The Reel Review
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan star in this Marvel spinoff miniseries on Disney+, picking up after Avengers: Infinity War‘s big “blip” that caused millions of people to vanish, and the subsequent reversal in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. When it is revealed that Captain America has died, Sam (a.k.a. The Falcon) turns down an offer to replace him, to help his sister with her struggling fishing business back in Louisiana. Bucky (a.k.a. The Winter Soldier), meanwhile, is struggling with therapy to overcome the trauma of having been turned into a brainwashed assassin.
Showrunner Malcolm Spellman kicks off the series with an exhilarating action sequence, with The Falcon engaging in a high-altitude rescue mission to stop some radical terrorists seeking a return to the bad old days of Thanos’ anarchy. It sets the stage for what looks to be a promising, action-packed miniseries. Sadly things quickly settle down into more mundane matters reminiscent of ABC’s less spectacular, prior Marvel shows.
Time will tell whether the $150 million, six-episode mini-series will continue to coast in a holding pattern or soar to new heights in the weeks ahead. Knowing Marvel, it will likely be the latter – but in judging this episode on its own merits, for now, it’s the former.
• Anthony Mackie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His non-Marvel credits include 2009’s The Hurt Locker, 2018’s The Hate U Give and 2019’s Miss Bala.
• Sebastian Stan tells Men’s Health magazine he got into the best shape of his life for this role, posting a shirtless gym selfie on social media.
• The Falcon and the Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland directed five episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale.