Action-packed thrills guaranteed

Captain America faces down Hydra in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'.

Captain America faces down Hydra in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'.

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Past and present collide in Anthony and Joe Russo’s action-packed sequel to ‘Captain America’, which continues to expand the sprawling Marvel Comics universe

Addressing timely concerns about unrest in the Middle East and the corruptibility of the political establishment, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is a bombastic, big budget extravaganza that’s every bit as entertaining as the opening chapter.

A crunching car chase involving S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) is edge-of-the-seat stuff and a climactic showdown involving the titular hero (Chris Evans) and diabolical Hydra lets loose the special effects wizards.

The canny casting of Robert Redford in a meaty supporting role conjures fond memories of ‘Three Days Of The Condor’, which also explored skulduggery within the corridors of power.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is cut from the same tried and tested cloth as the first instalment and there’s an inescapable feeling throughout that this is an appetiser to the main course of a third film in 2016. Sure enough, the Russo brothers’ picture ends with a cliff-hanger.