“We’re going to neutralize a lot of threats before they even happen,” explains Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in the middle of the brand new full length trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. To which Cap (Chris Evans) responds, “I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.” And so, perhaps treading in thematic territory similar to Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report while calling to mind recent world events in Iraq, Iran, and Syria (not to mention issues of personal privacy), the Captain America sequel seems to announce that it’s here to be taken seriously.
Which doesn’t mean there will be an absence of colorful costumes and fantastic action. Of particular interest is Anthony Mackie’s appearance as The Falcon, which (provided he makes it through the movie alive) would seem to confirm the long-standing rumors that he’ll appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron as well, perhaps tying into that storyline rather directly. Although the trailer focuses on Cap’s internal struggles with S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight against the mysterious Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan, reprising his role as Bucky Barnes, though with a much more sinister bent this time around), it’s Mackie’s brief appearance which hints at where the movie will stand in relation to Age of Ultron.
It’s all speculation at this point, but Mackie’s iteration of the Falcon seems to be leaning more on the character’s Ultimate comics iteration, which positions him as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Falcon could (like Tony Star/Iron Man) represent the work of an independent genius, but we’re betting he plays more into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s efforts to create a counter to superheroes. If Ultron does end up being a S.H.I.E.L.D. creation, Falcon could represent an early attempt to create a government-controlled superhuman.
But back to this movie. The trailer’s chock full of more minutiae we could (but for the moment won’t) guess at, but what we do know is that Robert Redford is going to play a featured role as Alexander Pierce, a close ally of Nick Fury’s in the comics cannon. Also (as mentioned) is a somehow revived Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s friend from the ’40s, who is now the titular Winter Soldier and chief antagonist for the picture.
We’ll be interested to see how the final film balances setting up Age of Ultron, dealing with the heavy political themes, and still having plenty of super-soldier-on-super-soldier action (the Winter Soldier’s direct threat, in particular, seems to clash with the broader ideas the film wants to discuss), but for now we’ll be content watching this plenty exciting trailer:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is being directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, and is due in theaters April 4.