Great acting highlights The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

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Anthony Mackie (left) and Sebastian Stan are superb in the title roles of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series just finished its first season on Disney+. It features Anthony Mackie (The Banker, IO)  who plays Falcon and Sebastian Stan (I’m Not Here, Gone) who plays the Winter Soldier. Both have also been featured in previous Marvel films and portray their characters beautifully.

The Winter Soldier is now reformed, but he’s in therapy for his actions while he was under the influence and in complete control of an evil organization. He actively goes to therapy, but has trouble admitting that he even has nightmares. The nightmares unfortunately depict a slight sign of post-traumatic stress disorder. Stan remedies this in his performance whenever someone tries to bring this up. Specifically, when his therapist asks him if he’s having any more nightmares, he replies with a firm “no.” His tone is chilling and at times sarcastic because the character believes that he really doesn’t need to speak about his past as any other recovering soldier would. 

His overall behavior could influence soldiers with signs of mental issues to seek help. The show sends the message that there’s nothing wrong in seeking help, and that it’s for the betterment of the individual. 

Wyatt Russell plays his character John Walker, who basically replaces the original Captain America, with tenacity and confidence. Walker is a distinguished veteran, so Russell has to display a valiant leader when playing him. This is shown in the series when The Winter Soldier and Falcon continually disgrace him for picking up the mantle of Captain America. Russel displays that Walker has tough skin and can continue despite the opinions of others. 

At another point in the series, Walker takes a drug that may affect his decision making. Then, his partner is killed in battle, and Walker takes his anger out by murdering someone who wasn’t responsible for the death of his comrade. Russell’s overall behavior, facial expressions, and movement all show someone who is distraught and confused.  

The action scenes are most memorable when the duo of Falcon and the Winter Soldier have to shut Walker down. There are few lines of dialogue before this event, but Russel’s tone shows that he is rowdy and ready for action. 

Eventually Walker has to be disciplined by a group of judges. He has an outburst where he shouts that killing that person was his only option and he doesn’t understand why he is being shamed for doing so. Russell delivers those lines with absolute strength and belief. 

The main villain of this show Karli Morgenthau, played by Erin Kellyman, is one of the more lackluster characters, unfortunately. While her point and presence are understandable to an extent, her character is one-dimensional. She only has one directive, and that is to affect the vote of a global establishment. One event that is eye-catching, however, is when she kills a building full of hostages and claims that “violence is all these people understand.” Aside from that, there is nothing that interesting about her character. 

By contrast, Mackie’s Falcon is arguably the best character of the series. He is a witty, yet committed character. In the beginning of the series, Falcon is uncertain of his position, and Mackie delivers Falcon’s insecurities flawlessly. His emotions are front and center for the audience. 

Near the end of the series, Falcon gives the Winter Soldier very important advice on recovery. This moment between Mackie and Stan feels sincere and genuine. 

At the end of the series, Falcon picks up the role of Captain America. This automatically gives Mackie a way to act more humble. Mackie does not falter in his performance of Captain America. His humility and confidence are one of the highlights of his character.

The final fight between Karli and Captain America is by far the most complex one in the series. The stunts and the camera angles are captivating, and the costume designs are amazing.

This series is the journey of who were previously side characters. Now that these actors have been allowed some flexibility, they really show their prowess and ability. Even the side characters of this series have some amazing moments and impressive expressions. This story and overall performance by the actors is definitely worth watching.

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