Review: 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Owns The Action

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in THE FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan pair up for a buddy cop six hour-long movie on Disney+ in THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. The Avenger actors reprise their roles as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier post the blip and losing their friend Steve Rogers to retirement with his great love. The first episode starts with a bang but then slows down to focus on the two leads as the show delves deep into their personal backgrounds.

The first of six episodes opens with a fantastic action sequence. Sam is on a mission to save a kidnapped soldier from terrorists. The villains in winged jumpsuits jump out of a plane with Sam behind them. The skydiving through canyons and helicopters is jaw-dropping. The action looks truly realistic. It may be the best action sequence in all of MCU history. 

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Kevin Feige and director Kari Skogland revealed the series will play more like a six-hour movie than an episodic television show. Sam and Bucky's characters will be more fleshed out. That's evident in episode one which dedicates more time to exploring Sam and Bucky's personal issues. Bucky attempts to make amends with his killer past, and Sam returns to his childhood home to connect with his family. The two don't have a sense of who they are post Blip. The duo are obviously missing their friend and moral compass - Steve Rogers much like us viewers. Sam is having trouble reconciling that Steve passed the shield on to him. He doesn't feel quite worthy of it yet.  Cap's shield is so iconic that we as viewers understand Sam's reticent to even hold it. It's a nostalgic piece of Steve Rogers, and you can sense the emptiness the characters are going through not having their spirit guide. 


Unlike WandaVisionThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier feels like an extension of the MCU in the sense that it's a familiar format. As with any Marvel property, the first show sets up the villains, and one of them possesses superpowers, but they're shrouded in mystery. As usual little nuggets of information are dropped to keep you glued to the screen in the coming weeks. One interesting red herring signals they'll be big trouble ahead. A cameo from another Avenger warns the world is not the same after the blip. "Our allies are now our enemies," says this former ally.

The Avenger duo don't share any scenes together in this first episode, but the advanced clips featuring Stan and Mackie certainly play off the familiar vibe of buddy comedy genre like that of LETHAL WEAPON, RUSH HOUR and sometimes Abbott and Costello. No doubt the two will be electric in this series. 

The finale to the premiere episode will leave your jaw on the floor when a new character is introduced. I won't spoil it for you but you will feel betrayed.  So tune in. 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starts streaming on Disney+ March 19. 

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