The sequel to Captain America was able to have a little more freedom than the first; we got to see glimpses of Steve Rogers' life in the modern world in Avengers, but we really get a taste of his day to day life in Winter Soldier. He carries around a notebook writing down cultural references and songs he should catch up on, goes jogging every morning, and visits old friends from his past that still happen to be alive. There's a lot of touching moments in this film due to Rogers' innocent, all-American personality, but he manages to be a complex and enjoyable character nonetheless.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a very culturally relevant film, especially with all of the recent NSA news. Shield is building giant helicarriers that are the Marvel world's version of our drones. Cap isn't a huge fan of this notion, seeing what Shield is doing as promoting fear, not the freedom he fought for in Nazi Germany. The storyline is driven by Steve questioning the pre-crime idea, something that doesn't make sense to his cultural background.
The action scenes in this film are the best of any of the Marvel films up to this point. In no way was Captain America portrayed as an invincible Superman, being vulnerable to various attacks despite his strength and speed. There was far less nausea inducing shaky cam to make the fight scenes look more intense; the excellent choreography managed to make the fighting look good in their own right, with every blow making a satisfying sound. You got a sense that Captain America was in danger in every fight, which made your heart stop while watching, even though you knew he was obviously going to win. If you ever questioned how cool Cap was, this movie will him your favorite Avenger.
With all of the Snowden leaks, this film should really resonate with the audience. One of Robert Redford's lines in the film was, "The world is on a tipping point between order and chaos. I want to give it that push." I feel like this is something very much felt today; the government watches everyone to prevent crimes from happening, but all it produces is a feeling that we lost our freedom. This idea is something that WWII era hero is against, since he fought for our freedom first hand against the Nazis. It's enough to make you jump out of your seat and yell "'Merica!" when the credits begin to roll.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a great kick-off to the summer movie season. Here's to hoping the next round of Marvel movies continue in the direction of Winter Soldier.