Monday, November 4, 2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a character guide

I'm sure you probably know about this already, but the first teaser trailer for the upcoming movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out not too long ago. It may not surprise you to hear this, but in the time since, I've watched it repeatedly and let me assure you, I am giddy. I'm giddy because this time the film looks like it's not only going to capture the essence of Captain America, but it also might be good, maybe. Sure, I enjoyed the first film, but I didn't love it. I blame Joe Johnston and his goofy Rocketeer ascetic for this. To me, it was just a little too much Disney and not enough Guns of Navarone meets Indiana Jones, so I was excited to hear he was going to be replaced for the second film. But then the Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe, got named as the new Directors and I was a bit nervous. They're more known for directing comedies and sit-coms than big budget genre movies. To be fair, the sit-coms in question are episodes of Community, which is one of the funniest shows ever, but would those skills translate?

Let's see...


Sure, sure, it's a bit light on narrative, mostly consisting of some flashy sequences and images, but what do you want? Despite the two minute length and sheer amount of amazing content shown, it is supposed to be just a teaser. That being said, what is shown is... awesome. Ya' hear me? Awesome! That's not to say I've forgotten the lesson of Man of Steel, a good trailer does not mean a good movie, but still... it looks so awesome. So awesome! Did I mention that I'm giddy? Hopefully future versions will reveal a little more of the story and maybe showcase the high-flying Falcon and the Black Widow more, but in the meantime... awesome.


But before we go on, can we just pause for a half second here? Can we just take a moment or so to collectively lose our shit over the fact a Captain America and The Falcon movie is even happening at all, not to mention one that features both Black Widow and the Winter Soldier? How did that happen? How did we get here? When did we end up in Geek World? I mean, this is some deeply nerdy shit, people. I have to wonder at how the non-comic friendly out there feel about all of the various going-ons in this trailer. Are you interested? Are you dazzled? Or just confused? I recognize all of it, of course, but do you? Probably not, I would assume. But maybe I'm wrong. Where do you think you fall on the Geek Hierarchy spectrum?

Doesn't matter.

Wherever you may fall, as a service to all you Dorks out there, I have decided to go ahead and put together a handy-dandy little guide as to who the other characters that will be appearing in the flick are. And before you ask: No, I will not get one done for Thor 2 before it opens, but here's a link to the new bad guy's main deal, if you're curious. His name is Malekith The Accursed. Sure, sure, his name is somewhat on-the-nose, but then, I hear Mr. and Mrs. The Accursed are lovely people, very nice, so y'never know, ya' never-never know...

Anyway, read on!

Captain America

What? How could you not know who the main character is, but still plan on seeing the sequel? Get out of here with that and go watch the first film and then watch the Avengers. Make an effort, please. Come on! You're embarrassing me.

The Falcon

Sam "Snap" Wilson was a nice guy who went bad after a vicious mugging. He's like the opposite of Batman, except he's black and from Harlem, so he had no money for a fancy suit--which explains the initial green one. Then, due to some classic comicbook-whosa-whatsits, he received the ability to talk to birds, but usually just his pet bird Redwing, who is only around about as often as Ash reloads his shotgun in Army of Darkness and often for the same reason. Don't worry, they probably won't bring this up since the movies generally tend to skew toward the less crazy-pants Ultimate versions of the characters, which is why Falcon is dressed in black in the trailer instead of red. Although, I'd bet even money he's wearing the more classic red suit in Avengers 2. Anyway, eventually someone realized it was dumb for a guy named the Falcon to use a talon-shaped grappling hook to swing places instead of just flying like an actual falcon, so they gave him wings. Now he can fly. He often swoops down at people. Caw! Y'know? He and Captain America have been crimefighting buddies for forty-plus years now. You know why? Because Captain America doesn't see colors, people, that's why, he sees their hearts. Their hearts...


Brock Rumlow was probably destined to be a thick-necked jerk from birth. I mean, Jesus, Brock? The poor son of a bitch never had a chance. His parents were obviously jerks. Anyway, Brock here is your basic soldier of fortune type of guy, a kick-ass killing machine who enjoys a good Jolly Roger motif to his outfits. He's like a dark Captain America... kind of, not really, but close enough. He is often given to doing stuff like this:

So expect some of that in the film.

The Black Widow

You should probably know Natasha Romanov by now as well. If not, go watch Iron Man 2 and then Avengers. Like I said, a little effort on your part would be appreciated here. That being said, there's a new wrinkle or two you might not be aware of. Word on the street (and a few spy photos snapped during filming...) seem to point toward her and Captain America K-I-S-S-I-N-Ging, because y'know... girl heroes can't stand on their own... and as a little additional lemon juice in that particular wound, they will also probably play up the fact that way back in her dark and sordid history when she was a KGB Agent in the 1950s--y'see, much like Captain America and Nick Fury and Wolverine, The Black Widow is much older than you'd expect (she has an amazing skin care regiment...)--Natasha also had a little something-something going on with one of the film's bad guys: The Winter Soldier.

Kissy-kissy. Punchy-punchy.

Batroc the Leaper

Georges Batroc is French and he knows Savate, which is a kind of French kick-boxing that calls for an unusual amount of leaping, apparently. So naturally he became a mercenary, dressed in all purple and orange, and started calling himself Batroc the Leaper... as you do. Why he didn't pick Batroc the Kicker for instance, or maybe just Kicker, y'know, for more of a secret identity thing, or Le Kicker, or whatever the word for "Kicker" is in French...? I don't know. Anyway, the guy's been a D-list punching bag for Captain America for just about forever, so it's a pretty safe bet to expect more of the same in the film, probably in the opening action sequence. My guess is the whole "No parachute" part in the trailer is actually the beginning of the film, a sequence that culminates in Cap whipping Batroc's ass for a little bit and then everything will fade to black and the Opening Titles will slam onto the screen, probably with a metallic-thunk sound effect, and then the rest of the movie will start, probably with an establishing shot of Washington DC. Bet.

This is everyone's reaction...

The Winter Soldier


Secrets. Lots of secrets. Cold War secrets coming back from the grave... Oh, the mystery! How thrilling! How mysterious! You'll have to wait and see.

Or you could just use Google.

Robert Redford

Like the Winter soldier, this particular character is a mystery too, but this time it's a mystery to both of us. A real bonding moment, huh? However, judging by his headshot, I would hazard a guess that Mr. Redford here will probably be playing a character called: The Living Leather.


So there you go. A basic breakdown. What do you think? Questions? Comments? Are you excited?

I know I am,

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