Exciting news for Marvel fans in Fresno and all over the world today as, in wait for the release of Thor: The Dark World on November 8, Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios have finally released to first official trailer for their third feature film int their "Phase 2" film slate: Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, the film is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russoand features Chris Evans reprising his role from both the first film as well as 2012's The Avengers. Also returning from previous Marvel films are Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Toby Jones as Arnim Zola, Maximiliano Hernández as Jasper Sitwell, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, Garry Shandling as Senator Stern, and most prominently, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier. New additions to the ensemble cast include Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow, a.k.a. Crossbones, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, a.k.a. Agent 13, Georges St-Pierre as Georges Batroc, and Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce.
The teaser trailer succeeds in telling us a lot about the film in less than two and a half minutes. The opening scene between Cap and Black Widow as he is about to drop out of a plane for his next mission (without a parachute mind you) serves to lighten the tone in preparation for the rather intensely political undertones of the rest of the piece.
We learn that Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, has joined S.H.I.E.L.D. after the events of The Avengers as a way to protect the people, but as S.H.I.E.L.D. executive Alexander Pierce tells him, "To build a better world sometimes means turning the old one down." He commentates on the fragility of the world, especially in the wake of an attempted alien invasion, and how all it takes is one step to plunge it into chaos, and as he says all of this we are shown images of a far more resource-laden and weaponized S.H.I.E.L.D., to the point that they seem to have a fleet of Helicarriers and Quinjets. There are also clips of what appear to be terrorist attacks on a sidewalk and on the freeway, as well a scene of Cap and Widow looking at someone in a hospital operating room. Cap is shown getting into heated disagreement with Nick Fury over S.H.I.E.L..D. taking more preemptive measures to stop a lot of hostilities before they happen, to which Cap responds "I thought the punishment usually came after the crime," to which Fury responds, "S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the world as it is, not as we'd like it to be." Cap's response to this: "This isn't freedom, this is fear." This exchange especially resonates with this examiner because it is an excellent summary of Cap's old-fashioned and optimistic beliefs from World War II versus the much darker reality of the modern world he exists in now.
The trailer also features plenty of action and spectacle. There is a quick but great sequence of Cap taking out an elevator full of assassins single-handedly, then more terrorist attacks, including what appears to be an attack on Nick Fury himself by none other than are title villain, the Winter Soldier. We even get to briefly see a glimpse of Cap new partner in action this time around, the Falcon, as he shoots as aerial attackers before taking flight on his own par of mechanical wings. There are shots of Black Widow in action, Cap on a motorcycle, Hellicarriers getting blown out of the sky, and of course, a taste of the mono-a-mono fight between Cap and the Winter Soldier, including a final exchange after the main title that sums up there dynamic in a nutshell.
Visually there is a lot to digest here. Captain America's new costume is features heavily, but at this point I am still on the fence about it. The suit looks more practical and war-ready than the Avengers suit did, but the loss of the iconic color scheme in favor of a dark blue suit with a silver star and silver stripes protruding from it is an odd change; still it looks like we will be seeing more of his World War II outfit as well, so I probably learn to live with it. The Winter Soldier has a great design, looking very gritty with his black attire, long and tangled hair, metallic arm, and a mask covering half his face in place of his domino mask from the comics...even though it is common knowledge to fan now who he really is. Falcon is only briefly glimpsed at, but I liked the more military leather look to his outfit and the clearly metallic wings to help downplay the potential goofiness of his character. The trailer also suggests that Robert Redford's character, not surprisingly, will be a significant player in the events of the film, which I'm sure will lead to a lot of fan speculation online.
The overall tone of this trailer telegraph a much darker, grittier, and in this case more of a political thriller that the original film, which does well to fit the tone that has been establish in it's Phase 2 predecessors Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, and will surely continue in the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The trailer, which can be viewed here, is promising a very big and exciting film, but will just have to wait and see for ourselves when Captain America: The Winter Soldier is finally released on April 4, 2014.