I can’t believe this movie is finally here. Not only was it due for release in May 2020, but it was pushed back at least twice due to… well, you know by now. And now, in July 2021, IT’S FINALLY HERE! As a huge fan of Natasha Romanoff and Scarlett Johansson (despite her patchy track record with certain moral issues), this is the Marvel upcoming release that I was most excited for, with The Eternals coming in at a close second.
Set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, we learn all about Natasha’s upbringing, including that she has a sister named Yelena (Florence Pugh), who was also trained to become a trained assassin and robbed of her innocence at a terribly young age. When the pair meet up again after over a decade, they unite to bring down the forces that changed their lives for the worse, alongside their so-called ‘parents’, played by David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.
First of all, yooooo. So this is what men feel like when they watch James Bond or Jason Bourne? Okay, I get it now. I really do get it. And Black Widow really does have an action movie vibe to it, in a similar way to Bond/Bourne do. Think of this Marvel outing as more of an action romp than an out-and-out superhero movie and you’ll come out feeling satisfied.
As I’ve said: it’s finally here. And it won’t tick all of the boxes for everyone. But I personally fucking loved it. Excuse my French. Whilst, again, it’s not a classic “superhero” movie – don’t forget that Natasha was always just a human with a bunch of cool martial arts skills, weapons training and a ton of heart, not some chemically enhanced or magical being – it does hit the nail on the head on the high octane action front. What does this have over other action movies though? A fun MCU edge with strong female characters at the helm. And I’m not mad about it.
The story itself is okay, but there are definitely some pacing issues. It’s certainly mildly slow in some parts but what do you expect? They gave this bitch no backstory for 10 whole years, man. There was a lot of ground to cover and it still managed to pack an emotional punch in the 2 and something hours they had. If only they gave her a shot at her own movie before Endgame… If you ask me, Natasha deserved an entire trilogy in the same way Thor, Captain America and Iron Man had. But of course I would say that.
Sadly, I wasn’t in love with the popular music choices, but I did love the score, which was booming and exciting and extremely consistent. (Thanks to Lorne Balfe (Ad Astra, Dunkirk) for that.)
More importantly, however: THE CAST. Natasha is forever one of my favourite characters and I’m still fuming at what they did to her. But huge props go to Scarlett Johansson for persevering with this even though they did her dirty like that. The stand out however? Although I loved Florence Pugh before this (obviously), I didn’t expect her to steal the show so effortlessly. Her comedic timing was effortless and there was some brilliant chemistry between her and Scarlett. If anything, this movie was more for her introduction than it was for anyone else. If you’re a Natasha stan, that might piss you off to a certain degree, but for me, the pair of them worked so well in tandem that it was more of a ‘passing of the torch’ sort of thing that was really nice to see in the end.
What else can I say? The dudes who hated Captain Marvel might as well not bother. Already – as everyone expected – a mostly male audience have slated this movie, but the opening weekend has garnered over $200 million in revenue from Disney+ and box office sales, so who’s having the last laugh here? I’ll give you a clue: it starts with Mar and ends with vel.
For me, Black Widow was action-packed, funny, sad… and that post-credits scene? I NEED MOOOOREEEEE! But the less I say about that, the better.
Black Widow is available to stream (with premier access) on Disney+ in the UK and is also out in most UK cinemas now.
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Costume & Set Design:
Overall Rating: ½