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Initial random thoughts! (With spoilers for the comics arcs as well.)

I have to burble in here because CB was going on and on about how he did not like it that much and the plot holes and etc. and I was kind of just... hello I just want to go on about STEEEEEVVEEEEEE and NATASHAAAAAA and I do not really care about the plot!

I mean, bringing Hydra in basically always makes things kind of silly. On the other hand, I can see the bits and pieces of the comics they were putting in there and trying to stitch together, from Batroc (AHAHAHAHA sorry I still can't take him seriously. At least he didn't have the mustache?) to the secret agents of Hydra inside of SHIELD. Thank goodness this time it wasn't Sharon Carter being brainwashed.

To get it out of the way, other stuff I didn't like: how the movies keep alllmooooost getting into how SHIELD and SHIELD's methods really aren't the best way to operate, but then swerve away at the last minute by creating an even more evil organization and thus validating our heroes in the end. (Which makes me even more baffled by Agents of SHIELD, because it somehow manages to be more optimistic about SHIELD and SHIELD agents than the movies!) And they really could have done without the speechifying by Steve, but especially Natasha, because I just don't buy it from Natasha.

...also Agent Sitwell is for sure evil?? BOOO. I kept thinking he was going to be one of Fury's double double double however many times agents inside of Hydra.

And I am deeply unsure about what they are doing to Natasha's backstory! Are they really taking out the whole super soldier/Red Room/etc. stuff?! Because WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?!?! MARVEL YOU SHOULD MAKE A BLACK WIDOW MOVIE LIKE TWO YEARS AGO. Anyway, I will now hope that they'll cover some of that in CA3, which will obviously be about Bucky. And either Natasha is really really really covering up and not telling Steve stuff, or she has repressed Red Room memories, which is a more probable fanwank.

There also seemed to be a much higher body count than usual, possibly because we were inside SHIELD and therefore not killing civilians? I liked the small touch of people helping each other out of the tipped over Metro car before Hydra starts shooting it up to get to Steve, and although it was a bit cheesy, I did like how Steve's speech echoed what he says in Avengers to Loki in Germany and how the wee engineer guy saying no to scary Hydra dude paralleled the old German guy in Avengers standing up to Loki. And I really like that it did take him a while to screw up his courage, because making choices like that is hard, and I like it when things point out that doing the right thing is not the easy way at times. (Also, I always wonder what I would do in a situation like that. Because I would like to be brave, but I also know I would be terrified, as I generally like my brains inside my head.)

Come to think of it, aside from the intrigue, much of the plot really was like Avengers, only with Hydra instead of Loki deciding that the only way you can have peace and order is to kill a ton of people. I also very much liked how much of an ensemble it felt like; I honestly hadn't expected that much for Falcon to do, especially given all the other established characters floating around in there, and I really loved Sam and Steve's growing friendship.

Also: WINGS!!!! I was super happy the audience cheered a lot for him.

(One does wonder where Hawkeye was in all this though.)

They allllmooost had me believing that Fury was dead, because part of my thinking he wasn't was him showing up in trailers all wounded, and I didn't realize all that had taken place BEFORE his car got blown up! (Also, he has the same phone as my BiL, haha!) But given that Pierce was the villain and you clearly needed some sort of resistance, I mostly figured otherwise. Also, even if he was dead in the movie, people obviously don't stay dead long in the MCU.

Poor Agent 13 really doesn't get much to do. And was she on the phone with Peggy when we first see her?

YAY Steve and Peggy scene! It made me tear up.

I also would have watched an entire movie's worth of the Steve-and-Natasha roadtrip. Love all the interaction, and possibly ship them a LOT now. Or, er, a lot more than before, which was already a fair amount? I feel they had to stick all the stuff about setting him up with various women to dampen the prospects of an Avengers couple. Also, movie, I was fully expecting Steve to have to put his life in Natasha's hands at some point on trust given their give and take at Sam's place! She got some really cool action sequences, but I would have liked less of Steve shielding her a ton and the being wounded and unconscious at various points.

Love the entire sequence of her as the World Security Council woman kicking everyone's ass, although I was a bit sad to see it was Natasha and not an older woman being an action hero, because that would have been really awesome.

And oh Steve, you do always go down with the ship, don't you? The scene where he just lets Bucky punch him and doesn't try to fight back because he's with Bucky till the end ... much better than the Cosmic Cube! (Though possibly in the comic he just lets Bucky whale on him too?) But OMG I am such a sucker for scenes like that and the slow realization of "Maybe I know you enough to drag you out of the water but I have to go away and angst before we have more of a reunion."

Also, I very much appreciated Steve's tight t-shirt in the opening scenes. Natasha got more clingy clothes than she had in Avengers (also WHY the zipper down on her bodysuit in the helicopter? It was 5 seconds, you guys could have just had it up!)

Love that Steve steals his old costume and that that's what he's wearing in the final showdown with Bucky, because of course he is.

Actually, I love all the moments of Steve's past coming back, because of course it does for the Winter Soldier, from the Smithsonian exhibit to the visit with Peggy to his old uniform to his old training camp. And the moment when he's facing down Bucky on the bridge of one of the Helicarriers and how it echoes the moment he faces down Red Skull across the bridge in CA1 and then has to leap over to where Bucky is.

I am not sure how I feel about the dismantling of SHIELD. Because on the one hand, yes, I like that Maria Hill and Natasha both agree that it has to happen and it's not just a "the weaponized Helicarriers and all that research from the cosmic cube will be totally fine!! As long as it's SHIELD and not Hydra!" thing, and it's that the entire organization can be suspect, even the non-Hydra bits. On the other hand... what are they going to do?! Ahahaha, are they going to have to change the name of the TV show?

I do kinda love the idea of Maria Hill and Pepper working together though.

On that note, I think the movie baaaarely passes the Bechdel test, and at least this time Maria and Natasha actually talk to each other? But not a lot!

Eeee, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch! (She really does look like another one of Joss' dangerous waifish brunettes, doesn't she?)

(Also was Abed a SHIELD agent?)

Going back to the ending with Natasha, which also totally echoes the ending of the Avengers with Fury telling off the World Security Council (or whatever they are called), I don't know if that heralds the re-formation of SHIELD? Both their speeches are a bit too much Dark Knight-esque in the whole "you need us superpowered beings who can come in and ignore all the rules and do what really must be done," though that's hardly the sole purview of the Nolan movies (see: Iron Man).

I will now just pretend she said that to get people off her back, and she's also on her own stealth mission to Russia since after digging up files for Steve, she got bits of memory back as well. Ready for fic now!
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Oyceter

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