Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be endlessly fascinating.
I’m sorry this post is a day late. I was going to come up with something creative about being out doing my Love Pirate duties, but the reality is that I just didn’t get around to it in time. However I finally got it done. As the release of Thor: The Dark World approaches, it’s time for Marvel to start promoting the next film in their Cinematic Universe. Behold the trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which takes things in a drastically different direction than 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Take a look below, and read on for my thoughts:
Obviously, the first Captain America film covered all of the available storylines from the 1940s for our hero Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and ended with his arrival in the present day. The Avengers gave us a good foundation for how the character fits into our time, showing Rogers trying to adapt to the state of the world and struggling to find his place in it. He finished that film working with SHIELD, but not entirely trusting Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) or his methods.
The Winter Soldier gives us a better glimpse at how Rogers is adjusting to his new life and his new role as an agent of SHIELD. He banters about office romance with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) before jumping out of a plane without a parachute, clearly more comfortable in action than socializing. The political situation is obviously weighing on him, as he tells Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) that he joined SHIELD to protect people, only to be told “Captain, to build a better world sometimes means tearing the old one down.” Later in the trailer Fury says, “SHIELD takes the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be.” Things clearly aren’t as black and white as they were back during WWII, and that’s one of the big issues that Rogers will face in The Winter Soldier.
We get a lot of action in this trailer, though without context it doesn’t have a lot of impact. The trailer is full of crashing helicarriers, explosions, motorcycle chases, shootouts, an Anthony Mackie flying around as the Falcon. It also makes Captain America look at least 80% more badass than he came across during the entirety of his first film. The Russo brothers, who replaced Joe Johnston as director, have given the film a gritty 1970s espionage vibe that sets it apart from its predecessor and most of the other MCU films (though oddly right in line with Iron Man 3).
What’s interesting to me is how much this trailer seems to give away, especially when combined with the amount of information given out by the cast and crew of the film. For starters, there’s the film’s subtitle, The Winter Soldier, which references a famous plotline from the comic books. When you add to that the fact that the producers have said that the story of the film will adhere closely to the comics, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for surprises. Even if you weren’t aware of that storyline, there’s the confirmation that Sebastian Stan will return, reprising his role from the first film despite the fact that his character seemingly died. But even beyond those, the construction of the trailer isn’t exactly subtle when it comes to potential spoilers. I’m not big on spoilers, or predicting what’s going to happen, but I bet I (or you) could guess most of the plot from the trailer and what has been discussed by the crew.
I don’t have a problem with that, however, because clearly they’re going for style and mood over plot with The Winter Soldier. For me, combining this new direction with the advancements Joss Whedon made with the character in The Avengers makes me far more excited for this film than I was for the first one. Watching an American hero fight Nazis is not nearly as interesting as watching an American hero cope with an America he no longer recognizes. Combine the political grey area with a more thrilling visual style and a more interesting hero and you’ve taken the least enjoyable character from Marvel’s “Phase One” and made him into one of the most intriguing characters in their “Phase Two” slate of films. It’s not something I would have thought possible, so I give Kevin Feige and the folks at Marvel lots of credit for that. They’ve already proven that they’re capable of delving into new depths of the characters with Iron Man 3, and I hope they can do it again with Captain America.
What do you think? How does Captain America: The Winter Soldier look? Do you think this will be a step up from Captain America: The First Avenger? Do you like the chemistry between Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson? Is there any chance that Robert Redford doesn’t turn out to be a villain? Do you think they’ve given too much of the story away? Let me know in the comments!