Rogue 10: Ten Reasons We're Psyched for 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Thursday, 24 October 2013 10:03 Written by  iamrogue
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Rogue 10: Ten Reasons We're Psyched for 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Next year, the star-spangled Avenger is returning to theaters. 

And we've got a good feeling about Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

When last we saw Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, he was leading the titular superteam and enjoying some shawarma in The Avengers.  That summer blockbuster marked the commercial peak (so far) of the roll Marvel Studios has been on for the past several years.  Phase 2 of that roll kicked off in fine fashion this year with Iron Man 3, and continues in mere weeks with Thor: The Dark World.

But we're looking ahead to April 2014, when Cap tosses his signature shield on his first solo outing since Captain America: The First Avenger.  Unlike that two-fisted World War II adventure, Captain America: The Winter Soldier brings Rogers into a recognizably modern world, a more cynical setting in which he confronts sinister conspiracies, untrustworthy characters, and a familiar figure with a bone to pick.

Marvel Studios unveiled the first Winter Soldier teaser trailer just this morning.  By now, you've probably laid eyes on the trailer, but if not, click right here.

We've long heard that this sequel is a comic book movie riff on the conspiracy thrillers of the 1970s.  The trailer shows just that, combining event movie spectacle and shadowy goings-on.  Basically, Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks fantastic.  So much so we here at IAR wanted to share just a few of the reasons that we're properly excited for the sequel after viewing the first trailer.

So, without further ado, here's a Rogue 10 compiling ten reasons we're super-psyched for the continuing exploits of Marvel's super soldier:

10. Cap's New Look

Bad sequels tend to repeat their predecessors on the assumption that more is better.  Good sequels tend to take characters we already care about to new places, exploring and adding depth to a familiar setting.  If Cap's new primary costume is any indication, The Winter Soldier should fall into the latter category.  Very much inspired by the Super Soldier regalia from the pages of recent Marvel comics, these simpler duds step away from the uniforms Steve sported in his last two outings.  Based on a few shots in the trailer, Steve also dons the old red, white, and blue costume.  Whether he does so in flashbacks or the modern day, it's nice to know that Steve will show off his colorful sartorial choices too.

9. Helicarriers!

The helicarrier was a big element in The Avengers, but there was only the one.  We're looking at a multitude of this airborne juggernauts this time around, and if anything visually signifies an overstepping domestic security force, it's a bunch of heavily-armed aircraft carriers looming overhead.  Also, you know damn well you wanted to see Nick Fury's ride actually crash in Avengers.

8. Action Movie Scale, Big and Small

Cap led Earth's Mightiest Heroes in a battle against alien invaders led by a wayward god, so it would be difficult to just go bigger.  Helicarriers aside, this sequel isn't just going bigger.  Some of the most striking moments we've yet seen involve straightforward fisticuffs and a sequence on a D.C. highway.  Hell, the showstopping beat in the teaser is just a guy catching a shield.  Cap's powers are nowhere near Hulk or Thor levels, but that doesn't make it any less thrilling to see just how he operates, as when he mops the floor with an elevator full of burly lunkheads.

7. Anthony Mackie as The Falcon

Anthony Mackie is awesome, turning in charismatic supporting performances in The Hurt Locker, 8 Mile, and Gangster Squad, among others.  And The Falcon is awesome, a Harlem-born superhero who was Captain America's sidekick back in the Seventies.  The cinematic version of the character ditches his telepathic link to birds and instead does him up as a badass S.H.I.E.L.D asset, one whose high-tech wings allow him to hold his own in a dogfight with a quinjet.

6. Robert Redford Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Here's a dilemma: Needing an actor with the gravitas to believably play several pay grades above Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury.  Here's a solution: Hire a legend.  As S.H.I.E.L.D. brass Alexander Pierce, Robert Redford projects an old-fashioned certainty that shades his relationship with old-school hero Steve Rogers, but he also has a big boss slickness that gives him some ambiguity.  And he brings the pedigree of classic political thrillers like Three Days of the Condor and All the President's Men

5. Shades of Grey in S.H.I.E.L.D.

Speaking of ambiguity, Marvel's pre-eminent espionage organization might just be stepping over some serious lines in The Winter Soldier.  S.H.I.E.L.D. has been the connective tissue of the cinematic universe, but its dips into illegality and rights-infringement have been sprinted past and justified pretty consistently  If this sequel can tackle Cap's assertion, "This isn't freedom, this is fear" with any depth, it will be a welcome dimension for the ubiquitous spy agency.

4. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff stood out among the heavy hitting heroes of Marvel's big team-up.  Despite not having superpowers, Johansson's Black Widow was pretty much the most capable hero in The Avengers.  Nowadays, she's basically Captain America's partner, and around IAR HQ, we wouldn't mind if Cap's next adventure is a two-hander between him and a 21st Century Woman on his level.  And if this is one step closer to a Black Widow movie, all the better.

3. Joe and Anthony Russo

Yeah, the sibling duo who made You, Me, and Dupree aren't obvious choices like Joe Johnston on Captain America: The First Avenger.  But Jon Favreau was a weird choice for Iron Man, too.  These guys have shown their facility with genre elements in their excellent work on NBC's Community.  Between them, Joe and Anthony Russo have directed episodes like "A Fistful of Paintballs," "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons," "Debate 109," and "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux."  Plus, they're comfortable with funny business, and the Marvel movies always make room for humor.

2. Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier

Ed Brubaker's rejiggering of longtime Cap sidekick Bucky Barnes into a brainwashed Soviet black-ops agent is outstanding.  It's the sort of stuff you can't read without thinking how cool it would be as a movie.  The version of Barnes played by Stan in The First Avenger was very much based on Brubaker's take, and nicely set up a compelling relationship between best friends who now become adversaries.  Onscreen, The Winter Soldier looks sharp and surprisingly close to the comic book design by Steve Epting.  More importantly, Winter Soldier's backstory has all the makings of a great supervillain who is a match for our hero.

1. Chris Evans as The Man Out of Time

Some of the best material in The Avengers didn't even make it in the movie.  The famous deleted scenes following a melancholy Steve Rogers through the world after seventy years on ice really resonate, hitting some chord of out-of-touchness in seemingly everyone.  This Phase 2 entry isn't zipping past our hero's discomfort with modernity by dropping a few jokes about cells phones.  Instead, the fact that this paragon of Greatest Generation virtue takes issue with modern security concerns looks to be thematically central to this solo outing. 

Based on the trailer, this sequel will have enough popcorn fun to fly, but if it can nail Cap's straightforward heroism and awkward place in this new world, then Captain America: The Winter Soldier could really soar.

Captain America goes head-to-head with the Winter Soldier in theaters nationwide on April 4th, 2014.

Big thanks to CinemaBlend and JoBlo for the screengrabs from today's teaser trailer.

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