When it comes to the first Captain America film (well, the first one in Marvel’s slate of movies leading into 2012’s The Avengers), I tend to feel like I’m in the minority of people who dug its pulpy pleasures. I’m calling it right now and predicting that reaction won’t be quite so split for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which frankly stands to be the best Marvel production to date. Maybe this is just a case of trailer shock, but I don’t think so – watch the above two minutes and forty seconds’ worth of footage to see for yourself.
Now that’s more like it, Marvel.
Now that Phase One is complete, Steve Rogers is marooned in the present, a super soldier out of time but still dedicated toward fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. With all of that in mind, it’s only natural that Captain America: The Winter Soldier pits him against both his past and his ideals; he’s an anachronism inhabiting a world that’s very, very different from the one he butted heads with the Nazis to protect in The First Avenger, and it seems that a big part of Rogers’ struggle here will be reconciling his beliefs against the reality of how S.H.I.E.L.D. fights wars today.
The other part comes in the form of our masked friend, the eponymous Winter Soldier. Those who have read Ed Brubaker’s highly lauded run on the Captain America comics know exactly who it is that Steve’s squaring off with here, so I’ll let that little detail lie for the time being (though I’d advise against reading the Internet if you really want to be surprised by the inevitable reveal in the film). Threats within, threats without; Cap has his hands full this time around, make no mistake, though at least he has the aid of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Anthony Mackie’s Falcon (who gets the second best moment of the teaser, following the shield catch at the end).
So, summed up: I’m excited. I don’t know how I feel about Thor: The Dark World (the frosted side of me loves the increase in fantasy and mythological elements, the whole wheat side of me remembers how bad the first Thor movie is), but I can pretty safely say that Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks outstanding. Right now, Phase Two is one for one; by 2014, we’ll see if it’s three for three. If nothing else, putting the Captain in a super-charged version of a Tom Clancy novel (with Robert Redford standing by in a supporting role, no doubt) sounds like a great idea on paper.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4th, 2014.