In recent years, each spring season has brought us another Marvel blockbuster at the cinema, and this year’s edition will be Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Marking the second film in Captain America’s individual series (so not counting The Avengers), the film will likely seek to establish a bit more depth and perhaps some more likability for what has up until this point been the MCU’s driest and least entertaining Avenger.
As always, it begins with they hype cycle, which is already well underway for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. For many, it began with the Super Bowl, when the always entertaining slate of commercials included a major trailer for the film that, frankly, made it look surprisingly compelling. Naturally, this ad reached an enormous audience—the largest television audience in U.S. history, actually, not to mention many more viewers around the world—and got people buzzing about The Winter Soldier months before the film is set to hit the cinema.
However, the hype has also been building in subtler ways. Perhaps the first specific instance (outside of casting and title rumors and other standard fare) was Captain America’s odd, somewhat self-deprectaing pseudo-cameo in Thor: The Dark World. The cameo consisted of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) imitating Captain America (Chris Evans), though Evans did the actual acting spot and poked fun at the persona of his character. Strangely enough, it was probably the lightest and most endearing few seconds we’ve seen from Captain America, and may even have made him a more appealing character heading into 2014.
There has also been a bit of hype in the world of gaming, which often precedes film releases these days. Gameloft has partnered with Marvel to design an entertaining looking mobile game simply titled The Winter Soldier (set for release in March), and the popular online poker site Betfair is even featuring a special promotion for its Captain America-themed game. Both are contributing to the hype cycle bringing Captain America back to the forefront of Marvel attention while simultaneously capitalizing on fan interest.
But with all this hype starting to build, and set to continue building, no doubt, in the coming months, what are the indications for the actual film? Captain America: The First Avenger was just OK, and ultimately fairly forgettable, lacking the charms of many other Marvel films. But the early trailers are certainly making the second film look a great deal more entertaining. So here are five quick and simple reasons why we believe Captain America: The Winter Soldier will improve upon the first film.
5. A Human Villain
The Winter Soldier is, at least in some fashion, human and that should be a nice twist on a Marvel film that’s frankly getting a bit too big with its villains and action. One begins to wonder how many cosmic nemesis candidates can be brought into the franchises, and frankly they’re already beginning to blur together. The Winter Soldier may be a refreshing change of pace.
4. Hello Robert Redford
Always wonderful and always enjoyable, Robert Redford is making a somewhat surprising foray into the Marvel universe. This can only be good. Redford is also no stranger to the political thriller, which is supposedly the feel the studio is aiming for with this film.
3. Hello Falcon
Played by the enjoyable and emerging Anthony Mackie, The Falcon will be joining forces with Captain America, which has been a strong formula for Marvel. The sort of “sub-Avengers” who join in mid-film—think Black Widow, Hawkeye, etc.—have been largely enjoyable.
2. Setup Is Out Of The Way
Every hero saga requires some setup, and sometimes it’s the best part. but the first Captain America film was a bit weighed down by the elaborate backstory required. One would think this second film will benefit by being able to focus on an established hero.
1. A Major Rumor
Many have interpreted through trailers that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is going to be killed off, which provides another compelling reason to watch the film. It may not wind up happening, of course, but it would be a fairly bold move for Marvel.
We’ll find out later this month if the film can be better than its predecessor. But as the hype train rolls on, there’s plenty to be excited about for Marvel’s next big installment!