For much of 2013 and early 2014, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was doing well financially but needed something to bolster fan faith in it. Iron Man 3 was polarizing, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD had a slow start and Thor: The Dark World was decent at best. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the perfect remedy for that. Not only does TWS move the overall Cinematic Universe plot forward in a shocking way, but it introduces great new characters (Marvel, PLEASE listen to Anthony Mackie and put the Falcon in Avengers 2) and improves the ones we already had. What they did with Arnim Zola was not only a brilliant and practical adaptation of how he looks in the comics, but it's a rare case of being something only a film could pull off. My only big complaint is that Agent 13 was pretty much unnecessary and her role could have been folded into Maria Hill's presence (good to see her again too; her presence sort of makes this "Secret Avengers: The Movie"). The Winter Soldier also could have done a bit more, but I'm just impressed that they made him look exactly like he does in the comics. Nicely done, costuming department. In short: go see it. The MCU really does still have that magic; here's hoping they can keep up the momentum through Guardians of the Galaxy.
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