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
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
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 3 It won’t work, Jeremy: The Health Secretary has lost the confidence of the medical profession in his attempt to reform the NHS
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?
Cilla Black's 12 best songs, from 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' to 'You're My World'
Zoolander 2 trailer leaks online and it's really, really, ridiculously good looking
Game of Thrones season 6: New toy line suggests Jon Snow is not among the dead
Game of Thrones season 6: Northern Ireland set photos leak online
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality