‘Filler’ is used as a pejorative term in most cases. Here? The filler is good. But..
Ok so, Falcon and Winter Soldier has made a solid debut on Disney Plus. And it is well made! In some senses, difficult to fault. But it is filler. Good filler, but filler, nonetheless which would be fine in itself but for a few caveats.
So, here it is. The good and the so so..
THE TASTSY SUBSTANTIAL NECESSARY FILLER:
No sandwich is truly complete without filler. Every story needs places to go and pieces in place to be moved. We have that, here, in abundance. Most satisfying, in fact. Especially..
- Opening Action sequence is of cinematic quality. This could be Mission: Impossible it’s THAT good in terms of visual immersion and stunt-work.
- Some genuinely profound character beats, played by Mackie and Stan as two powerhouse actors at peak of their thespian and star power games.
- Beautiful production design, notably a scene in the Smithsonian.
- Manages to reclaim the kind of Tom Clancy /John Grisham 90s conspiracy thriller meets super-hero aesthetic through which the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first launched.
- Teases future developments and maintains curiosity, throughout.
- What does it all MEAN? Where is this GOING? Without obvious anchor in the next chapter of the movie counterpart product, the whole piece feels disposable.
- Seen it all before to an extent, inc the PTSD sub-plots and character arcs.
- Attempts at facing financial /social realities seem out of place here, both in and outside this universe. If you helped save the world, I suspect a Bank would be more than happy to loan you money? Just a hunch, like?
- KEEPS referencing CAPTAIN AMERICA. Fine. Except, when you bring him up? Inevitably, at least in my case, one longs for the return of TONY STARK.
- Without the Iron Man background anchor to the whole Marvel brand? It feels somewhat sedate. Sorry! But Downey started and finished this thing. Yes of course there are other characters, storylines and genres to explore. But it’s all for nothing without your star player, even in cameo. When they killed Stark, they in effect killed some of the buzz, hype and very purpose to the entire package.
But there is enough to enjoy, in itself, on its own merits. Suspect this will be a big hit and run and run a few series. I look forward to more, albeit with the important reservations cited.
IE: If this show did not exist or got canned tomorrow? I would not miss it. It is nonetheless a polished, professional and precise piece of craft which one cannot help but recommend to those seeking half an hour of satisfying filler entertainment.
Up on your left..