Captain America: The Winter Soldier, film review: A shake-up for Marvel's big Boy Scout

(12A) Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 136 mins Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L Jackson

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The Independent Culture

Marvel movies are... Marvel movies. Captain America is a superhero in a spandex costume who uses his shield as if it is some lethal make of frisbee.

We know from the outset that the film will be full of elaborately choreographed, wham! bam! 3D action sequences.

What's refreshing here is that the directors, the Russo brothers, and their screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, treat the hero (Chris Evans) as if he is an anguished character in a real drama, not just a pantomime figure in a souped-up, big-screen version of a WWE bout.

The script plays heavily on Captain America's past, his Second World War experiences and his status as an all-American hero in a quasi-fascist modern US society in which democracy itself is frowned on.

It helps that the film has such a rich array of supporting characters.

From Scarlett Johansson's wonderfully sultry femme fatale Black Widow to Robert Redford's self-satisfied politician and Samuel L Jackson's tough and sardonic Nick Fury, the film benefits from performances that combine camp with conviction.

Captain America: The Winter Solider is in cinemas now