Like WandaVision earlier than it, Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier serves up Marvel-ous set items whereas additionally being afforded the time to delve deep into the characters’ mindsets.
Solely the primary episode, premiering Friday, March 19, was screened for critics, however its 47-minute working time nonetheless guarantees characteristic film-caliber motion sequences, in addition to some much-needed, overdue perception into the MCU’s Sam Wilson aka Falcon (performed by Anthony Mackie) and hero-turned-assassin-turned-hero James “Bucky” Barnes aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
You’ve seen glimpses of the high-flying chase that kicks off the sequence, as Falcon (with key assists from his nifty drone Redwing) navigates Tunisian air area in pursuit of an HVT; in its totality, it’s a breathless piece of filmmaking that will wow the group at your native, sadly defunct Cineplex. The bodily confidence exhibited by Sam in that set piece, adopted by the enjoyable banter between him and a authorities handler, shortly cements Mackie’s improve from sidekick to steer hero.
Stan will get a smaller action-hero showcase within the premiere, although that flashback of kinds lays the groundwork for after we first see Bucky within the present timeline, stonewalling a therapist by making mild of the “three guidelines” he should abide by as a part of his pardon. Being a ruthless HYDRA murderer clearly does a quantity on the ol’ psyche (as does “working from struggle to struggle for 90 years”), so Bucky within the months for the reason that Blip/Avengers: Endgame has assigned himself a regimented penance, which when it’s revealed will certainly break your coronary heart.
Talking of the five-year Blip and Sam’s absence throughout it: the repercussions threaten to upend the lifetime of his sister Sarah (Adepero Oguye) and her two sons, again dwelling in Delacroix, La. The brother/sister scenes that end result from that disaster are heat, small, and converse to points which might be way more human than when Sam is off battling “armies and monsters.”
However Sam additionally has superheroic selections to make, provided that Steve Rogers handed him Captain America’s mighty protect on the finish of Endgame. Because the Blip, “The world is damaged, ready for any individual to repair it,” Colonel “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) notes at a D.C. ceremony honoring Steve’s legacy. However Sam has to marvel: Is he the very best particular person to inherit Cap’s mantle?
Save for some temporary teases of what’s at the very least the sequence’ introductory risk — a rising faction often called the Flag-Smashers — and a remaining second that raises massive questions about Sam’s heroic future, that’s about all the primary episode covers. But when Disney+’s second Marvel sequence stays on observe, will probably be as well-received as WandaVision, even when it’s a extra conventional Avengers offshoot.
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, at first blush, seem like a profitable pair.