Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (2014)

Loyalty, friendship and the freedom of world are tested to destruction as Captain America returns in this action packed and hugely exciting Marvel comic-book sequel.

Dynamic duo Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson power this breakneck thrill ride which will be followed in 2016 by Captain America: Civil War.

Blue-eyed, lantern-jawed Steve Rogers (Evans), aka Captain America, punches his way through a series of brilliant action sequences, including a rescue of hostages on the high seas and a marvellous mayhem-filled fight on a freeway.

Samuel L. Jackson returns as S.H.I.E.L.D. boss Nick Fury and introduces superhero The Falcon (Anthony Mackie).

Robert Redford is his smooth-talking superior Alexander Pierce, bringing a knowing cinematic echo of his earlier roles in 1970’s conspiracy thrillers Three Days of the Condor (1975) and All the President’s Men (1976).

Rogers, who struggles to cope in the modern world, is framed for the shooting of Fury and goes on the run with Natasha Romanoff, aka super-assassin Black Widow (Johansson).

Facing terrible adversity, he’s armed only with his indestructible shield and she a pair of perfectly calibrated pistols – yet still they find time to flirt while evading squadrons of fighter jets, convoys of trucks and legions of Swat teams packing the latest in futuristic military weapons.

People are brutally stabbed, shot, punched, kicked and thrown off buildings as they’re also pursued by the mysterious Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), a relentless super-villain with a robotic arm and secret past.

Helped by Falcon, the duo must stop the sinister Hydra group, which infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ long ago, from imposing a new and deadly world order.

Considering the patriotic conservatism of the central character, Captain America is a far richer experience than could have been hoped for and excluding the Avengers, my favourite franchise in the canon.

Now all the Marvel Cinematic Universe is missing is a Black Widow standalone movie.

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