This is a film that could have been powerful if not for the need to sustain the franchise with sequel-friendly developments of the Marvel universe. Instead of the guessing game the trailer suggested, I was served a mediocre film that has no surprises (at least for regular movie-goers), and lazily smooches off the general public's renewed interest on government surveillance and intelligence due to the recent NSA leaks.
On the positive side, I enjoyed the characters and dialogue. The developing relationships around Steve Rogers (Captain America), and the clash of ideologies, were the stronger aspects. They are what made the first film great and what I hoped they would focus on.
More negatively, I found this to be is an anti-intelligence film. It is the negation of Skyfall; adept in showing the flaws of intelligence organizations, tries to ask interesting questions, but then fails to answer them adequately.
There were many quieter, slower scenes with Steve pondering his place in the modern world that gave the film more atmosphere. I preferred those moments a thousand times over the highly choreographed fighting and chase sequences which has no suspense because you know they aren't going to kill off their franchise mascots!
Overall I cannot say this is a bad film, but I don't consider it a ground breaker in any context like its predecessor, and I wouldn't recommend it except in preparation for Avengers 2. And like most marvel films, the post-credit scenes are better than the film itself.
5.0 / 10.0