ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
85°
Mostly Sunny
H 87° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    85°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Sunny. H 87° L 63°
  • clear-day
    64°
    Morning
    Mostly Sunny. H 87° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    82°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 63°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Review: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ forces our hero to question everything

As 70 or so years of comic books have shown us, there are essentially three kinds of good Captain America stories.

The first is “Captain America, Hitler Puncher,” covered by 2011’s rock-solid “Captain America: The First Avenger,” wherein scrawny World War II soldier-wannabe Steve Rogers is given peak human abilities, fights the crazy Nazi scientists called Hydra and loses his childhood pal Bucky in combat.

The second is “Captain America, Natural Leader of Superheroes.” Director Joss Whedon and an all-star cast did a New York-smashingly good job of this in 2012’s “The Avengers,” a movie whose $1.5 billion gross confidently placed Marvel/Disney at the top of super-powered heap.

The third is “Captain America vs. The Ideals and Government Whose Uniform He Wears,” which we get in spades in the intermittently thrilling if overlong “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, jaw and affect still note-perfect) is at a weird place in his life.

He can run a lap around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in the time it takes most of us to put on our shoes, but keeps a notebook in his pocket of all the pop culture he needs to catch up on. In their first meeting, soon-to-be-ally Sam Wilson (an underused Anthony Mackie), a fellow soldier who also lost his war buddy in battle, suggests Marvin Gaye’s “Troubleman” soundtrack, which Rogers dutifully writes down.

Rogers is starting to feel like the lapdog of S.H.I.E.L.D., the global intelligence agency headed by the tough, enigmatic Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson as Samuel L. Jackson). And his private life is nonexistent, even as the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is trying to find him dates as he’s leaping out of airplanes.

So when a mission raises some question about who he is working for and why, Rogers starts poking around. When Fury gives him some disconcerting answers involving total surveillance and draconian war powers, Rogers is appalled. “This isn’t freedom, this is fear,” he says, and the fact that Evans can make that line sound more matter-of-fact than arrogant is a key to his charm.

And then there’s the mysterious assassin (and title character) who is dropping bodies, and Captain America is suddenly, you know, wondering what America means and stuff.

At longer than two hours, “Winter Soldier” is a lot of movie, forced to both stand on its own as an accessible summer tent pole and advance the overall Marvel Universe movie-plot a bit.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, working from a script by “First Avenger” authors Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, fuse disparate genres and tones as smoothly as they can, though there’s a twitchiness to the plotting that gets wearying. Parents should know that this is a more morally gray movie than either the first Cap movie or “Avengers” and, frankly, little kids holding trash-can Cap shields might get a bit bored.

There’s plenty for the comic-nerd bloc. A French baddie named Batroc, once known as one of the worst-dressed Cap villains, is given a savvy makeover. And everyone should stay seated into and past the credits for hints of next year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and perhaps the next Captain America movie.

“Three Days of the Condor” star Robert Redford embodies the movie’s 1970s thriller strain in “Winter Soldier;” he plays a S.H.I.E.L.D. power-broker who is determined to stop war and chaos before it happens. And in keeping with the more James-Bond-as-Super-Soldier plot, Rogers spends more time out of his mask than in it, which is oddly refreshing.

The Russos are decent if wobbly action directors. The close-quarters, hand-to-hand fight scenes felt too choppy in spots, while the street-level car chase gunbattles and city-busting CGI action fare better. (Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia really take it on the chin, ideologically and otherwise.)

“Winter Soldier” fares best when the characters get to breathe a bit. Evans is both a solid team player and a terrific solo act, playing well off of both Mackie and Johansson and going a bit deeper when required.

What happens when a, 95-year-old man who looks 30 and knows little but duty, whose friends are long dead, must abandon that duty? “The Winter Solider” does a bang-up job playing with those questions and renders the Potomac River unswimmable in the process.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • The lengthy murder trial for a former Tulsa police officer, accused in the death of his daughter’s boyfriend, just got even more complicated. Shannon Kepler now says prosecutors can't try him because he's a member of a Native American tribe. Attorneys for Kepler also argue that the slaying happened on tribal land of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.  If the court agrees, the case could be moved from state to federal court.  This will be the fourth trial.
  • A day after a scorching attack on the news media and Republicans in the Senate, President Trump used a speech to an American Legion convention to call for unity in America, arguing there is “no division too deep for us to heal,” as the President signed into law the latest bipartisan bill from Congress to reform work at the VA. “We are not defined by the color of our skin, the figure on our paycheck, or the party of our politics,” Mr. Trump said in Reno, Nevada. Unlike his campaign rally on Tuesday night in Phoenix, the President stuck to his script, repeatedly urging Americans to come together on a variety of issues. “We are one people, with one home, and one great flag,” Mr. Trump said. Pres. Trump: 'It is time to heal the wounds that divide us…we are one people, with one home, and one great flag.' https://t.co/c8WxE0BwjS pic.twitter.com/xztrew1eD8 — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 23, 2017 The President made no mention of the controversy over his remarks after recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which he devoted extensive time to address at his Tuesday rally in Arizona; the closest he came was a mention that seemingly referred to questions about Confederate monuments. “You teach young Americans to have pride in our history, so they will have confidence in our future,” Mr. Trump said. “History and culture are so important.” After his remarks, the President signed the latest bipartisan bill from Congress into law that seeks to make new reforms at the Veterans Affairs Department – this bill changes the appeals process for vets, to make sure they aren’t left waiting on benefits decisions for months on end. Mr. Trump said it’s all part of his effort to make sure the VA treats veterans with respect. “We’ll look at them and say, ‘You’re fired,’” Pres. Trump says of VA employees who don’t do their jobs appropriately https://t.co/JIPfT6JLvE — NBC News (@NBCNews) August 23, 2017
  • Pittsburgh police and FBI agents are trying to find a bank robber who wore an unkempt woman's wig to disguise himself. Despite the suspect's goofy appearance, authorities are concerned because the man also had a knife when he approached a teller at the Dollar Bank in the city's South Side on Monday morning. The suspect also wore sunglasses. He is described as a white man about 5-foot-10 to 6 feet and weighing between 150 pounds and 160 pounds. Authorities say the man was carrying a blue bag and ran away with an unspecified amount of money.
  • One dad was so tired of his son ignoring his calls and texts he’s decided to take matters, and his son’s phone freedom into his own hands.  Nick Herbert developed the app ReplyASAP.  It will take control of a cellphone’s screen and sounds an alarm, even if the phone is set to silent, forcing the phone’s user to answer the call and unlock the device, Good Housekeeping reported. >> Read more trending news  The app also sends a read receipt when the receiver has opened the message. The app, which currently is only available on Google Play, is free, as is the first connection. There are in-app purchases that will cost phone owners between  99 cents and $13.99. Herbert is developing an iOS version.  Good Housekeeping pointed out that there are other apps available now that will allow parents to lock their child’s device if they don’t respond quickly enough. You can also set a read receipt if you go to settings in the standard Messages app.
  •  Once again, Barron Trump has become the target of online criticism. And once again, political figures, celebrities and others on social media are standing up for the 11-year-old, imploring the media to keep the youngest Trump out of the negative limelight.  On Monday night, conservative news outlet the Daily Caller published a story attacking Barron for the T-shirt and shorts he wore while boarding Air Force One on Sunday. The headline read, 'It's High Time Barron Trump Starts Dressing Like He's In the White House.'  In a barrage of angry tweets, many described the story as 'mean spirited,' 'shameful,' intrusive and irrelevant. The reactions shared a common understanding that the president's children are supposed to be off-limits.  And former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, who has previously come to Barron's defense, weighed in with a tweet: 'It's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves.'  In Monday's Daily Caller story, entertainment reporter Ford Springer wrote that 'while the president and first lady traveled in their Sunday best, young Barron looked like he was hopping on Air Force One for a trip to the movie theater.'  As President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump departed from Morristown, New Jersey, to Washington on Sunday, Barron joined them wearing khaki shorts, loafers and a bright red T-shirt with the words, 'On your mark tiger shark.'  'What am I missing here? Is Barron just better than I ever was at rebelling against my parents?' Springer wrote. 'His dad is always looking dapper and his mom has become a worldwide fashion icon since becoming first lady. The youngest Trump doesn't have any responsibilities as the president's son, but the least he could do is dress the part when he steps out in public.'  It wasn't the first time Chelsea Clinton has come to Barron's defense in light of insensitive media attention about him. In January, a slew of unflattering jokes circulated on social media about the boy's appearance at his father's inauguration ceremony. 'Saturday Night Live' writer Katie Rich was suspended indefinitely after a tweet she posted about Barron received angry backlash and calls for her firing.  In response to the earlier attacks against Barron, Clinton wrote a Facebook post that was praised and shared widely:  'Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does - to be a kid,' Clinton wrote. 'Standing up for every kid also means opposing POTUS policies that hurt kids.'  On Monday afternoon and evening, Twitter users questioned why the Daily Caller writer, and the public, should care about 'what an 11-year-old boy wears,' as journalist Yashar Ali tweeted. 'How is it your business?' he added.  'Poor Barron,' tweeted comedian Chelsea Handler.  Some complimented the first son's outfit: 'Barron was rockin a good look today,' tweeted Jesse Lee, who served as a special assistant under former president Obama.  And others tracked down Barron's shirt, apparently a $24.50 boy's T-shirt from J. Crew. A similar shirt in lime green on J. Crew's website included a note: 'We're sorry. This item has been so popular, it has sold out.'  'Jesus, they're even inhuman 2 their own. @Ford_Springer of conserv @dailycaller slams Barron Trump 4 his clothes. FORD! Kids are OFF LIMITS!  - Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) August 22, 2017'    'Leave Barron alone. Anything else is shameful.   - Tim Fullerton (@TimFullerton) August 21, 2017'