By James Rose
In short: Great Marvel touches in part, and nice to see what the MCU future holds. But felt the overall plot wasn't convincing. 6/10
Marvel wrapped up its latest product on Friday (23rd April) with the conclusion to Sam Wilson and James "Bucky" Barnes's side story within the 4th MCU Phase. While Wandavision added elements gently to their story, 'The Falcon and the Winter Solder' was much more entrenched, with a phoney Captain America on the scene (John Walker) and the re-appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D's agent Sharon Carter.
So what didn't work? I think everyone went in with the expectation that each show would be more episodic in nature, with the 'Bad Boys' vibe translating to different missions each time. Couple that with the building high stakes of the main antagonist(s) and you could've had yourself a decent show. The overall story arc that was presented however felt weak, unbelievable...not very exciting. We were almost spoiled from the first two episodes with immersive fight scenes, stamped with the Marvel chef's kiss. What followed was the realisation that a rebel group known as 'The Flag Smashers' were the main resistance. In reality, they were just a group of young kids trying to cause a revolution against life after the "snap" (and because they're super soldiers...they can...I guess) I would have been more on-board with a more significant protest, like crashing the world economy to upset the balance of power, or forcing the senators to sign some kind of treaty. But just shoving them in the back of a van to kill them?
I will say, Wilson's speech after the rescue (presented in the AMAZING new Capt. America suit) was incredibly well-written, passionately delivered and gave powerful echoes to real world problems we face today.
Photo Credit: Julie Vrabelova/Marvel Studios
As always, the performances from Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan were on-point. The chemistry between them was clever and comical in the right moments. It's always nice too when Marvel interjects some of their old characters as fun reminders (the return of Zemo and the Wakandans were fun inclusions.)
'Wandavision' really set a strong bar for all the future Marvel products to be shown on Disney+. Unfortunately for me, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier didn't quite meet it. And it makes you wonder now if any of the future shows will. 6/10