Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kevin Is Right: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Trailer

This one is just a quick hitter because I just watched the new Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer and I am pumped.   Check it out below:

Wow.  There's so much to love here in such a small package.  (Yes, you may insert joke here).

First and foremost, it looks like Marvel will be cribbing liberally from Ed Brubaker's amazing run on Captain America (November 2004 to October 2012), which for my money is one of the best runs in a comic, ever.  If you want to read the books before seeing the movie, that's the place to start.  The Winter Soldier is the title of one of the best Brubaker's arcs, and it looks like the plot beats that characterize the arc are central to the film.

The high points all appear to be represented.  On the surface, we have the mystery of who is The Winter Soldier.  (We won't spoil it here).  However, even within the trailer we see the layers of subtlety of theme being peeled back.  The genius of Brubaker's run on Captain America is that he didn't utilize Captain America as just another super hero, or even as a sort of jingoistic American power fantasy.  Instead, Brubaker's run was a meditation on what it means to be American in the 21st century, and the tension between the legacy of the idealized American past, particularly "The Greatest Generation" and the realities of an ever-changing, frightening and menacing world.  The use of Captain America was a lens in which we could envision how "Old America" would view "New America" and thereby reconcile the two rapidly diverging ideas, and the nexus at which our American ideals converge upon our American realities.  In this case, the tensions between pre-emptive warfare and our idealized sense of justice, and even more subtle meditations, as manifested in Cap's suit which appears to have eschewed the more idealistic, symbolic Red White and Blue for a an approach that can be simultaneously be described as practical and stealth, or perhaps sneaky, covert and, even Anti-American.  I'm sure the symbolism that the only sign of America left on Caps' costume, the star, is also featured within the trailer on the Winter Soldier's metallic arm, will not go unremarked upon.

On top of this substantive work, we see some of the other special sauce that's going to make this All-American burger so tasty.  The character list is impressive.  Natasha Romanov, "The Winter Soldier", Nick Fury, and Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, who appears to be directing S.H.I.E.L.D. (even I don't understand this mystery, but it looks awesome), as well as The Falcon, who not only is a fantastic and underrated companion character to Captain America, but looks to be given a phenomenal character design for the movies.

I also want to commend the first 30 seconds of this trailer in particular.   I felt it was a bold move to lead your action movie trailer with a relatively quiet character moment between Romanov and Rodgers.   The gamble paid off in a big way, though.  The acting and interplay between Evans and Johansson is extremely engaging and playful, and yet the end beat of the scene is the sort of heroic moment that immerses you in that Captain America feeling.  I have to confess that after that 30 second clip, I had to readjust my expectations.  I was ready for a movie to start, and, sadly, only had a trailer.  Ultimately, that scene served to give me the intangible feeling of quality which really shaped my impression of the rest of the trailer.  Something whispered to me "Don't worry Captain America fanboy, we'll take good care of you, we understand."

Despite their excellent track record, I've never been this excited for a Marvel movie.  Sure, it's just a trailer, but this one may end up ranked with the first Iron Man film in terms of quality, if this trailer is any indication.  Obviously, too soon to tell, but boy do they have me excited!

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