Jeanne: I love all things Marvel. David mostly finds these action films a snooze --- it’s so embarrassing when he falls asleep at the screenings, but I digress --- however he is definitely already intrigued after the first episode of THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. It starts out with a terrific in-flight battle featuring Sam Wilson AKA The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), but it quickly settles into a more sedate background update on Sam and Bucky Barnes AKA The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
When last we saw these two in AVENGERS: ENDGAME, Sam was presented with Steve Rogers’ Captain America shield. When Steve questions him about his feelings, Sam replies that he feels
“Like it belongs to someone else.” Marvel’s intention is to explore the journey of the shield in this series, pairing The Falcon and The Winter Soldier for a global adventure.
But for now, Sam is back in Louisiana with his sister, Sarah (Adepero Oduye), trying to save the family business, a fishing boat upon which they were raised. And even though Sam is a national hero, he actually has no money, so he and Sarah can’t even get a loan.
Bucky is back in Brooklyn, hiding out in his apartment and seeing a therapist (Amy Aquino). He gets tricked into going on a date, which doesn’t go particularly well. At 106 years old he’s struggling to adjust to a new life in the 21st century. He’s working on
overcoming his dark side --- and without Steve Rogers, that could present some problems.
Episode One is a great start to the series. Though I thoroughly enjoy all the intense battles, and I’m sure there will be many to come, it’s refreshing to be entertained with how these two Avengers --- who aren’t exactly close friends --- will come together to fight evil.
Director Kari Skogland does an excellent job with the pacing of this first go, and head screenwriter Malcolm Spellman and his team have begun this odyssey with adventure, poignancy and a good deal of humor. All of this bodes well for the next five episodes. I can’t wait!
Opinion: See It Now!
David: Fans of Marvel Studios’ “AVENGERS” films will likely be content with the opening episode of the TV series “THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER”. Packed into the first 48 minutes is an elongated air battle with The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) AKA Sam Wilson vs. the ever-present enemy.
The special effects are not necessarily new to most moviegoers, especially those of us who saw the very first STAR WARS film in 1977. The decades-old visuals of soaring vehicles from George Lucas’ imaginative creations --- fitting through tight mountain crevices, etc. --- are pretty much the same in this 2021 television show. So no, I wasn’t particularly impressed with all that.
What I did like are the more human moments as when Sam and his sister, Sarah (Adepero Oduye), are discussing how they can salvage the family’s fishing boat business. She wants to sell --- he wants to keep it going. So, they meet with a smarmy loan officer at a local bank, but this guy is more interested in posing with The Falcon for a selfie. Sam is aghast and with good reason.
Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes AKA The Winter Soldier is hanging out in Brooklyn, New York. He’s trying desperately to fit into the 21st century, though it’s a tad difficult for someone who’s 106 years old. He’s adrift without his best friend Steve Rogers so he has turned to a therapist (Amy Aquino). Whether she helps him or not is the $64,000 question.
With huge worldwide ticket sales of nearly $3 billion, including almost $900 million domestically for AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019), the pressure is squarely on director Kari Skogland and writers Michael Kastelein, Derek Kolstad, Dalan Musson, Josef Sawyer and (head scribe) Malcolm Spellman to somehow replicate the excitement of the film and satisfy fans’ expectations of this TV series. Episode One is a good start.
Opinion: See It Now!