Captain America: the Winter Soldier ★★★★
The sequel to 2011’s pretty convincing wartime origins story Captain America: the First Avenger shifts forward 70 years to the present day, where Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), now working for spy agency SHIELD, has aged not a jot thanks to cryogenics, while former squeeze Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell, with the help of face-CGI) has. But the big plotline involves Rogers’s one-time best bud (Sebastian Stan) breaking bad as titular assassin the Winter Soldier. Captain A is assisted in the air by the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Marvel’s first African-American superhero, amid conspiracies, terrorists, satellites, “Helicarriers” and flash drives. Robert Redford adds gravitas and the directing Russo brothers make light work of the escalating action set pieces. It was topped for excess last year by the insanely overpopulated Civil War with more of everything, plus Ant-Man and Spider-Man. Join them all for Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.
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