‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ has superhero thrills, but suffers from storytelling issues
By Jonathan Pabico, Senior Columnist
These superheroes, despite having saved the universe, are still vulnerable people out of touch with the times.
After WandaVision, Disney+ treats Marvel fans with another superhero TV series to start streaming this year—and that is none other than The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The premiere follows the show’s titular heroes Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) as they struggle to adjust to the new modern world after the events of Avengers: Endgame. So far, the story stumbles with flaws yet soars with incredible action scenes and well-realized arcs.
Both characters are presented as broken human beings still picking up the pieces of their lives. The show balances the time we spend between these protagonists, and that enables us to appreciate them from a very different lens compared to their film appearances.
These superheroes, despite having saved the universe, are still vulnerable people out of touch with the times. Their plights evoke the episode’s central message about the difficulties of trying to catch up with a world that moves quickly and evolves fast.
Moreover, Falcon and Winter Soldier’s problems reflect the trauma, pain, and estrangement that war veterans go through when putting their past conflicts behind them. With Winter Soldier especially, as his arc explores the isolation that comes with the mental health issues commonly experienced by combatants.
The premiere also has incredibly crafted action scenes. Elevated by dazzling camera work, fight choreography, and enriching visual effects, all these set pieces imbue the show with an exhilarating tone for viewers. The series delivers a taste of the thrills to expect in future episodes and the typical superhero fun that fans always loved from previous Marvel movies.
The action’s exciting moods are lost after the plot switches gears to the private lives of its leads. Falcon and Winter Soldier’s dialogue scenes with supporting characters unravel more refreshing layers that we have not seen before, but the pacing slows down considerably. This tonal clash may bother viewers that prefer a more action-centric premiere.
Whether as a flaw or wishful thinking, the two leads could have already crossed paths to improve tone and pacing. Doing so would raise the stakes involved in sorting out their differences and stress the need to work together against common enemies.
The premiere’s new villains is a group of bland and generic antagonists with obvious motives. Their brief scenes cause the episode to lose some momentum before cutting back to the series’ leads.
Overall, the show is not as enjoyably curious and weird like WandaVision, but that is not necessarily a letdown. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier performs well in gradually expanding the political world of the Captain America trilogy. Despite a few issues, the premiere is a decent start with captivating action scenes and complicated stories of the show’s titular heroes.