I was really hoping this movie would be better than it was. Alas, it wasn’t.
After a promising beginning, dealing with the “death” of Captain America, and setting up some multi-decade intrigue, the movie’s plot devolved into nothing more than, “here’s a character, here’s his/her power, he/she isn’t a team player, now everybody get together and fight something.”
They did attempt a small bit of character development, especially with Captain America and Bruce Banner/Hulk, but it was really not handled well. And the villains were not developed at all! With the promising set-up in the World War II setting, there was a lot of mystery surrounding these guys. The writers obviously wanted to do something with it, but either couldn’t figure it out, or it got cut completely out of the movie. Early on, one character even asks, “Why are they still here?” and the response is all we ever get about it: “We don’t know.” That’s it.
The real answer, of course, is so the good guys have someone to fight. But that’s not really helpful, plot-wise.
It’s a shame, because reading about some of these same characters in the current Marvel “Civil War” event in the comic books, it’s obvious that there is a lot of excellent character development and interesting story to draw from. It’s really disappointing that they chose to make this release so unsatisfyingly formulaic. I’ve seen better story arcs in many of the Marvel cartoons (like the X-Men and Spiderman cartoons that aired on U.S. TV in the 1990′s).