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Falcon and Winter Soldier 2021 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a brief respite in a post.Thanos .

Falcon and Winter Soldier 2021 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a brief respite in a post.Thanos .
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Falcon and Winter Soldier 2021 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a brief respite in a post.Thanos .

Falcon and Winter Soldier Falcon and Winter Soldier post-Thanos Winter Falcon a in … the The a brief and Soldier respite is

Fri, 19 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700

Marvel Studios' The Falcon and the Winter Soldier tees up a typical MCU-style jaunt, but also lets its heroes find a moment of rest in a post-Thanos world

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A good balance of quiet moments and typical MCU action

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For the vast majority of Bucky Barnes’ 106 years on Earth, his life has consisted of running from fight to fight without a second to sit down and simply exist.

Now, Bucky Barnes is faced with a new reality he doesn’t know how to navigate — what happens after the knuckles are bandaged and the bad guy is dead?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe spent 11 years building up to its climactic battle between Earth’s mightiest heroes (and a couple of pals from space) and the Mad Titan, Thanos.

There were some hiccups along the way — Ultron nearly destroyed the world, countless other villains like Loki, Red Skull, and all of Hydra tried to kill the Avengers a few times — but everything boiled down to Thanos.

He’s no longer a threat (in this universe, anyway).

Millions of people are back on Earth after being snapped from existence.

The world is trying to move on from the last five years.

New regulations are being drawn up in government, banks are trying to figure out how to help people with finances after five years of being away, but superheroes are stuck in a moment of suspension.

The next big thing is around the corner — it always is — but for now, Marvel Studios is using its new television universe on Disney Plus to take a step back and let its heroes decompress as they try to figure out their place in a strange, new world.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which debuts today, is a perfect example.

[If you’re reading a write-up of a new Marvel show, you know what lies ahead.

Here’s your warning for minor spoilers that appear in the first episode.]

At the outset of the show, Captain America is gone, and his two best friends are navigating a world without him.

Sam Wilson (Falcon) has rejoined the Air Force and is trying to stop terrorists from gaining power.

Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) is undergoing therapy, living as a normal civilian in New York City for the first time since before he left to fight in World War II.

Both are trying to acclimatize to their new lives, dealing with stuff they didn’t have to when the world was on the brink of extinction.

In one instance, Sam is trying to help his sister in Louisiana get a loan for the houseboat they grew up in but is now getting too expensive to keep up.

In between pitiful requests for selfies from an Avenger-fanboy banker, the duo are consistently told they don’t have enough income for the bank to issue a loan.

Confused, said banker repeatedly asks how Sam earned an income when he was part of the world’s most famous superhero group (“did Stark pay you when he was around?”) and how he could possibly be so broke all things considered.

Even if Sam disappeared for five years (hence, no recent income), that just makes him like half the world’s population who also disappeared.

It’s a wonderful scene.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier shines best when it’s putting forth questions people have kicked around in the back of their minds or in conversations with friends for more than a decade.

How do the Avengers get paid? What do they do on their time off? Do they go on dates with non-Avengers? Do they pick up part-time jobs when the world doesn’t need saving? How do the Avengers live when there’s nothing to avenge?

It’s a big part of what makes comic books fun week after week, month after month.

The intimate lives of superheroes when the masks are removed and the high-tech gear is taken off is just as important as the extensive CGI fight sequences.

In WandaVision, those are the small moments between Wanda and Vision in what could have been their post-Thanos life.

If Marvel’s upcoming Hawkeye series finds its inspiration in Matt Fraction’s beloved Hawkeye comic, it’s rooftop barbecues, sipping coffee in the morning, and looking for new cars to buy.

In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it’s Sam helping his nephews catch fish on the dock or Bucky trying online dating.

Hell, Bucky in therapy is something ripped right out of Tumblr; that’s a compliment.

Everyone is trying to figure out their identity just months after half the world’s population returned, and they’re trying to do it with undeniable legacies hanging over their heads.

Without Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Tony Stark (Iron Man), two of the country’s greatest heroes are gone and a hole is left in their place.

Sam doesn’t want to become the new Captain America.

Bucky, aside from processing the guilt and trauma he received after his years of operating as the Winter Soldier, is being monitored by the government.

The world might need a new Captain America to feel safe, but replacing Steve Rogers isn’t as simple as pointing to a new guy and saying “you’re it.”

Well, not to Sam.

By the end of the episode, the government introduces a new Captain America (most likely John Walker, who becomes US Agent and has his own colorful history).

While the government tries to find a replacement for Steve Rogers back home, Sam is preparing to take on a new threat, one that will require Bucky’s help.

Without a Steve or a Tony set to lead the charge, it’s up to them to stop whatever threat comes their way — even if that means putting the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life on hold.

As Bucky tells his therapist, he’s never known life without running from battle to battle.

It’s here that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has all the elements of a typical MCU movie.

The pilot opens with a 10-minute action sequence (including the appearance of a Winter Soldier favorite) and sets up the kind of mission-based action movie that Marvel fans love.

It looks good, feels expensive, and teases a much more traditional MCU experience.

Whereas WandaVision screamed experimental and abstract (in comparison to the greater MCU-at-large), Falcon and the Winter Soldier can nestle perfectly in between every Captain America and Avengers installment.

There are big fights, bigger explosions, and the promise of more bad guys.

I mean, the episode opens with Falcon fighting Batroc.

There’s no question things are about to get explosive for the boys again.

But it’s the quieter moments — Bucky trying to have a date with a girl at a bar without taking his gloves off because he doesn’t want to flash his metal arm, or Sam goofing around with his nephews — that make Falcon and the Winter Soldier feel special.

We’ve spent so long as fans getting to know the big-name superheroes that now feels like a perfect instance to get to know characters we didn’t get enough time with over the last decade: Wanda, Vision, Bucky, Sam, Clint Barton (Hawkeye).

In fanfiction, one of the most popular settings is the Avengers crew living together in Avengers (nee Stark) Tower.

People want to imagine their favorite superheroes going about their days just like anyone else.

I love Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes just as much as I love stories about Falcon and Winter Soldier.

If Falcon and the Winter Soldier winds up being Bucky and Sam palling around and figuring out who they are outside of battle — in between big fight sequences, of course — I’ll be happy.

After all, we adore the party scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron for a reason.

Disney Plus

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Falcon and Winter Soldier Falcon and Winter Soldier

Fri, 19 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700

As Bucky Barnes continues to wrestle with his history of death and destruction, Sam Wilson wrestles with his place in a world without Captain America

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Disney+ decided to drop only one episode of its new prestige MCU miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier today, leaving almost as many questions unanswered as there were yesterday.

The truth is the premiere of the megabudget series (reportedly as high as $25 million an episode) doesn’t do much beyond reintroducing the action aesthetics of these previously supporting characters, but that’s really all fans should expect from what is basically a prologue to a much bigger story.

Falcon can fly and blow up things! Winter Soldier used to be a ruthless killing machine! Who is Captain America now?!?! To be fair, it also sets up some potentially big themes, including anarchy and responsibilities both personal and patriotic.

As Bucky Barnes continues to wrestle with his personal responsibility for death and destruction, Sam Wilson wrestles with his place in a world without Captain America as well as the pressure to become him.

And both men will be challenged by the rise of a terrorist organization known as the Flag Smashers, who just want to see the world burn.

Turning supporting characters into leads can be more challenging than it looks.

Viewers have always seen Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier contrasted against Chris Evans’s Captain America, Samuel L.

Jackson’s Nick Fury, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.

Where Sam is in his character arc allows the writers to lean into the fact that this is a supporting player who has been thrust into the spotlight by receiving the burden of Captain America’s shield and all it means to the world.

Remember, at the end of Avengers: Endgame, an older Cap, having lived a very different life than he did previously, hands off his shield to Sam as Bucky looks on approvingly.

In the comics, Sam might have just put on the mask and become Captain America, but there’s a reason this show isn’t called Captain America and the Winter Soldier — Sam’s not ready for that title yet, and it seems as though he may never be.

The shield belonged to Steve Rogers, so it will sit in the Smithsonian, no matter what Rhodey, a.k.a.

War Machine (Don Cheadle), says to try to convince Sam otherwise.

His first line, about the shield, is “It’s someone else’s.” Will The Falcon and the Winter Soldier be the story of Sam realizing the shield is his, too?

It’s interesting that this important plot point about Sam essentially remaining Falcon instead of becoming Cap follows an extensive action sequence, running nearly ten minutes long, in which Falcon shows off very different skills from Mr.

America.

Set near the Libyan border, it features a mission to rescue a U.S.

soldier from the claws of Georges Batroc (Georges St-Pierre) and takes place high above the ground with Falcon speeding through valleys and dodging missiles.

It’s designed to remind viewers of Falcon’s skill set, which hinges on lightning-fast reflexes and quick thinking, and to introduce them to Lieutenant Torres (Danny Ramirez), Falcon’s “boots on the ground” who tracks the hijacking and will later warn Falcon of the threat posed by the Flag Smashers.

Opening with a ten-minute aerial-combat sequence sets expectations for high-flying action in this series.

Will every episode have a major set piece like this one? It’s certainly well done and wastes no time getting Marvel fans who miss their blockbusters into well-directed action.

And Mackie looks very comfortable in the role of lead ass kicker, setting aside any concerns that he couldn’t carry the action on a show like this.

After the action subsides, Torres tells Sam about a group called the Flag Smashers, who believe the world was better before the Blip brought back the half of the population that had been eradicated by Thanos’s Snap.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starts by playing with the idea of groups of domestic terrorists who thrive on chaos and believe conspiracy theories about Captain America being alive on the moon.

Clearly, this is fertile ground to explore in the 2020s, but it’s too soon to tell how much the writers will dig into it.

Do the Flag Smashers reflect what Sam calls “the times we’re in”? Or are they merely a new group of anarchic baddies?

We then meet back up with Rhodey at a ceremony in which Cap’s shield is being given to the Smithsonian, and Sam gives a speech about how the shield “belongs” to him.

Rhodey tries to talk Sam into carrying the shield and being the Captain America the world needs right now, but Sam isn’t really feeling it.

Cut to a flashback to a brutal incident with the Winter Soldier on a Hydra assassination mission, during which he kills an innocent bystander.

The flashback is soon revealed to have been a dream, a recurring nightmare that Bucky’s shrink asks him about the next day.

She’s hilariously exhausted with Bucky and calls him a liar almost immediately.

Being the shrink to a guy who was turned into a killing machine for decades can’t be easy, but this is a condition of his pardon.

He also has to go through efforts to make amends.

When she aggressively confronts him about how alone he is in the world, he counters by noting that he “just went from one fight to another for 90 years.” That would mess a guy up.

It turns out Bucky has at least one friend, a kindly old man who turns out to be a killer wingman and who asks out a waitress on Bucky’s behalf.

It’s revealed that Bucky is close to him for a reason: He’s the father of the bystander seen in the flashback dream earlier in the episode.

His shrink may not believe it, but Bucky is directly confronting his past sins and trying to make amends in his own way by being there for an old man whose life he ruined.

Cut to Delacroix, Louisiana, and the introduction of Sam’s sister, Sarah (Adepero Oduye), who wants to sell the boat that has been their family’s business for years.

It turns out that despite their loan agent recognizing Falcon enough to take a selfie, even the sisters of international heroes are given no special treatment in a post-Blip recession (and Avengers don’t get paid to be heroes).

Let’s hope Sarah isn’t merely being set up as a device to push Sam into action.

It’s way too soon to tell how this story line will play out; maybe the show plans to dig deeper into their economic struggle, but there’s reason for skepticism here.

After Bucky’s awkward date, Torres is trying to get closer to the Flag Smashers, which ends in his kind of getting his ass kicked.

He sends a clip of the leader of the Flag Smashers to Sam, revealing that he’s concerned about a disarmingly strong new supervillain.

Then Sarah rushes in to turn on the TV as a press conference unfolds … introducing a new, unfamiliar Captain America.

• If Georges Batroc, the bad guy in the first action sequence, looks familiar, that’s because he’s the same guy who fights Captain America on the freighter at the beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Is there something to introducing a potential new Captain America by having him fight one of the first enemies who was seen battling the old Cap in modern times? Maybe.

• Of course, every Marvel property reworks characters from the comic books in a way that could hint at where the show is going.

That means we need to talk about Lieutenant Joaquin Torres.

Danny Ramirez’s character shares a name with a character from Marvel Comics who, guess what, becomes the second Falcon.

In the source, he’s a teenager who is kidnapped by the Sons of the Serpent and saved by Falcon, who then becomes Captain America, allowing Torres, who is now a falcon-human hybrid, to become the new Falcon.

Could the show follow that path, making Sam the new Captain America and Torres the new Falcon?!

• The name Flag Smashers isn’t new to Marvel fans either: It has been associated with two supervillains from the books, most notably Karl Morgenthau, who first appeared in Captain America in 1985 as a symbol of anti-patriotism.

Think about it: What’s more antithetical to Captain America than a Flag Smasher? The character was birthed in violence, like most Marvel superheroes and supervillains, convinced that the world needed anarchy after the death of his father at a Latverian embassy.

Fanaticism, anarchy, terrorism — these will clearly be themes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

• During the therapy flashback, when they’re discussing making amends, there’s a shot of a notebook with names that Bucky is crossing out.

Interestingly, one can easily spot H.

Zemo, or Baron Helmut Zemo, a classic Captain America villain reimagined in Captain America: Civil War, where he was played by Daniel Brühl.

It has been announced that the actor will reprise the role on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Other Marvel names on the list include Wilhelm Hauser (a Sgt.

Fury character from the ’60s), Andre Rostov (a.k.a.

the Red Barbarian), and possibly Kuznetsov (there was a Soviet doctor in the books named Kuznetsov).

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– March 19, 2021
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

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