A buddy and old pal of Captain America find themselves sharing their grief and personal issues over a spot of international superheroing, but the world is not quite the same without Steve.
Set after the events of End Game, the world has seen the return of its missing millions. Far from a happy ending this has caused a rift in global politics and social economics worldwide. As the GRC (Global Repatriation Council) work to find space and resources for the displaced, their heavy hand has woken a global backlash. The uprising grows ever bloodier as the forces in power attempt to corner the leaders, eventually enlisting The Falcon and The Winter Soldier amongst others to help.
There is a dark and shifting morality to the events in this series that does actively try to tackle more social issues than usual for a Marvel film. The question of race, ethics and the sustainability of violence on any side of an argument are pretty core. The Winter Soldier is notable for his darker past while The Falcon has always been a force for good, choosing these two makes sense given the moral perspectives at play. The way they are limply thrown together for the obvious narrative device is however less clever. They do play off each other well and have good chemistry for the most part but it is one of a few weak points in the story and character arcs. The main villain is for the most part another area I feel they fell short, they choose a great candidate and failed to fully invest in that character. This could be because they were distracted by crowbarring in a new long running villainous candidate and pandering to an old favourite, (Baron Zemo) at the same time.
The times when the series really finds its feet is the slower paced human moments between (Anthony Mackie) Falcon’s family and peers. These moments do go on to shape the climax of the season and rightly so. It does always seem like they could have cut at least one other storyline to give it more room. Discussions of race in America and worldwide is a huge issue and kudos for them not shying away but it could easily have been their main focus. The addition of Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) adds some great chemistry as he always brings everything to his roles, and access to the amazing visual set of Madripoor. This location being one of the more eye-catching parts of the series.
Of the Marvel universe this series certainly features some of its best work. The quality is not always sustained as at times the pacing is quite sedentary and other parts just miss the mark. It makes up for its flaws with plenty of real-world relevance, great character development and some beautiful visuals. It is clear from the asset library available to the Marvel Studios at this point that the CG production value of the series can be much higher than others at a similar budget. The major twist at the end is very satisfying despite the oddly clean round up to what was a complex set of narrative issues. I would certainly recommend watching this series, it is not the most accessible to the Marvel illiterate but has its own self-contained story worth consuming.
Author: Joe, Bath store