Last night in Los Angeles, Marvel screened the Iron Man 3 spin-off One-Shot All Hail The King, which finds Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) in prison. Following a Q&A with Kingsley, writer/director Drew Pearce and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, we were promised a treat, with Feige announcing that they’d screen the first 10 minutes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Prepare, then, for our take on the opening scenes of Marvel’s next film, with the attendant spoiler warnings that come with that.
We won’t describe the footage beat-by-beat here, especially because even in this brief look there’s plenty you should see without advance knowledge. But we will say that given how the film opens with Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers lapping Anthony Mackie’s pre-Falcon Sam Wilson as he jogs around the National Mall in Washington, D.C., you can expect plenty of Marvel (and Cap)’s trademark wry humour mixed with the action.
Mackie and Evans display an easy bantering chemistry in the first scene, catching us up on how Cap is adapting to life in his post-popsicle state and adding Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man album to the list of things he needs to catch up on (a list, which, in the US version of the film, at least, includes Star Wars, Star Trek and Steve Jobs – Apple).
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff shows up in a growling black Corvette to take Steve off on a mission, drawing a laugh of her own by asking the way to the Smithsonian because she has to “pick up a fossil”. We cut to a plane flying through the clouds above the Indian Ocean, where agent Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) is briefing Cap, Widow and other team members on their assignment. Most of the footage on the plane after the initial briefing comes from the trailers we’ve seen: Cap joking about his personal life and leaping from the plane to the amazement of some of his colleagues.
Their mission is to take down a group of pirates who have hijacked a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship – Cap says that he’s getting tired of being Fury’s janitor – and rescue the team aboard. Rogers is first aboard, taking out various mercenaries and soldiers with ease and some super-powered martial arts. He sends Black Widow and the rest off to secure other areas, with Natasha in particular showing off her usual deadly abilities.
Their big target is Georges Batroc (Georges St. Pierre), who is demanding a ransom for the return of the ship and its crew. Can Cap rescue the hostages, which intriguingly include Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández’ character from The Avengers, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Item 47 and more)? Well… you’ll have to see the film to find out, as that’s where the footage ended.
All in all, the footage we saw showed a confident, funny, action-packed film that, as we’ve watched in the trailers, just builds from there. It’s easy to see why the Marvel brass were happy with directing siblings Anthony and Joe Russo; this thing looks very stylish, and the character work gives Chris Evans plenty of moments to shine. The whole film will be out in the UK on March 26. The Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray itself is in stores now.