Captain America: The Winter Soldier

WRITTEN BY: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
DIRECTED BY: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
STARRING: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan
RATING: 4 stars
I always thought Captain America was the least enjoyable Avenger to watch, mostly because he was a little too patriotic and therefore less appealing to anyone outside the US. He is also perhaps a little too straight compared to the likes of Iron Man and The Hulk etcetera. But, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier audiences get to see a more action-packed film, with a strong villain fans of the comics will love and a hero who is challenged and more charming than we have previously seen.
This film takes place after the events of 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and 2012's huge hit, The Avengers. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), has been working for SHIELD and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) while trying to adjust to modern life. But he eventually learns that the good guys may not be so good after all. As the line between villains and heroes is blurred, Captain America realises he does not know who to trust. He turns to Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), to find out the truth.
The plot is both intriguing and rewarding for those following the Marvel story. Die hard fans will certainly already know the identity of The Winter Soldier but it does not make it any less entertaining as the full story unfolds. The action sequences are also effective with some frenetic editing, a uniquely thrilling car chase involving Fury and a memorable glass lift battle. There is also enough humour and light flirtations to keep things interesting for the protagonists.
Evans' acting is as strong as his muscles in this film. He also has great chemistry with Johansson, who has some great opportunities to kick arse. Mackie is a fantastic addition to the series, although his character's portrayal is a little different to the comics. Robert Redford co-stars as government authority Alexander Pierce and it is fun to see him in a superhero film. Aussie Callan Mulvey also appears as SHIELD Agent Jack Rollins, building on his Hollywood profile.
Captain America remains my least favourite Avenger, but I still loved this film and look forward to the next installment.