything one can expect from this reluctant American superhero.
Opinion: Mild See It Now!