Its’s been a long time since the show got over. But the way this show ended left me quite disappointed. Hence, I’m writing it now. Here’s review for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Director: Kari Skogland
Writers: Malcolm Spellman, Michael Kastelein, Derel Kolstad, Dalan Musson, Josef Sawyer
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Desmond Chiam, Dani Deetté, Indya Bussey, Daniel Brühl, Danny Ramirez, Adepero Oduye, Renes Rivera, Tyler Dean, Emily VanCamp, Clé Bennett, Carl Lumbly, Florence Kasumba, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Music: Henry Jackman
Budget: $150 Million USD
Genre: Action Fiction, Science Fiction, Superhero fiction , Comedy
Synopsis : Sam Wilson is in doubt if he’s the right person to hold the shield. He’s feels that he’s not as righteous as Steve Rogers was and hence gives up the shield. Soon, he finds out that there’s a new Captain America in town. But, on the other hand, there’s a group of super soldiers who’s causing a lot of trouble. Bucky is having sleepless nights simply because of the horrors HYDRA made him do. Both of the must team up together to stop the group of super soldiers as their intentions is to cause global chaos.
To begin with, I was surprised that the custom made Marvel Studios logo was absent here. Then, the show sets in motion with the action scene of Falcon. Then as the first episode progresses we see James Barnes a.k.a Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson both dealing with their personal issues. I like how Marvel establish the fact that Bucky is now a civilian.
The story then goes ahead with Sam Wilson giving up Captain America’s shield which is then given to John Walker. Then the antagonists of the show The Flag Smashers are introduced who are super soldiers. The encounter between The Flag Smashers and the protagonists of the show Falcon & Bucky was clearly a formality to tease the audience.
What this show mentioned over and over was significant issues of past in the MCU like THE SNAP, THE BLIP, dying of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers giving up his shield. At one point, even Thanos’ snap is justified which proves the fact that he wasn’t a madman.
The plot deepens till EP04 and is carried forward till the mid of EP05. But just after this point, I felt that there wasn’t enough content left. I almost felt that the episode had ended many times but it hadn’t. Falcon training with the shield didn’t have a strong impact because something in the story was lacking.
The climax of this series is okayish. This climax isn’t as good according to the standard Marvel has set. I felt there were many flaws with the writing particularly in last episode.
But what last episode does is mainly set-up Falcon as the Captain America. It’s basically an advertisement of features of what the new cap can do with his vibranium suit and shield. Also, John Walker’s character gets named as The U.S Agent which indirectly sets up THUNDERBOLTS.
The series then ends with Bucky finally letting go off his past and Sharon Carter being reinstated at her post. But now that she’s a power broker, we might see the trouble she causes in the future.
The title of this show clearly suggests the characters this show is focused on.
Sam Wilson (Captain America) – The sole purpose of this series was Sam Wilson accepting himself as Captain America and this is done fantastically. Right from the beginning till the end. The problems which a normal man would face are properly addressed. The show also discusses the social problem of racism faced by people living in North America. This brings out the closeness to reality. Full points to this show for developing and shaping Sam Wilson’s character into Captain America.
Bucky Barnes (White Wolf) – The other character which this show focuses on is Bucky or the Winter Soldier. Now, according to me, his character development is not much. Bucky’s character is more of a supporting one. His character develops mostly in the beginning of the show. But, as he’s meant to be a mature character, the show sets him up as one in the end. It’s safe to assume that Marvel won’t be showing him much in the future projects. But Sebastian Stan did a great job as Bucky Barnes.
In addition to the protagonists, the show also sets up three other characters; two of which have a rather weird character development.
John Walker (U.S Agent) – His character development is amazing as the plot carves his emotion till EP 04. There are times when you could feel what he feels and even get angry with him. That’s just good writing. However, the flaw with his character is that he suddenly becomes sane and agrees to comply with Bucky. He’s shown too powerful and skillful till the beginning of EP 05. But just after that he’s sidelined and becomes a supporting character. All his rage and emotions are vanished in a jiffy.
Sharon Carter (Power Broker) – We saw her only in two movies before this show. However, the flaw with her character is that her storyline is not explained. We just have to take her word of mouth and believe that she had to run to Madripor after the events of Captain America : Civil War. Also, its unlikely that Steve Rogers didn’t try to contact Sharon as she was very closely related to Peggy Carter. If Marvel is going to set her up for something major then they will have to give a clear backstory for her becoming the Power Broker.
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Madam Hydra) – Marvel had to change the order of release of its projects and hence we saw her first in this show instead of Black Widow. It’s actually pretty good move from Marvel that they’re introducing interesting characters to set up future shows. Her character will only be explained in future movies but as of now she’s supposed to be someone like Nick Fury. The only difference is that she’s getting together a group of anti-heroes to carry out something hideous.
The background music in this series is okayish. Its not something which would instill new emotions. I think that’s also one of the reason why this series fails to be good. The sound effects on the other hand are accurate and I have no complaints about them.
The cinematography of Falcon and the Winter Soldier however, is on point. All the sequences are nicely filmed. Great use of colors and filters to make the new Captain America pop out on screen. However, there are a couple of scenes during which the brightness of filters is enough to make out that its fake.
The direction of this series is similar to that of Black Widow. I felt the climax was either rushed or they couldn’t find enough content to include in it. The filming of the action scenes was done with a hand held camera. Hence, it was almost impossible to view any of the fights between Bucky, John Walker and the super soldiers properly.
Also, the whole sequence was set up at night which decreases the visibility. This is something which I don’t expect from Marvel in Phase 4.
Just as mentioned above the script of this show weakens in the end. The climax offers only features of Captain America’s new suit. The script suddenly has lesser footage for John Walker and Bucky. The script softened Bucky to such an extent that the person who once was a fierce killer was hardly throwing any punches.
Also, the major flaw with the script again like Black Widow movie, was the absence of a strong villain. It’s very disappointing to build a plot right from the beginning taking the concept of SUPER SOLDIERS and giving no real action.
There’s one other thing that the script of this show doesn’t address which is the lack of powers of Sam Wilson. Throughout the show, he fights almost without ever losing. Maybe, Captain America 4 is going to address this issue of his.
All the scenes which have action and effects in it until EP 04 are on point and flawless. It’s hard to believe that Marvel pulled this off greatly. But in the last episode, there are instances where the effects are overdone. The climax scenes are set-up at night mainly to foreshadow the lack of good effects. I bet that the whole sequence wouldn’t have looked as good as it did if it were filmed in daylight.
To conclude, Falcon and the Winter Soldier develops the two characters nicely. It also addresses some of the real world problems and the tribute to Isaiah Bradley is also wonderful. But other than that, it’s sad to write that this show hardly offers anything.