See Captain America and Falcon meet cute, and then enjoy some hot fist-on-pirate action. Obviously, minor spoilers abound.
Editor's Note:This article has been edited slightly with regard to Captain America's use of guns.
I know why you're here, so I'll cut to the chase. The beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier has found its way online, and you can watch it right here.
This footage originally debuted in Europe but has finally made its way online for English language audiences just in time to coincide with Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe, the TV special that aired last night on ABC. This isn't exactly legit, but Marvel seems to be taking its time issuing takedown notices. We'll see how long this stays up.
In the footage, you'll see Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon (AKA Anthony Mackie) meet for the first time, and it's fairly effective in establishing the only super best friendship that could compete with the Iron Man/Hulk science bros. bromance. This is followed by a longer cut of scenes already used in the recent trailer, in which Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Cap, and a S.H.I.E.L.D. strike team infiltrate a vessel taken by pirates and deliver a superheroic ass-kicking to them.
Without further ado, here it is.
Source: Cosmic Book News.
I can't say anything like "OK, I'm sold" because I've been sold from the very first footage seen last year at Comic Con. But I'm even sold-ier. Er, more sold. Point: I am absolutely drooling now.
* The meet cute between Captain America and Sam Wilson manages in about 2 minutes to give us everything we need to know about why these men become friends, and to believe it. That's a hard thing to pull off, and I'm impressed.
* Speaking of, Caps to-do list is adorable. Especially after he noted how terrible food used to be. Do we think Cap will end up being a Trekkie or a Star Wars guy?
* "I'm tired of doing Fury's Laundry". Clearly we're going to see from the start that S.H.I.E.L.D. is up to some dirty business, and it's making the Cap very uncomfortable. Once again, the rumors about the organization's fate by the end of this film are given more support. (Now I'm wondering if any men in the strike team are also in the previously-revealed elevator scene. DRAMA.)
Hammer Captain, don't hurt 'em! Captain America knocks a man out and sends him overboard. Later he throws a knife into someone's hand. And of course, he's seen slamming people in the face with his vibranium shield with abandon. I realize this is likely supposed to be nonlethal takedowns. But, yeah, unless human biology in the Marvel universe is different than our own, he's delivered permanent brain damage, American style. I still like it though, don't worry.
* This appears to have an enormous body count, but it's quickly established that the strike team is using some kind of taser-style weaponry to incapacitate their enemies instead of killing them. That's how you avoid an R-rating people. Though that's not how you avoid, as I noted above, permanent brain damage. Seriously Cap, people's brains are fragile things.
* Fight choreography is, especially in ScarJo's case, the best ever seen in the MCU. The casual dialogue and emphasis on Captain America as part of a larger team of soldiers establishes a semi-realistic tone early on. Once the Winter Soldier shows up (and once Falcon gets his wings), things will no doubt enter real super hero territory, but this is a nice touch that lets us believe early on we're seeing something happen in the real world.
That it does this without slipping into the grimdark bore that ultimately ruined the Dark Knight trilogy is especially heartening. Marvel continues to do things right.
* And as expected, Batroc the Leaper (Georges St-Pierre) doesn't look ridiculous as in the comics. Thank the (Asgardian) gods.
Overall, this is strong stuff. What do you think? Sound off in comments and remember not to hit yourself in the face with a vibranium shield.