Get ready to jump on into the action because the first episode of Marvel Studios latest series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is here, and this one is ready to crank up the action and guarantees an adrenaline-filled ride of pure tech-thriller fun.
Five years after the effects of ‘The Snap’ and the sudden appearance of ‘The Blip’, Sam ‘The Falcon’ Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky ‘The Winter Soldier’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan), are trying to assimilate back into society….and they’re finding it rather hard to give up their past lives as Avengers. But a new threat is on the horizon in the form of several dangerous terrorist organisations who are bent on reshaping the world order, and it’s time for these two heroes to get back into the fight.
Director Kari Skogland and writer Malcolm Spellman are ready to take audiences in a brand new direction on Disney+. While we have recently spent a lot of time in the subversive, magical realm of WandaVision, Skogland and Spellman rev up the adrenaline and take audiences headfirst into a globe-trotting, action-spectacle and long time fans of the tech thriller genre will be very pleased with this first episode. To say that ‘Episode 1’ starts off with a bang would be an understatement, and audiences are thrown headfirst into some awesome aerial combat as Sam Wilson takes on an old foe in George St. Pierre’s Savat-kicking mercenary Batroc The Leaper and this first fight amps you up.
This opening fight is our first taste of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and it doesn’t disappoint. MCU fans who are after equal parts geopolitical spy thriller, and classic 1980s action movie will be well pleased with this first episode and Skogland does a terrific job of grounding this episode in the clandestine world of black ops and government conspiracy. While we’re only on ‘Episode 1’ of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it’s clear that actions within this series will have definite real-world consequences for a fraught and damaged new MCU, and it’s likely that this series will take us into a playground of destruction where numerous bad guys are running rampant and which is in desperate need of heroes.
Taking centre stage on one side of the series is Anthony Mackie as Sam ‘The Falcon’ Wilson, and this US Air Force Pararescueman is doing what he does best. Stepping up and taking the fight to the enemy. But it’s a different world for Sam, and conflicting feelings and emotions, along with family difficulties, make it hard for him to ‘be all he can be’ and keep to his duty and the mantle of Captain America and shield he was given to guard. Mackie really steps up in the role and begins what will no doubt build into a layered performance and I’m excited to see him grow as Sam Wilson in this series as both a soldier, brother, hero and symbol.
On the flipside, we have Sebastian Stan as Bucky ‘The Winter Soldier’ Barnes and let’s just say that he’s stuck in his own private hell and 90 years of PTSD is not doing him any favours. In ‘Episode 1’ Stan brings out the demons that are haunting Bucky, and he’s looking at a very long road to redemption. While it’s early days for Bucky and he’s a long way from being the hero he once was, you feel a drive to his character as he works through the motions and I feel that Stan is going to surprise us in the series and that they’ll be plenty of unexpected character growth on behalf of Bucky in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
While I’ll keep the details of ‘Episode 1’ of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier close to the chest, I will say that ‘Episode 1’ is a good start to the series and lays a solid foundation of what is to come next. Skogland and Spellman tease out a series that is going to have plenty of exciting action developments, along with a real international flavour and some great spec ops detail. And let’s just say that things take a solid left turn by the episode’s end that completely flips this series, and the MCU in general completely around.
We’re off to a great start with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and this series delivers on the intensity and action that we desired from it. Brace yourself for the thrills that are set to come next, and get ready for a rush over the next six weeks.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streams every Friday night on Disney+
Image: Walt Disney Pictures