ESP’s film critic Gavin Miller is keeping an eye on the small screen, and with movies thin on the ground he’s turned his attention to a new Marvel TV series…
The first thing that grabs you about this Marvel spin-off series is like you’re walking straight into a movie.
From the pulsating first scene where Anthony Mackie’s metal-winged Falcon is careering through the sky to take down a group of mercenaries (led by Georges St-Pierre’s Algerian pirate Batroc) in a clutch of missile-loaded choppers – it could easily be a scene from an Avengers movie as it oozes big-budget blockbuster level production values.
While Wandavision played up to the fact it was a TV series, this feels like it could easily be a direct sequel to Endgame.
And that’s where it starts – with the world struggling to re-adjust after half the population reappeared after Thanos’ devastating five-year finger-snapping ‘The Blip’ – with Sam ‘The Falcon’ Wilson deciding to hand back the shield to the US Government that Steve ‘Captain America’ Rogers had given to him, after struggling with the idea of taking on the super-profile mantle.
After the exceptional opening burst, the first episode spins off into two separate stories: Wilson trying to get financial capital to keep the family fishing business going with his sister Sarah (Adepero Oduye) while events with a terrorist group known as the Flag-Smashers brews in the background; while Bucky ‘The Winter Soldier’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is struggling to reconcile with his evil past – suffering reoccurring nightmares in the process – after being pardoned of his past crimes.
The first episode then ends on a massive reveal, as this glossy six-parter starts off in an incredibly solid fashion – in a way that movie-goers have become accustomed to in the extremely-polished Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With characters like Don ‘War Machine’ Rhodes popping in, and the expected returns of Emily VanCamp’s Agent 13 and Daniel Bruhl’s villainous Zemo – it’s no wonder that the premiere episode has already become Disney Plus’ biggest ever weekend launch of its year-long streaming tenure.
And if this is anything to go by The Falcon and The Winter Soldier are just warming up as we wait for Black Widow to hit the big screen in July…
ESP Rating: 4/5
The Falcon & The Winter Soldier (12a) – Episode One: New World Order
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kelluman, Danny Ramirez, Adepero Oduye, Georges St-Pierre & Don Cheadle
Running Time: 49 Mins
Director: Kari Skogland