Captain America: The Winter Soldier is another very enjoyable installment from the Marvel franchise. The story revolves around Hydra's complete infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. which leads to the shutdown of the latter and the attempt of the former to take over the world.
For all of you not initiated to the Marvel universe, S.H.I.E.L.D. is the global organization created to defend the Earth against extraordinary threats. Hydra is the Nazi organization that survived WWII to become S.H.I.E.L.D.'s greatest enemy.
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), aka Captain America, is the super-soldier that was created during WWII to combat Hydra. However, he was literally put on ice at the end of the war and was thawed out in modern times. Now he's learning how to assimilate into the new world.
During the war, he had a relationship with a British agent named Peggy, played by Hayley Atwell. When Rogers is thawed out, Peggy is now in her 90s and confined to a hospital. He still loves her and visits her often.
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
During the war, his best friend and comrade in arms, Bucky Barnes, was lost in action. Unbeknownst to Rogers, Barnes became another super-soldier, this time working for the enemy. Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier, has been performing missions for over 60 years since the end of the war.
*** END SPOILER ALERT ***
With Hydra on the verge of finally achieving their goal of global domination, they try to kill everyone who is in their way, including Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and Captain America. Fury lets everyone think he's dead so that he can concentrate on fighting Hydra.
Hydra's infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. is so thorough that Fury can trust NO ONE. In fact, the man at the very top who oversees S.H.I.E.L.D., Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), is also the head of Hydra!
Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha, aka the Black Widow, a kick-ass Russian agent now part of S.H.I.E.L.D. Along with a newcomer, the Falcon, Captain America has a very able team to foil Hydra's plan.
An interesting note here is that the story thread for The Winter Soldier is linked to the TV series, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Tuesdays on CTV). In the series, Nick Fury is presumed dead and S.H.I.E.L.D. has been totally compromised. This is the first time in cinematic history, I believe, when a current film is directly linked to a current TV series.
On a personal note, one of the stars in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a Chinese-American actress named Chloe Bennet, aka Chloe Wang (her father is Chinese). Chloe is smoking hot!!! If not for her, I might not bother watching the show.
Anyway, if you're a Marvel fan, and even if you're not, I recommend Captain America: The Winter Soldier.