Captain America: The Winter Warrior

Apr 2, 2014

A fine work of comic-book nostalgia.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Grade: B+

Director: Anthony and Joe Russo, et al. (You, me and Dupree)

Screenplay: Christopher Markus, et al. (Thor: The Dark World)

Cast: Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger), Frank Grillo (The Grey)

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 136 min.

by John DeSando

Natasha Romanoff: “You do anything fun Saturday night?”

Steve Rogers: “Well, all the guys in my barbershop quartet are dead. So no, not really.”

Although in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I wanted Natasha (Scarlet Johansson) and Steve (Chris Evans, aka Captain America) to become romantic, the film’s ability to rise above cliché is paramount. These warriors fight evil without the usual encumbrances of sci-fi thriller formulas. The film is a fine work of comic-book nostalgia and real-world sensibility. And it happens to be over two hours of fun as evidenced by the humor in the above quote.

When Captain America has to contend with a baddie played by the perpetual goodie, Robert Redford, you know this adventure is going to be a unique one. Alexander Pierce (Redford) plans to make the world a better place by eliminating 20 million rebels through an algorithm long ago created when Steve Rogers was a normal soldier. From there, you have to see the film to catch the sometimes creative but always entertaining screenplay.

This thriller pleases me because it is complex enough to keep me trying to fit all the puzzle pieces but humane enough to keep me engaged with the characters I understand better than most in similar sci-fi outings.

Yes, it’s a smart film with warmth and humor, a pleasant viewing experience at a poor time of year for seeing good movies. You know Captain America saves America, but that’s not the point: If you’re thrilled by special-effects action, including some real vehicles, and want to care about the characters and dislike the bad guys, then you’re in for a sweet experience, saved, so to speak, from a dead-zone movie time of the year.

 “Captain, in Order to build a better world, sometimes means turning the old one down... And that makes enemies.” Pierce

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at