© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany GmbH

The Return of the First Avenger (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
U.S.A. 2014

Opening 27 Mar 2014

Directed by: Anthony Russo
Writing credits: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Ed Brubaker, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby
Principal actors: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan

Marvel comic book hero Captain America is back, back with a mission. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), alias Captain America, returns in a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) to save the world from destruction. At the end of the 2011 film, Rogers was just waking up after a 65 year Sleeping Beauty slumber looking more bulked up than ever. A relic of the ‘40s he makes a moving, almost Boy Scout patriotic pledge: “The price of freedom is high, and it’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

The culprit this time is lurking in Roger’s own employer S.H.I.E.L.D., an international organization renowned for promoting world peace. Even his eye-patched mentor Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D., seems to be toying with the temptation of joining the dark side. Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), employed by S.H.I.E.L.D. and a respected member of the World Security Council, has his own ideas on world order.

When Rogers refuses to play along, he discovers his own life is in jeopardy. When leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters his elevator car stops at each floor, filling up with a dozen would-be assassins ready to annihilate him during the descent. “Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?” he amicably offers. By the time the elevator has reached the lobby, only Rogers exits unscathed. Donned in his newly designed stealth suit and carrying his iconic shield, he’s off to save the planet. He elicits the help of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), alias Black Widow, and Alexander Pierce (Anthony Mackie), alias Falcon. When Fury himself becomes a victim in an incredibly action-packed bombastic car chase, the three heroes meet their nemesis: The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). He is the bionic, brainwashed assassin with mysterious connections to Steve Roger’s former life. Now the ACTION can begin!

For Marvel fans this movie is fun to watch. Chris Evans is ultimately convincing as a retro squeaky clean Captain America. What’s the chance of another sequel to make it a trilogy? After the final roll of credits as the last audience members trickle out, the screen bursts alive with animated HYDRA plotters masterminding their sinister takeover. Vigilant Captain America fans would be well advised to never leave a movie theater till the screen is absolutely dark. (Pat Frickey)

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