4 out of 5 stars
A.K.A. Avengers 2 ½. While calling this Captain America is a bit of a cheat as it involves almost everyone from the Avengers series and carries on directly from and deals with the consequences of the last Avengers film, it is the style of writing and directing (by the Russo Brothers) that put it in the same vein as the Capt. America strands of films: more hand to hand combat, less CGI/mindless explosive annihilations and the focus is more on relationships and emotional interactions between the characters – and all the better for it. If The Winter Soldier is a 70s conspiracy film, this one belongs to the “someone’s been framed and need to prove his innocence” genre. The script keeps it simple and wisely do not see the need to shoehorn a new villain into the already bloated cast list. There is still the problem of finding a dramatic arc (no matter how small) for everyone – though they manage it just about without messing up either the main narrative or stopping the movie dead on its tracks. The introduction of even more characters from the MCU for future franchises is less sledgehammer-like, and in fact, helps elevate the darkness and solemnity the old Avengers found themselves in and that lightness and joy are the key and major difference between this film and another recent superhero mashup. It also makes some of the narrative contrivances bearable, for this is by no means a perfect film, but given both the disappointment and down-right hostility the audience had for recent films from both DC and Marvel, anything vaguely resembling a half decently made and thought out film that is actually enjoyable and fun to spend 2.5 hrs with, feels like a breeze of much needed fresh air, blowing away the cobwebs left behind by both Bats and Ultrons alike.