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Review: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) *Spoiler Free*

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier One Sheet
I've seen a few reviews of Marvel Studios, Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where the reviewer's have said that Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson, A.K.A The Falcon was perfectly fine with accepting Captain America's shield at the conclusion of Avengers, Endgame, but he wasn't.

He clearly wasn't going to turn down the shield from his now very aged looking friend, Steve Rogers. He definitely accepted it with clear doubts about himself being the right choice. Hence his exchange at the time...

Old Steve Rogers : How does it feel?

Sam Wilson : Like it's someone else's.

Old Steve Rogers : It isn't.

Sam Wilson : Thank you. I'll do my best.

He wasn't dancing around, and over the moon to receive Cap's shield. He really didn't have the time, in that moment, to properly consider the implications.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the jumping off point for Sam to really start thinking about whether he is really the right person to step in for Steve and carry the Captain America mantle forward.

If you're a fan of the Captain America movies, (basically any of the MCU movies with Captain America in them), then this series is almost a seamless continuation of the film's story arc for the key supporting characters, Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, Sharon Carter, and Baron Zemo, kicking off not too long after the events of Endgame.

Key to the series is the strained relationship between Sam and Bucky, who are somewhat forced to work together when an emerging terrorist group, the Flag Smashers, appears to be led by Super Soldiers. If you liked Sam and Bucky's brief ambivalence toward each other during the films then you get plenty of that here, and it's fun to watch.

While the series is only six episodes, each ranging from 47-57 minutes long, the series packs a lot in, building up its title characters into more well rounded individuals, and expanding on supporting characters in unexpected ways.

Daniel Brühl's, Baron Zemo is a particular highlight with his philosophical outlook that challenges Sam along the way. I'd say he's better in this series than he was in Captain America Civil War.

There are some great action sequences of the same level and quality you'd find in any of the Marvel movies. It never gets old watching Falcon in a fight. Like Captain America and his Shield, Falcon and his wings are just fascinating to watch. The way he incorporates his wings in battle, beyond just flying, brings a uniqueness that no other Marvel hero can emulate.

If you're all about the action then this series can be a little slow and 'talky' in some episodes. Which does give a few pacing issues from episode to episode. Personally I like all the 'talky' stuff. There's much character development (particularly Sam's home life) and political posturing that echos what we saw in Captain America, The Winter Soldier. It's a similar vibe to that film.

Unlike WandaVision there aren't as many twist and turns to keep you guessing, and it's not too hard to know how this series ends as it unfolds. However the real enjoyment is the journey. You may see the ending a mile off but how we get there is totally engaging. Not unlike a standard Marvel movie.

The series only miss step for me was in Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter story arc. It's not that I didn't like it, I just don't think we get nearly enough time with her to understand some of the choices she makes.

Personally I like the character and what they tried to do with her but, as I said earlier, the series is trying to pack in so much. Sharon's character arc definitely suffers as a result. She's clearly had, arguably, the most interesting journey of the four continuing characters since the events of Endgame, yet we only get glimpses of where she's at and how she got there.

Overall I enjoyed The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. While WandaVision had me guessing more from week to week, Falcon told a much more relatable story that seems very reflective of today's world. It does get political with themes around racism and government ineptitude but it also has a lot of heart, family, and community themes that keep it grounded in the real world.

It may as well be an MCU movie. Don't not watch it just because it isn't. We're really fortunate to get this deeper dive into Sam and Bucky's world that the movies just haven't been able to explore.

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