Black Widow is a 2021 American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was directed by Cate Shortland from a screenplay by Eric Pearson, and stars Scarlett Johansson alongside Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, Olga Kurylenko, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz.
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.
Black Widow is the long overdue solo film for a fan favorite character, but does it live up to expectations? In my humble opinion, it does.
This film has received a pretty mixed response. So I'm going to try to look at it from both sides. Firstly, I don't have expectations for films anymore. Ever since Batman V Superman, I've ignored trailers and gone into films pretty blind. I didn't have any expectations for this film, and I left loving it. That's not to say the film wasn't without its problems, it had some issues, particularly with the first 30 minutes or so. The film felt like it really didn't know what to do and it was just waiting for the story to start. It wasn't until Black Widow and her sister team up that the film truly turns great.
The film was nonstop action and you could see every penny of this 200 million dollar budget on screen. There were some great action set pieces and amazing choreography. The story was a little confusing at first because they leave some things vague, but once you get it, it's really good. And this is a Black Widow story. She can't be replaced with any other character and I loved that. It's not a world ending event, it's a personal conflict that she has to deal with. Again, I love that.
Character-wise, this might be the strongest film in the MCU. Black Widow gets so much character and the characters get so much emotion that this felt like a family drama wrapped in an action film. The film was also really funny. David Harbour was hilarious and killed every scene he was in. In any other film, he would've stole the show. Florence Pugh was amazing. She was the best among the great. There's just so much emotion with her character and the film as a whole.
Towards the end there were a few reveals and reversals that didn't completely work for me. There were also a few lines of dialogue that were a bit cringey, but I genuinely thought this was a great film.
Now for the other side of the conversation. Is this a filler film? Yes it is. Does this film add a ton to the MCU storyline? No, not really. With that being said, filler films can be good, and this is a really good one.
This film is long overdue and you do get that feeling. It's not Captain Marvel level early MCU, but you know the fate of Natasha. You know that this doesn't really mean anything. I've been asking for a Black Widow film since she was introduced a decade ago. Now that we're getting it, is it a little too late? Maybe. This film has the weight of the entire MCU closing in on it because you know things and you've seen things. I'm the type of person that can watch 50 zombie movies back to back and love all 50. With that being said, this is the 24th film in this franchise. Does it take us to a place we've never been before or do anything to stand out from the other 23 films? No it doesn't. Again, this is the best character film, but it still felt like Winter Soldier's little sister. But that says a lot considering that Winter Soldier is one of my favorite MCU films.
That was my biggest problem judging this film. On one hand, is this film special? No it's not, but on the other hand, does it mean a film isn't good or worth seeing? No, and this is a great film. I started writing this as soon as I finished the film, but I decided to wait until the next morning. Now I'm loving the film even more than I did before.
My opinion is that I loved the film. I'd rank it upper middle tier next to the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I think your enjoyment level will be dependent on your expectations. If you're expecting this film to go above and beyond, you will be disappointed. However, if you just want to watch a great film with great characters, then this film is for you.
The acting was excellent all around. Scarlett Johansson is great as this character and she really shined in this film. David Harbour was hilarious and I hope we see more of his character. He was cracking jokes in every scene he was in and he felt so heartfelt. Everyone here felt so genuine.
The standout for me though was Florence Pugh. She was excellent. It's usually not my favorite thing when new characters come in to take the place of old ones, but she's proved she deserves her spot. She's definitely going to be tied into a Disney+ series and I'm really excited for it.
Everyone here made me both cry and laugh. The only problem I had was with Rachel Weisz and that's because there just wasn't enough of her. As I said before, this is one of the more character focused films in this franchise, and it has the acting to hold it up.
Once the film got past the first 30 or so minutes, the story really comes into its own. There's not a lot I can talk about without spoiling the film, but this is a very personal, family oriented, and dark story.
The story did make the film have a villain problem. The film keeps the main villain invisible so there wasn't a very clear antagonist for a lot of the film. It did hurt the film, but because the film was so personal, it didn't hurt it as much as it could've.
Overall, it has a pretty bad first act, but the film more than makes it for it with the rest of the story.
Overall I loved Black Widow. This is not the best Marvel film, but it's clearly far from the worst. With great action, acting, and emotion, I can't help but love this film. Did it do Black Widow justice? That's something I can't answer, but I think this film is definitely worth watching and it's one I personally loved.
© 2021 Royce Proctor Jr