‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘ is a television series created by Malcolm Spellman that is based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and directed by Kari Skogland. It was made by Marvel Studios and released on Disney Plus.
Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) donates Captain America’s shield to the Smithsonian Institute feeling he is not worthy of it. Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is going through counseling and is trying to make amends for his past crimes as the Winter Soldier. Both are kind of lost with Sam trying to convince his sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye) not to sale their family business. However, after a group of terrorists called Flag Smashers rise to stop governments under the leadership of the super serum fueled Karli (Erin Kellyman), the US government taps highly decorated Army veteran John Walker (Wyatt Russell) to be the new Captain America with his old friend Lamar (Clé Bennett) serving as his partner Battlestar. Sam and Bucky decide to do their own investigation, forcing them into an alliance with Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) and later Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). As the Flag Smashers grow in popularity, it will force the two Avengers to make choices they would have never thought possible.
The pilot is awesome. It has some very cool fight scenes, stunts, and it sets up the show in a cool way. It divides the time equally between Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, so we get to see how their lives have developed since Thanos. I also liked the cameo by Don Cheadle, that was a nice touch.
After that it begins to fall apart. Now, there might be some spoilers here.
The show immediately started to downplay Bucky Barnes’ brainwashing in a vain attempt to shoe-horned in woke politics. They do this throughout the whole show and it got kind of annoying as you watch everything set up in Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War be undone. It was a bad character assassin in favor of introducing paper-thin characters who were just supposed to espouse boring politics. Also, he has the worst therapist ever. She’s probably the dumbest character in the movie. Nothing against Amy Aquino, the actress personally, but she got some bad writing.
They do the same with Sharon Carter. She goes from being a cool SHIELD agent to a bitter, annoying scold who craps all over America and talk about sexual politics. What happened to the awesome Agent 13? I do not want to hear about politics and I do not understand the direction they took her character. I genuinely felt bad for Emily VanCamp that her re-entry into the MCU was so subpar.
Also, the villains were so dumb. Karli was such a let-down as a villain. The constant excuse-making for her terrorism also undercuts the fact that she literally murders people for her cause. Baron Zemo was also kind of useless. After the introduction of Madripoor, he kind of became just an excuse to feature Dora Milaje from Black Panther, who also were cool, but had no bearing on the plot. Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a cameo as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and Marvel kept playing this up like it was a big deal, but honestly, it was not that big of a deal.
Frankly, the best character is John Walker and Wyatt Russell does a good job playing him. He had the most nuanced personality, character development, and the best backstory. His stuff was way more interesting than the boring subplots or even the antagonists of the show. I wanted to see more from him instead of the yawn-fest on Wilson’s family boat or the nagging from other characters.
As for Anthony Mackie taking the role of Captain America, I did not have an issue with that per se. Chris Evans has stepped away from the role and it’s not like the comic books where they come back necessarily. However, Disney used him to be a woke spokesperson where he lectures a bunch of lawmakers to “do better” and not to label the bad gal, who murdered civilians, a terrorist. It was dumb and spoiled his introduction as Cap by making him a token character.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was such a letdown. Disney could have used it to redevelop the Avengers with a new Captain America, but they wasted our time with woke talking points, boring family drama, and underwhelming villains that you were, for some reason, supposed to feel bad for. They should have had Falcon, Winter Soldier, and Agent 13 reluctantly work with John Walker to stop the Flag Smashers and cut out the boring exposition. As a longtime fan of the MCU, I was utterly disappointed in this poor series.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Foul language
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I am curious where Marvel is going to take the Sharon Carter storyline.
A theory is that she’s an imposter.