Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

April 1, 2014

CALLERI: A comic book adventure and two foreign films entice moviegoers

Niagara Gazette — “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” the latest in the comic book movie derby, joins “The Lunchbox” and “Child’s Pose” in the dash for your entertainment attention.

Captain America does good deeds with less flash. His roots are in traditional warfare, but he still has that superhero gleam in his eyes. Once again, the Captain, real name Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans), is compelled to rescue millions of unsuspecting Americans, all doomed to a blistering demise thanks to the machinations of a group of villains.

This gang of thugs, robotic in their willingness to follow orders, are controlled by a well-dressed gentleman, ready to unleash spectacular flying aircraft carriers. They bristle with fire power and never have to land. A lethal masked man arrives (the Winter Soldier of the title), and he’s also got mayhem on his mind.

Blessed with eternal youth (he’s 95-years old these days) and a muscular body that comes from medical intervention (he’s a lab rat, not a gym rat), Rogers is good-natured but melancholy about events from his past. He still yearns for his deceased pal Bucky Barnes. After Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) enlists him to thwart impending doom, Rogers, always willing to help save humanity, finds himself surrounded by spies, counterspies, traitors, and friends he can’t trust.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is moderately entertaining, but judicious editing of a number of scenes would have made it much more fun. The talky screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is dull and doesn’t sustain the film’s 136-minute length. Talk can be good in an action movie; however, not much that’s interesting is spoken here. Markus was born and educated in Buffalo, so I hope he wrote the better parts.

The action is frantic, especially the fight scenes with their whiplash cutting. It’s as if the directing brothers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo took frames out of scenes to create a silent movie jerkiness. Some car chases and moments of fighting are like watching the Keystone Kops.

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