Saturday, October 26, 2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Trailer Debuts!

The trailer for the upcoming Captain America film has arrived!

The official boilerplate, then my thoughts, if you're interested...

"After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury."

Obvious reasons to cheer:
1. Another Captain America film! The powers-that-be, while not redeeming themselves for the exciting-meets-disappointing duality of 2011's The First Avenger, created a decent portrayal of the character in the Avengers... and as a huge Cap fan from my 1970s childhood, I've been interested in where Marvel (and Chris Evans, not bad in the role so far) will take the country's #1 defender.

2. The Falcon appears!  'nuff said.

3. The return of gorgeous Hayley Atwell, and the Avengers crossover appearances of Cobie Smulders and Scarlett Johansson — three ladies who are welcome around my campfire any time — will certainly add some grrrl power to offset the explosions of testosterone.


1. The story has to be good, thrilling and not give way to average-fare CGI action and rote dialogue in the second half.... a terrible mistake made in The First Avenger, and an error that seems to befall too many superhero flicks... the last Superman attempt comes to mind.  And I want to be on the edge of my seat rooting for my childhood hero, not a costumed Jason Bourne or Frank Martin. I know its difficult re-establishing a character's kick-ass originality with so many latter-day variants in the wake, but umpteen millions of dollars should buy a script.

2. My number two cause for wariness is more of the "S.H.I.E.L.D." motif.  I think the all-knowing, paramilitary, super-righteous squad of spies is what made me wary of the government back when I was a grade-schooler!  As the 1970s progressed into the 80s, one never quite knew where Fury & Co. would land in the ethics department... which was deliberate, as Stan Lee's writers began to address the debate between national (or world) security interests and civil rights, zealotry and abuse of political power decades before Wikileaks and NSA hijinks prompted a collective opening of eyes.  This theme intensified over the years, with ultra-patriot Steve Rogers sometimes torn between unfortunate American realities and commendable American ideals.

We'll see how this plays out... in this mistrust-breeding age of wiretapping and secret programs made not-so-secret, I've found Marvel Film's embrace - and so far, a pretty, one-sided portrayal - of a Homeland Security wet dream to be a bit odd.  I've got a feeling that Cap's S.H.I.E.L.D. involvement in Winter Soldier will be a bit more dimensional.

But, please... not three-dimensional!

- Steve Stav

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