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This Falcon And The Winter Soldier Sequence Shockingly Used Almost No CGI

Thus far, the three Disney+ Marvel shows have been largely cerebral: "WandaVision" focuses on grief, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" deals with systemic racism, and "Loki" (so far, at least) deals with both the fear of missing out on the paths not taken and the anxiety of feeling powerless and predestined to fail no matter which path we take. Each of these shows has action sequences, but it's not hard to see which one of them is the most action-oriented.

"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" deals with centuries-old systemic oppression in the United States (and throughout the world), and does it through epic fight scenes and a poignant speech near the end of its run. Bucky (Sebastian Stan) spends most of his fighting time on the ground, but Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), aka the new Captain America, has one thing that our Mr. Barnes simply does not: wings. And that makes all the difference.

Throughout the first season of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," Sam use his wings to fight and to deflect, but inarguably the most impressive work is done in the skies. And considering how intense some of those flying sequences can be, no one would blame you if you assumed scenes were nothing but digital effects. It turns out, though, that one of the most tense scenes in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" was almost entirely practical.

The Red Bull Air Force made the opening of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier unforgettable

Let's face it: With the glut of series (especially franchise ones) streaming brand-new content regularly, even an established character like Sam Wilson needs to grab an audience's attention fast. That's why the first 10 minutes — to the second — of the first episode of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" are nothing but Sam taking on a group of plane hijackers. The section of the episode includes Sam and the hijackers jumping out of a plane and fighting each other mid-air.

The scenes serve as a way to grip the audience and hold their interest, and a lot of it is actually practical effects. In an interview with Deadline, supervising stunt coordinator Hank Amos broke down the whole scene.

"I had the Red Bull Air Force, the greatest wingsuit pilots on the planet working with us, and I was just blown away," Amos revealed. "They're flying at 140 miles an hour, and they're six inches off of each other. They were so precise, and it was just an amazing experience." You heard that right: the hijackers fire guns at Sam, flipping around, and trying to escape — all of that is practical.

While there was some wire work and CGI used for the backgrounds of the shots, everything else boiled down to the skills of the performers and the trust of Disney's team. "I take my hat off to Marvel," said Amos. "I don't even think I've ever seen a wingsuit sequence like that in a big feature film. That was massive, and that's the lengths that Marvel is willing to go to, to make these shows spectacular."

The entire first season of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" is streaming on Disney+ now.