- Everyone seems to love Captain America 2.
- It hits Captain's melancholy hard.
- It doesn't really play with paranoia, political thrills, or surprise in any meaningful way.
- It doesn't really have anything serious to say about contemporary issues.
In a way, the last was the most disappointing. Learning that SHIELD was actually sheltering a secret cabal of Hydra deflected all of the serious ethical issues that we have. Which is fine for an action movie--maybe in a movie about a super-soldier who always does the right thing, you don't want to say "sometimes our military-security complex makes the wrong decision." But the way that this film puts all the blame on Hydra makes the moral issues more melodrama than drama. Particularly in a movie featuring lots of shoot-outs in crowded areas, this "the bad guys do bad things, the good guys are always good" morality rang as hollowly as a fist on Captain's shield.
So, Captain America 2 was a serious film when it looked at Steve Rogers's sadness and out-of-time quality; but it undercut that when it portrayed his enemies as completely evil and (worse) dumb. So, how was it as an action film?