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Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW (2021) Review

Charlie reviews Marvel Studios BLACK WIDOW calling it “a strong twenty-fourth entry” in to the MCU. Read his review right here.

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Black Widow (Marvel Studios)

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow is now playing in cinemas and IMAX as well as available to stream on Disney Plus with a premier access fee.

Synopsis

In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz is Melina.

Review

It has been over two years since the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movie graced our screens (that being Spider-Man: Far From Home) and that gap has allowed some of the Disney Plus television shows to start Marvel’s Phase Four; those included WandaVisionThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. However, Marvel Studios is finally making their return to the big screen with the long-delayed Black Widow. If you are a fan of the superhero franchise, is this the film that will bring you back to the big screen? 

Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Black Widow focuses on its titular character who confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. 

After the titular character was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe eleven years ago in Iron Man 2, fans around the world have been incredibly vocal about wanting Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) to get her own solo film. Now, we finally have the solo film that fans have wanted and it certainly is a treat to see a Marvel film back on the big screen after two years. Firstly, the cast are all excellent. Scarlett Johansson is brilliant as the Avenger and her character is the heart and soul of the film. In Black Widow, we see her character have a much more heartfelt side while being able to fight the villains that oppose a threat throughout the movie. Florence Pugh (Little WomenMidsommar) is also fabulous playing the sister to Natasha whose life was ripped away from her because of her terrifying past. The way her character is incorporated into the story works brilliantly along with rest of their family, played by Rachel Weisz and David Harbour.  

The villains also work for the story that Cate Shortland’s latest directorial effort is telling; it has that espionage feel to it, similar to the Jack Ryan movies. Ray Winstone’s Dreykov is the main antagonist and feels like a menacing threat that needs to be stopped throughout the film. Every single scene his character is in, Winstone is able to get under your skin and make the viewer feel uncomfortable making him a solid villain Marvel’s catalogue. The secondary villain of the film, Taskmaster, felt slightly wasted here. He feels more like an evil henchman rather than the true antagonist of the film which the marketing led us to believe. The character felt incredibly lacklustre and doesn’t really have a motive other than to please Dreykov.  

The action is also spectacular here too. It is filled with high-octane fight sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat. In many ways, it feels very similar to Captain America: The Winter Soldier because it has an immersive way of drawing the audience into these ludicrous scenarios through making them front and centre for large chunks in the runtime.  

Black Widow is a strong twenty-fourth entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is filled with amazing action sequences, great character development and a villain that is a true threat. It does become a tad messy during its climactic sequence but that doesn’t change how great the rest of the film truly is. This is Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh’s movie and they both excel giving some excellent performances while David Harbour and Rachel Weisz have some great character moments that allow them to stand in the spotlight. The IMAX sequences demand to be seen on a gigantic screen and this is just what we needed after two years of no MCU movies. 


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