Considering he’s a superhero who made his bones fighting Nazis in World War II, Captain America was perhaps the most unlikely Avenger to star in an adventure that captures the paranoia and technology of the 21st century. But with The Winter Soldier, directors Anthony and Joe Russo tapped into something more than good guys versus bad guys. “To build a better world sometimes means tearing the old one down,” says Alexander Pierce, the calculating intelligence bureaucrat played by Robert Redford. “And that makes enemies.”
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will likely be the year’s biggest box-office hit (so far) by the time you read this. (It’s poised to pass The LEGO Movie.) Starring in The Avengers certainly boosted Cap’s profile, but that’s not the only reason that the superhero’s sequel nearly doubled the global box-office of his 2011 franchise-starter. While the 2012 superfriends blockbuster took place in a world where the primary threats are external — Shakespearean villains and angry aliens — The Winter Soldier turned inward, holding up a mirror to the military-industrial complex S.H.I.E.L.D. had created. It was more layered and complex, and some smart people anointed it Marvel’s best film yet. As a result, Cap is feeling kind of chesty. His next standalone film is slated for May 6, 2016 — the same date as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Winter Soldier arrives on digital Aug. 19 and then Blu-ray on Sept. 9. Clip below for the exclusive trailer: