Captain America: The Winter Soldier ★★½

superhero movies are still the greatest threat to modern civilization, but this one is only occasionally insufferable. the action is strong (the opening sequence is the closest film representation we're likely to get of the opening scene of Metal Gear Solid 2), even if the parallel action that the movie's final set pieces depend upon is completely mishandled. the scale is there, the one-liners connect, i enjoy how this is unabashedly Marvel's MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III...

and yet... i think the reason i dug THE AVENGERS is because none of these characters are interesting enough to sustain an entire film, and Whedon's movie doesn't force any of them to. but not sure how i can ever give 2 hours of shits about steve rogers and the trite (if hyper-relevant) morality play into which he gets embroiled. and the winter soldier himself is a major miscalculation... i understand how he's crucial to captain america's myth, but what a hollow and maudlin connection for the film to overplay time and again.

i'm also exhausted by Marvel's candy bright aesthetic and samey posturing... it's been 9 movies, characters are still delivering heavy lines about their worldviews from over their shoulders as they walk away. the same beats. the same quips. the defense is that it's a genre, but the problem is that it's a *brand.* ANT-MAN is a do or die for these things... if they suffocate Edgar Wright's voice, there's really no need for me to keep playing along.