Captain America (Chris Evans) may be the most well-mannered, clean-cut, and straitlaced of the Marvel Comics heroes. But he still packs a punch.
In this second installment of the Captain America series, Cap runs through bad guys like a bullet through water. That is, until one night S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) delivers a flash drive and a cryptic message: Their helicarrier security system, set to launch within a few days—including enough firepower to wipe out civilization—has been hijacked from within the organization. Suddenly, bullets rain through a window into Fury’s chest, and as he struggles to breathe, he warns Cap, “Don’t trust anyone.”
When Cap races to catch the gunman, he encounters a dark figure who also has superhuman strength.
The dark figure, of course, is the Winter Soldier, a ghost from the WWII era, and it seems he’s been resurrected to do the bidding of some powerful politicians. Untangling the web of deceit behind his appearance as well as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s corruption become Cap’s mission—while his unlikely partners, the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), add unique skills and character interest along the way.
In general, the film is nearly as clean-cut as Cap himself. One curse word makes its way into several scenes (and one trailer), but the film’s PG-13 rating comes largely from violence, gunplay, and a heavy dose of action. More heroic are the morals of the movie, including patriotism, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice.
At times the dialogue is stilted, and the plot’s conspiracies seem about as realistic as original Marvel illustrations. But what will likely stick with viewers is the vision of a classic hero in stars and stripes, and his heartfelt rallying cry: “The price of freedom is high, and it’s a price I’m willing to pay.”