Falcon and the Winter Soldier Falcon and the Winter Soldier Marvel's is … Impressions: First The
Fri, 19 Mar 2021 02:00:00 +0000
One notable guest star in this episode (I shall name no names) is hoping for Sam to pick up the Captain America shield and continue the name, but, as he states,
Right from the opening moments of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – an extended action sequence amid rock formations spearheaded by Anthony Mackie‘s Falcon – it’s evident that the intent of this show is to link it to the prototype of the Marvel canon we’ve come to expect.
After WandaVision took bold swings, this second Disney+ series is more a replication of the movies’ mentality we’d come to expect – namely early products like Captain America and Iron Man.
Given that this was supposed to be the first show out the gate, it makes more sense that this is more in tune with the Marvel personality – a comfortable transition from big to small screen, over the wildcard element of WandaVision which, admittedly, paid off in spades.
And depending on how you view it in comparison to that show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will either feel comforting in its familiarity or slightly underwhelming due to a sense of the narrative being on autopilot.
Asking far less questions but still setting up a sense of a bigger arc overall, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier keeps our titular heroes apart for this first 40+ minute episode – no mid-credit sequence either, for those interested – setting up their day-to-day lives in a timeline set some 6 months after the events of The Avengers: Endgame where Sam (“Falcon”) is trying to adjust after being blipped out of existence for a 5-year period.
One notable guest star in this episode (I shall name no names) is hoping for Sam to pick up the Captain America shield and continue the name, but, as he states, the shield feels “like someone else’s” whenever he holds it.
Offsetting Sam’s woes, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) lives a more plagued existence.
Haunted by nightmares linking to his days as a brainwashed assassin for HYDRA, the Winter Soldier is a lonely figure, hoping to make amends for this past sins – an interesting story additive that is hopefully explored further – and find peace.
The occasional glimpses of an uprising of masked rebels suggests Bucky won’t be living soundly anytime soon, and a further reveal on the tail-end of this first episode leans in to Sam’s professional aspirations, suggesting a more in-depth series awaits.
The light that radiates from Mackie’s smile and the effortless brood that Stan has perfected prove satisfactory enough to tide us over until the duo physically collaborate on-screen.
Their natural charisma will hopefully be a staple of the show that’s readily explored as action sequences can only take you so far; though, somewhat surprisingly, this first episode is relatively light in that field, suggesting that creator Malcolm Spellman (TV’s Empire) is well aware of the charm he has on hand and won’t just be providing brawn over brains because he can.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will premiere its first episode on Disney+ on Friday, March 19th, 2021.
It will continue to release each subsequent episode weekly, before concluding on April 23rd.
Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Fri, 19 Mar 2021 02:00:00 +0000
Disney's Avengers spinoff series offers up a patchy yet encouraging combination of exhilarating action and soapy drama
Disney’s Avengers spinoff series offers up a patchy yet encouraging combination of exhilarating action and soapy drama
Last modified on Thu 18 Mar 2021 16.55 EDT
There was every legitimate reason to feel a little daunted and wearied by Disney’s glut of small-screen streaming announcements back in 2019 that was then compounded last year during another migraine-inducing investor day, an overlong list of shows expanding universes that were already stretched beyond necessity.
But after The Mandalorian brought a surprising new edge to the Star Wars universe and, more recently, WandaVision found a certain offbeat creativity within the overly straitlaced world of Marvel, exhaustion was replaced with intrigue as Disney+ insisted on itself as more than just a digital dumping ground.
Just two weeks after the latter completed its diverting, if a little comically over-lauded, first season, we now have $150m six-parter The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
It’s a far more conventional yet mostly entertaining action adventure that in its first episode at least, promises an Avengers extension that will please core fans and provide a smooth entry point for those less well-versed, an encouraging sign of things to come.
While on initial glance, it’s unlikely to cause the same amount of online rabidity as WandaVision, there’s something reassuringly slick about its scale and storytelling, a much-needed injection of pomp at a time when most of us are still sorely lacking the visceral thrill of the multiplex experience.
That’s felt most keenly in the show’s bravura opening sequence, an exhilarating action set piece that quickly answers the question of whether the small-screen Avengers will look quite as fancy as they do on the big screen.
It’s a daring high-altitude rescue mission spearheaded by Sam AKA Falcon AKA Captain America’s old buddy (Anthony Mackie) taking on a group of radical terrorists who crave a return to the anarchy caused by Thanos’s infamous blip that saw millions disappear for five years.
It’s an impressively big intro, although the show soon calms down into something far smaller, at times a little too small, especially as we delve too far into the weeds of Sam’s family fishing business and how his sister is struggling to survive financially.
It’s a surprisingly soapy subplot that feels more in line with one of Marvel’s earlier ABC shows, although it’s refreshing to see Pariah’s Adepero Oduye get so much screen time after years of being criminally wasted with small roles in big films.
But it brings us guff like Sam heading to the bank to help his sister get a loan (filler that does at least ask a question many of us have been asking for years: how do the Avengers scramble together an income?), water-treading thats feels especially mundane when spliced together with more familiar Marvel scenes of intrigue and chaos, a combination showrunner Malcolm Spellman hasn’t quite mastered just yet.
Because Sam also has to contend with the weight of responsibility handed to him quite literally by Cap, who passed on his shield in Endgame, something Sam has then passed on to the Smithsonian, believing that his legacy should be respected rather than resurrected.
Meanwhile, his awkward mix of heroics and family finance drama is interweaved with the latest from another character in Cap’s orbit, Bucky AKA Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), still suffering from the fallout of becoming a brainwashed assassin.
He’s living a solitary life, therapy in the day and haunted dreams at night, slowly trying to make amends for the many lives he’s taken.
The episode doesn’t yet bring them together but with danger slowly looming from the evil terrorists (described as a group who believes in a unified world without borders which is … a bad thing?) and an ending that drops in a big reveal that ties them together, it won’t be long before the title is realised.
It’s a sturdy start, strongly anchored by Mackie who’s deserved something of his own for too long now, singlehandedly lifting subpar Netflix action movies without breaking a sweat, biding time until he’s now been granted the spotlight.
His inherent movie star charisma keeps us engaged throughout even when the many parts around him don’t move with quite the same ease and I’ll be curious to see how Spellman’s promised buddy comedy dynamic plays out between him and Stan, who ably performs his more limited side of the first episode.
Part of WandaVision’s appeal was in how it directly confronted the incongruity of seeing superheroes in a domestic setting, how very bizarre it would be to see characters go from engaging in epic world-saving battles to the humdrum of suburbia, mirroring the great leap from the silver screen to the more modest world of TV.
As The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is more squarely a straightforward Avengers extension without any such narrative trickery, it’s a more difficult, if not impossible, small-screen gambit to nail, extending a traditionally two-hour story over six, fitting in more of the day-to-day minutiae of the lives of characters we typically see only in their most thrilling moments.
The balance isn’t quite figured out yet but there’s enough here to suggest that it’ll get there, a show that’s flying low but could ultimately soar.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starts on Disney+ on 19 March
– March 19, 2021
Falcon and the Winter Soldier 2021 First Impressions. Marvel39;s The is .