If Captain America was still suffering a rep as Marvel’s most boring Avenger, this Phase 2 sequel takes that notion and smashes it to dust with its super-shield.
Post-Avengers Assemble, the Marvel Phase 2 movies (Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World) have faced mounting pressure to deliver. And while The Winter Soldier might not reach the giddy heights of that team-up, it works on its own terms as a tremendously satisfying blockbuster.
Despite its running time (it’s Marvel’s second longest movie, after Avengers Assemble), it never drags thanks to a consistent line in bruising set-pieces. From explosive car chases to heli-jet scrambles (via some relentless shield-slinging antics), CA:TWS works best as an action film. Unsurprisingly, given their backgrounds, the Russo brothers manage to inject a fair amount of humour into a property that’s not as gag-friendly as Iron Man or Thor. Most of the laughs are delivered via the snappy dialogue, and the documenting of Rogers’ continued efforts to keep up with the modern age (“the internet’s so helpful…”).
With a string of gratifying action sequences, and a breakneck pace leavened by a frequently witty script, The Winter Soldier stands alone as a solidly entertaining blockbuster.