Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Direction: Anthony and Joe Russo
Actors: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
What a waste,” laments the rogue politico when the airborne missile carriers programmed to do his bidding are destroyed. Turns out, it also sums up this $170 million-plus misfire.
Having decimated Hitler’s horde in 2011’s origin story, …The First Avenger, and joined the superhero jamboree for Avengers Assemble a year later, the Cap’s back for another mash-up in Marvel’s mega-movie franchise. He shouldn’t have bothered.
In his latest outing, the all-American super-soldier (Evans) struggles to find his footing in a present-day world rife with
paranoia and political chicanery.
When a veteran espionage official (Samuel L Jackson, sporting his trademark eye-patch) comes under attack, our hero suddenly finds himself on the run without knowing whom to trust.
As he is drawn deeper into the conspiracy, his own life as well as the lives of his allies — both old (Johansson) and new (Anthony Mackie, the cast standout) — become increasingly in danger. The trio even has to contend with a nasty new nemesis in the form of a metal-armed mercenary (Sebastian Stan, ineffectual).
Regrettably, co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the siblings who shepherded the sitcom series Arrested Development, settle for techno-flummery at the expense of an involving story or in-depth characterisations.
There’s plenty of in-your-face pyrotechnics but precious little fun or excitement. The viewer is constantly assailed by jingoistic posturing. Expectedly, socio-political issues such as civil liberties and personal privacy take a back seat to blockbuster trappings.
We wonder what prompted stalwarts like Samuel L Jackson and Scarlett Johansson to accept their insignificant supporting roles.
As for Robert Redford, the superstar is miscast as the super-villain. A son-et-lumiere spectacle which falls short of its potential, Captain America: The Winter Soldier hardly warrants a recommendation.