Captain America Is Year's 1st ... Summer Blockbuster

Critics generally agree it's a crowd-pleaser
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2014 12:04 PM CDT

Chris Evans is back as Captain America in an action-packed flick that seems better suited for a summer opening—and may in fact be better than its 2011 version. With a star-studded line-up, including Scarlett Johansson and Robert Redford, critics generally agree The Winter Soldier pleases. Here's what they're saying:

  • At the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Colin Covert calls the film "a crackerjack summer blockbuster, three months early." It takes "a flying leap off the basic premise of superhero movies," and is packed with adventure and plenty of DC-centered political intrigue. "The film impregnates its settings with so much latent tension and unnerving evil that you expect the Washington Monument to start murdering everyone in sight," he writes.

  • Adam Nayman at the Globe and Mail is a big fan, too. "This is the first Marvel Studios movie since the original Iron Man that really stands on its own." He applauds directors Anthony and Joe Russo for "tweaking this sequel to play more like a cloak-and-dagger thriller than a special-effects blowout."
  • Everything wrong with 2011's Captain America "has been fixed, and then some," writes Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal. The Russos have ably succeeded in their goal to make a "1970s-style political-conspiracy thriller along the lines of Three Days of the Condor." Plus, "Evans makes Captain America such a likable guy, as well as an old-school patriot, that he put me in mind of a very old-fashioned word to describe him. He's doughty. In a movie that deserves him."
  • As for Mike LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle, the movie runs too long and the big action sequences fail to excite. While he concedes the film is "watchable and reasonably entertaining ... there's no getting around the fact that Captain America is as dull as Batman when it comes to combat." That, and "somebody also might want to think about spending more than 10 minutes on the script."
(More Robert Redford stories.)

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