ALSO: Our first glimpse of Hugo Weaving as HYDRA's bossman, Johann Schmidtt - aka "THE RED SKULL." If you blink, you'll miss why they call him that (at least in this initial trailer). Red Skull is the Captain America villain, and one of the Big Bads of the Marvel Universe in general - a figure so evil even guys like Doctor Doom and Magneto usually want nothing to do with him (he is, after-all, a literal Nazi).

01:56 - 02:01 Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Dum-Dum Dugan and (I believe) Union Jack kick down a door, guns blazing. Holy crap, do the Cap costume and shield look fantastic. Smart move by Marvel putting what'll be among the most controversial elements of this in the first trailer so the debate can get out of the way: Cap is using a gun.

ITC, WWII-era Cap (and Bucky) used lethal weapons frequently, but the modern day Cap from the 60s to the 90s only fought hand-to-hand - the usual "only bad heroes like Punisher use guns" business, typically hand-waved by the excuse that Cap was so good a fighter he didn't need one. The current new Captain America (a resurrected Bucky Barnes, looooong story) carries a sidearm, as does "Ultimate" Cap, but Steve Rogers still generally didn't.

Some people are going to hate this - but I think it's okay. It makes sense, adds variety to the action, reaffirms that he's a soldier as opposed to a do-gooder vigilante and (assuming he continues to use guns in the future) it gives him another element to differentiate himself from the other Avengers.

02:04 Retro-style stealth fighter? I guess the idea is HYDRA has super-advanced tech at their disposal. (Okay, actually... I ALREADY know what HYDRA is "up to" in this, but I'm not spoiling.)

Y'know what this trailer doesn't have? The obligatory "putting on the costume" montage. In fact, they're not really emphasizing that he's wearing it - just matter of fact "this is his gear" shots. Good choice, but also probably a practical necessity. Supposedly Cap will wear multiple variations on the suit throughout the film, and may not get the "final" one seen here until later in the story.

02:07 HYDRA armored troops with arm-mounted flamethrowers. That'll work.

02:10 Cap on a motorcycle, shield mounted on the front - shout out to the Cap TV Movies of the 70s?

02:11 Big kiss during car chase. Very Indiana Jones.

02:13 Captain America sends a Nazi goon airborne with one shield hit. Worth waiting 30 years to finally see? Oh, yeah. But y'know what'd be even better? Well...


02:25 - END Shield-testing. Nice ending comedy beat, and establishes some much-needed personality for Peggy.


Kenneth Choi as JIM MORITA, Japanese-American member of the Howling Commandos.

Derek Luke as GABRIEL JONES, African-American member of the Howling Commandos. "HC" comics were set in WWII, but actually written in the 60s, and purposefully imagined Fury's unit to be a uniquely (for WWII) desegregated unit.

Toby Jones (AWESOME casting!!) as ARNIM ZOLA, an associate of the Red Skull. ITC, he's a Swedish mad scientist who pioneered genetic engineering and is responsible for a lot of the Marvel Universe's recurring monster problems. Supposedly killed many times, he eventually wound up with his soul trapped in the body of a humanoid robot - it has a camera for a head, while an image of Zola's face is projected from a screen on its chest (long story).

"Captain America: The First Avenger" opens in the U.S. July 22nd, 2011.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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