Earlier tonight, I attended at press event where I got to watch the full short Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King, which is attached to the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD release of Thor: The Dark World that debuts tomorrow, February 25. While you can check out our full report on the short film, and the Q&A that followed with writer-director Drew Pearce, producer Kevin Feige and Trevor Slattery himself, Ben Kingsley, Marvel had a very special surprise in store for the fans, the first 10 minutes of the studio's next Phase Two sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
If you don't want to know how the movie begins, then stop reading right now, because what follows will be a detailed description of these opening scenes. This is your last chance.... Still with me? OK then, here we go.
The movie opens with a bit of levity, a serene morning in Washington D.C., with two men out for a run around the National Mall. Although one of these men does not appear to be slow at all, the other is just monumentally faster. At first, we can't see these men in detail, since the camera is following them from afar, but the speedy man is readily identifiable as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) when he keeps saying "On your left" to the same man over and over again, who we come to learn is Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie).
After their run, Rogers has barely broken a sweat when he casually goes to introduce himself to a winded Wilson, a fellow soldier himself. As they chat about Rogers' acclimation to modern-day society (Rogers talks about the Internet and how it's great they don't have to worry about polio anymore), Wilson suggests the 1972 Marvin Gaye album "Trouble Man," which he claims has "everything you've missed on one album." Rogers literally takes note of this suggestion, adding it to a list of things he needs to catch up on, that includes entries such as Steve Jobs, the Rocky movies, Star Wars movies and many others that I couldn't catch, because it wasn't on screen long enough.
Their encounter is cut short when "duty calls," as Rogers gets an alert on his phone. Moments later, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) pulls up in a pristine Corvettte, while joking that she needs to know where the Smithsonian is so she can find a "fossil," as Sam looks on. Before they speed off, Rogers tells Wilson, "You can't run everywhere."
The next scene introduces us to Brock Rumlow a.k.a. Crossbones (Frank Grillo), who brief's Cap, Black Widow, and the rest of their team on their latest mission. They are aboard a plane flying over the Indian Ocean to retrieve a cargo vessel stolen by Georges Batroc (UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre), who is demanding $1.5 billion in exchange for the ship, and the lives of numerous hostages, including fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximilliano Hernandez). When asked why he is asking for such a large amount, Rumlow reveals that this vessel Batroc stole is actually a top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D. ship. We then see the scene showcased in the first trailer from October, where Black Widow asks if Cap did anything fun on Saturday night, to which he replies, 'Well, all of the guys in my barbershop quartet are dead, so no, not really.' She presses on, talking about a woman from Logistics that would probably go out with him if he asks, which is exactly why he doesn't ask. Just before he jumps out of the plane, Steve tells Natasha he's "too busy" to date. A fellow soldier asks a smirking Rumlow if Cap was wearing a parachute, which he answers with "No, no he wasn't."
If you have any doubts about Marvel newcomers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who are best known for their work on sitcoms such as Community, as directors of a big-budget action movie like this, the next sequence will no doubt sell you on their talents. After splashing directly into the water without a parachute, Cap proceed to climb up the anchor chain and onto the boat, taking out every soldier in sight with his fists, feet and his trusty shield. This sequence is incredibly impressive, as he begins taking out every soldier on the perimeter of this boat, with one scene shot from afar, showing Cap running at full speed, picking off whoever comes in his way. After making his way through half of the ship, one of Batroc's soldiers gets the drop on him and puts a gun to his head... for a few seconds, until Rumlow parachutes in and takes him out. We get more humor when, still in the midst of the fight, Romanoff continues asking Steve about his dating life, where he replies, "You don't have to get me to date."
We then alternate between scenes with the soldiers on the ship making sure the hostages, including Sitwell, are staying in line, and Cap and Rumlow getting in position for their big attack, waiting for Romanoff to clear the last room. We also get our first look at Batroc himself, who is waiting to hear back from S.H.I.E.L.D. about getting his ransom demands, while trying to decide whether or not to kill the hostages. After one final ass-kicking scene, Romanoff declares, "Engine room is clear," as this footage came to a close.
I was very impressed with both the level of action and the well-placed humor in the first 10 minutes. Hopefully, Marvel will release this footage so you can check it out for yourself before this Marvel Phase Two sequel opens in theaters April 4.