Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

After a slight stumble with Thor: The Dark World, Marvel’s ambitious cinematic universe project gets back on track with this robustly entertaining follow-up to Captain America: The First Avenger. By upping both the political and action stakes, and giving plenty of time to each of the various supporting characters, directors Anthony and Joe Russo have delivered a slick and exciting espionage thriller that engages the brain as much as the adrenaline. It may not be perfect – the action is a bit choppy, and veers into overkill towards the end – but this is still a strong entry in what is unquestionably a golden age of comic book adaptations.

Full review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Film @ The Digital Fix

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Review: Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The lustre of Asgardian high adventure diminishes a little in this follow-up to 2011’s Thor (and last year’s Avengers Assemble too). Alan Taylor’s serviceable sequel delivers the epic action required from the latest entry in Marvel’s ambitious cinematic masterplan, but the story is awash with far too much pseudo-scientific blather and a vague sense of that-will-do plot laziness, which leaves little to savour beyond the visual spectacle. What worked in the first film still works now, which makes for an entertaining two hours for Marvel fans, but it’s a step down from Iron Man 3, never mind Joss Whedon’s breathtaking superhero team-up.

Full review: Thor: The Dark World | Film @ The Digital Fix