Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

This direct sequel to 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” is just about as good as its predecessor: Fans of the original will find more of the same to enjoy, while non-fans won’t be won over any more than they were the first time around. Me, I’m somewhere in between: I appreciated the original but found that, without Chris Evans in the title role, the movie would be rather long-winded and, well, kind of boring. Luckily he’s still on hand to deliver some good-natured one-liners and kick some ass along the way, and he’s surrounded by an able cast of newcomers and veterans that provide plenty of well-acted drama to keep the story moving along. Robert Redford is rather wasted in a prominent role, but luckily Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo and returning star Sebastian Stan provide robust support in meaty supporting parts. The special effects are strong of course, as are the visual design and sound mixing, although at well over two hours the movie unfortunately overstays its welcome, but getting there are a number of cool segments (in particular the glass elevator scene).

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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