Trailer Tuesday: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Coming out third in the string of second wave Marvel Comics adaptations - after Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World - that mark the lead-up to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, is sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Despite my enthusiasm for a World War II era superhero film, I was disappointed by the 2011 original Captain America. I found it the most unengaging of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies up until that point. And watching the first trailer for follow-up Winter Soldier, I can't say I've been hooked from the outset... despite my fondness for Cap's dark new duds.
For the record, Winter Soldier is a political action thriller set after the events of The Avengers. Unfrozen after nearly 70 years in stasis, Captain America AKA Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is disconnected from our modern times and throws himself into his work for secret government organisation SHIELD. His allies include fellow agents Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie), while Emily VanCamp is potential lover interest Sharon Carter - a relative of Cap's original sweetheart Peggy.
Driving the plot in the sequel is the fact that Cap finds his personal principles at odds with the agenda of SHIELD heads Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford). These decision-makers have no qualms about impinging on people's rights and personal freedoms to protect the status quo. While battling not to become a pawn, Rogers is targeted by a series of hitmen, including the title character, a deadly assassin who can go toe-to-toe with America's First Avenger... and who has a personal grudge against our hero going back decades.
Comic book readers know exactly who the Soldier is, but I won't spoil it for viewers unfamiliar with canon.
Now personally I don't have a hatred for Captain America but I found the character, like the Hulk, trends to be better when utilised as part of a team (which was why he was so great in The Avengers). Cap just generally seems too vanilla and one-note to carry a film on his own. I'm hoping future promotional material for Winter Soldier changes my preconceptions about the film because right now I'm not sensing much that gives it its own standout identity.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in North America and South Africa on 4 April 2014. As usual, expect the film to be showing in converted 3D as well as 2D.