Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up the story of the heroic soldier as he continues to catch up on world history and 21st century life after being in cold storage for decades.
Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are about to launch a system of spaceships to circle the globe. They're designed to keep peace and promote democracy and freedom. Control-freak villains assault the agency -- starting with Fury -- and want to control those ships and ultimately the world.
Captain America is thrust into the middle of the struggle and ends up with a device the bad guys need to complete their plan. He also encounters an enemy -- the winter soldier -- with powers equal to his own. Fury tells him not to trust anyone, but Captain America has to work with the Black Widow and new friend Falcon to defeat the enemy.
A beefy Chris Evans -- who is so buffed-up his head looks too small for his body -- reprises his Steve Rogers/Captain America role. Scarlett Johansson is the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson plays a furious Nick Fury, Anthony Mackie flies through the Falcon and Robert Redford -- in a rare supporting role -- is Alexander Pierce, Fury's old friend and colleague who oversees the project.
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The Winter Soldier is told only as a comic book tale can be told. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (You, Me & Dupree and TV fare like Arrested Development) pack their flick with a bunch of characters and treat us to the kind of effects we've come to expect from movies based on comic books.
The first two-thirds of the almost-too-long 136-minute flick is pretty good. Its thrust and parry plot provides plenty of action and great character development and interaction. All super hero movies must have a destroy-the-world- or destroy-a-city-ending event. This one is no exception and it's where -- with the expected next super hero movie teases in the credits -- Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks exactly like its cousins.
No surprises here, but if comic book heroes at the movies are your thing, you'll love this one.
-- Does Mr. Movie's movie criticism spell perfection? M-A-Y-B-E. Let him know at www.tri-cityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.
Director: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, Joss Whedon
Stars: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Stan Lee, Sebastian Stan, Garry Shandling, Jenny Agutter
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It is playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.