Cold, Cold Heart
Captain America The Winter Soldier
Trying to review this film seems fruitless - not because this film in some way defies description, or because that nothing one review says is going to affect the film's no doubt spectacular financial success (though that part's definitely true); no, it's because this film essentially does everything it needs to. It's not a perfect film, not even a perfect action film, but it's absolutely a perfect product - it ticks every box, crosses every t, dots every i, and you'll almost certainly have a good time with it. What makes it frustrating is that there's little to really criticize about the film itself, and I have two hundred more words to fill out here. You'll pay for this, Captain America!
But regardless, a basic rundown: Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up where The Avengers left off, following the recently unfrozen Steve Rogers in an espionage-themed adventure. The creators wisely realize that Rogers is a bit too simple and unconflicted a character to carry the whole story by himself, so he's accompanied by several allies with their own arcs, making it more of an ensemble piece than a Captain America film.
The action is clearly shot and fun to watch - you always know what's going on on screen, and there are some inventive sequences. The film moves away from most of the anachronistic mad Nazi science elements of the first film, and plays things in a (relatively) more grounded fashion. Really, there's not much more to say. The film is almost the living embodiment of 'solid', and as far as commercially produced super-hero action fare goes, you're unlikely to see better. Ideal popcorn entertainment, perhaps lacking a bit of imagination or emotion, but you'll probably have fun.
This review first appeared in Empire Times magazine