After his World War Two heroics in the first movie, Captain America wakes up in the 21st century to exactly the same set of problems. Living up to its name, the evil Hydra organisation refuses to be decapitated. It simply grows another head and comes back all the stronger.
So that’s problem number one. Problem number two is that Captain America hasn’t got any more interesting for his long sleep.
Comfortably the dullest of the superheroes, he is solid, dependable, all American, hunky , has got a very small shield, and that’s about it. The blurb for the film talks about moral complexity, but there’s not much of that going on here. The Captain is about as one dimensional as it is possible to be – not that that particularly matters. The plot is thoroughly murky and tries to layer deception upon deception in a world where infiltration means plenty of shifting allegiances. But this isn’t a film about plot subtlety; it’s all about the action as once again it falls to Captain America to save the free world in his rather wooden way.
His boss is dead (or is he?), and his boss’s boss has come up with a dodgy agenda which suggests he might just be working for the other side.
It’s time for Captain America (Chris Evans) to dust off his shield, aided and abetted by a terribly-chipper chap with wings known as The Falcon (Anthony Mackie). His foe is the mysterious Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), an automaton whose strings are being pulled by Hydra. When it emerges that the Winter Soldier in a previous incarnation might actually have been someone the Captain once knew, it all threatens to get a little bit more interesting. But really it’s all about the special effects, not the psychology – and there are plenty of those as three massive airships threaten to destroy us all. The film is at least half an hour too long and won’t linger long in memory, but it’s fun nonetheless.