‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’: Superhero sequel deftly mixes fantasy, drama
From the corniest of all names to the Wonder Bread personality of Steve Rogers whether he was in costume or not, the 1940s version of Captain America we saw in the 2009 movie was one of the blander superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
One might think the unfrozen Steve/Cap who was part of the ensemble in “The Avengers” might not be able to sustain the lead in a modern-day adventure, but the good news is in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” we not only get an edgier, more complex, more compelling storyline, we get the most badass 95-year-old the world has ever known.
Looking as pumped up as a potential first-round NFL draft choice at a scouting combine and displaying a better honed sense of humor than he possessed back in the day, Steve/Cap (Chris Evans) is finding his way around modern-day Washington, trying to soak up all he can about everything he’s missed. Steve walks around with a little notebook filled with entries such as “Steve Jobs/Apple” and “Moon Landing.” (He also makes a side trip to the Smithsonian, where they have an awesome exhibit about … Captain America.)
Under the watchful eye of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury — and I mean that literally, as Nick has just the one good eye — Steve finds himself working with the duplicitous Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) as agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, which is engaged in a multilayered, generation-spanning war with HYDRA, the evil organization formed by the Nazis. Natasha flirts with Steve and encourages him to go out and get, um, lucky. There’s an obvious chemistry between them, but they resist the romance, which is probably a good idea given the number of issues they’re both working on…