That’s right, boys and girls, break out your shields, dress up in your best red, white & blue and prepare to fight against bullies because Captain America is back in action!
In this sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and ninth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is trying to settle into contemporary life in Washington D.C. when a S.H.I.E.L.D. compatriot is attacked, forcing him to explore a hidden mystery that could endanger the world. After investigating with Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Cap decides to enlist the help of The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and face off against the titular adversary – The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
Now, let me preface by saying this – I haven’t read the Ed Brubaker Winter Soldier storyline this is based on, as I’m not the biggest comic book reader. Before you throw your stones, I’ll defend myself by stating that I am a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hell, I’ll even forgive a lot of the issues with Iron Man 2 on a good day. But, in terms of the Captain America character, I was a huge fan of his portrayal in his introductory film and how he was integrated into the larger universe with The Avengers, so I’ve naturally been quite giddy about this sequel. Watch the trailer below:
From the looks of it, this might just surpass its predecessor. There seems to be more of an emphasis on Cap’s skills not only on a physical level, but also on an espionage level. The first film emphasized more on developing Steve Rogers as a character and playing with the WWII era it was set in rather than directly on action or infiltration. Yet, as seen in the trailer, it looks as if Rogers has come into his own as a full on badass by not only jumping out of planes like he did in the 1940s, but also dealing with the inner workings of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s clear that the man has gone from being a mere soldier to being an agent all his own, which will surely be challenged by the introduction of the eponymous villain of the film. Plus, the dude has the balls to decline a date offer from Scarlett Johansson in favor of his duty. THAT takes dedication to your job.
Speaking of Johansson, the rest of the cast also seems to be fully invested. The scenes with Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie seem to emphasize the climate of the situation at hand, but not in an over the top “You Need To Save The World, Cap” kind of fashion like in the first film. Sure, there’s plenty of explosions and spectacle in there, but it looks as if all the characters are trying to deal with it in a very covert way. Even with the glimpses we get of The Winter Soldier himself feel like a far cry from the maniacal actions of The Red Skull in The First Avenger. The way he carries himself and catches Cap’s shield feels far more calculated and therefore all the more intimidating.
On a more visual note, huge kudos should go to directing brothers Anthony and Joe Russo (primarily known for their work on television comedies like Community, Arrested Development and Happy Endings) for managing to capture the look director Joe Johnston set up with the initial film while still making it feel sleek and modern. Who knew that the guys behind You, Me and Dupree could pull this off?
But what about those of you out there? Do you think Captain America: The Winter Soldier can be another fun entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or will it be a pot hole on the road to Avengers: Age of Ultron? Post your thoughts below!