A lot of reviews are in for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and they’re definitely a mixed bag. A sampling:
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: With all the money in the world behind it — with years and years of similar movies in the pipeline — the comic-book superhero genre is already looking tired and going through the motions. The latest “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has the usual overlong running time, the half-hearted feints in the direction of human feeling and the obligatory action sequences that are big without being either exciting or particularly legible.
Jake Coyle, The Associated Press: It’s getting difficult to tell the Marvel movies apart. The fight scenes on a departing aircraft blur together. The reversals of friend and foe refract like an infinity mirror. The characters are spread across so many movies that you’d need a detective’s cork board to keep it straight. So while “The Winter Soldier” succeeds as finely engineered merchandise built to be crowd-pleasing entertainment, for moviegoers and shareholder alike, it has a shelf life that won’t last much past its running time.
Roger Moore, McClatchy Newspapers (see his full review in Friday’s Go! section): The superhuman efforts director Joe Johnston made to persuade Chris Evans to re-enlist in the comic book movie universe as “Captain America” pay more dividends in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Evans, that perfect specimen of American manhood, really sells the earnestness, the dry wit, the sense of duty and righteousness of the icon of American values that he represents in this sequel, even if Johnston isn’t around to direct it.And it’s great that “The Winter Soldier” is actually about something, a comic book spin on privacy and civil liberties issues straight out of today’s data mining headlines. It’s a freedom vs. fear movie, liberty vs. “order. There are clever ways the story folds back into the first “Captain America” film’s world, great effects and a retro-future tech that is fascinating. But “The Winter Soldier” lacks that lump-in-the-throat heart that Evans, Johnston and company brought to the first “Captain America.”
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: The film is too long, and its token references to the other Avengers are just a forced attempt to join it to a ”larger” story. Yet Captain America: The Winter Soldier has the zing and purpose that last summer’s Man of Steel lacked, with a sky-high climax that’s a real dazzler. What works here is setting up Captain America in a battle against…America. That’s the way to turn a super-square into an awesome antihero.