Captain America: The Winter Soldier is possibly one of the best Marvel movies we've gotten since The Avengers. The fight scenes were on par with The Avengers and the ensemble cast was on par with that of the Iron Man movies. It was like a B-list Avengers movie in the best kind of way. It reminded me of The Avengers roster when I started reading it in the early 90s when Black Widow wore a leather jacket and lead the team. Vague spoilers ahead (but nothing too specific).
I'm not going to lie: I might not have loved this movie as much as everyone else seems to have loved it...but I still loved it. I thought the beginning was really slow. The whole scene on the ship all seemed too easy—it reminded me of an episode of Agents of Shield. There were no stakes and everyone seemed too good at everything. But, hey, we got to see Batroc the Leaper—so that was kinda cool. I haven't quite caught up on Agents of Shield (because, like I said, there are never any stakes and everyone is too good at everything) but I like that the beginning apparently vaguely tied into the show. Then we were introduced to Robert Redford (and did you all notice Lost's Charles Widmore as one of the council members) who had all this off screen backstory, which is my least favorite way of introducing a character. "Here's Nick Fury's oldest friend who you will think is bad because you don't know him nor have you seen him ever but Nick Fury vouches for him so he must be good..RYYYYYYGHT?"
Things started to pick up when Nick Fury got his big action scene. I legitimately was worried for Nick Fury. He's a badass but he's only human. I loved seeing all the fancy gadgets his Shield car had. While they were all very absurd, they seemed less absurd than things we've seen before. I did, however, wonder why the hell he didn't just call Maria Hill on a cell phone...but I can let that go since he had approximately 89789 people trying to kill him. I loved that Maria Hill came into the movie without much fanfare. I also liked how Falcon came back into the movie later on. I even really loved Black Widow and Cap trying to solve the Scooby Doo mystery of what was on that zip drive (or whatever). I had trouble figuring out what the endgame there was for Widow and Cap—but so what who cares—it was fun watching them do stuff together like beat the crap out of everyone.
Speaking of which: these fight scenes were some of the best in any Marvel movie to date. Winter Soldier demolishes everything in his path. I also liked that we got to see nearly every character have their own fight with him. The fight scene towards the end on the highway in DC was my absolute favorite. When there is a scene I really love in a movie it makes me think, "I would have re-played this scene with my action figures" and BOY did I think that during this scene. In fact, I think this movie was not only a great addition to the Marvel universe but it was also a really great action movie. Also also, I really loved Cap's new costume. I didn't like it with the helmet, but I really liked it otherwise. I kinda almost wish he'd keep this costume for a while—but, as we already know, he has a different costume in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
I think the one spot where the movie dropped the ball was the end. It was all very cool and Winter Soldier (who, might I add, looks like a really hot lead singer form a 90s rock band) beats the shit out of everything and everyone. I felt like I needed to see more Shield agents. I wanted to see a Hawkeye cameo. I wanted to see the cast from Agents of Shield make a cameo. This ending would have been a perfect time for Marvel to make Agents of Shield more interesting by having them cameo. I also wanted to see Vitcoria Hand—I mean, in Agents of Shield she seems pretty important (although, I'm still three episodes behind). I also didn't like that for a movie titled Captain America: the Winter Soldier we pretty much got no story on Winter Soldier other than the twist of his identity that you already knew if you've read any Marvel comic in the last five years. Oh, and there are two end of credits scenes (I mean, we all know this by now, right)—so make sure you wait until the very end. They were very "meh" to me but cool nonetheless. But, this movie is really really great. Go see it. It had a lot of nice Easter Eggs (which are fun and listed here), I teared up a few times (I mean, OF COURSE I DID) and the action scenes were absolutely top shelf. I might even go see it again.
Oh, and spoiler alert: the movie, sadly, does not end with Winter Soldier and Captain America making out.
One more spoiler alert: The most upsetting part of the movie is when Black Widow's date of birth is revealed AND SHE'S A YEAR YOUNGER THAN ME. I'm old and made of dust.