Strange even though it appears to be the start of a new age of storytelling, with an episode that was forgotten from the previous one, Black Widow is as enjoyable as it gets within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its direction can be described as imaginative as it is certain. The visuals are stunning and the actors are superb. If the film fails to make up for the huge embarrassment which is the failure of Marvel to provide Scarlett Johansson a stand-alone feature during the past decade of contractual release the film does demonstrate that she’s going to be missed going forward.
The film takes place within the immediate aftermath of the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War. It’s tone-wise similar to this film, too. Steve Rodgers is on the running and Natasha Johansson’s character – Johansson’s Widow was accused of violating the Sokovia Accords. The pact basically requires supers to have government approval to be able to function in society. While Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) is lukewarm about her, Natasha sets sail for Norway and embarks on a journey of the low-key. If only it were that easy. It’s actually not that long until Natasha has the only antidote known to the Russian chemical mind-control drug. Why is this? The courtesy of her estranged sister Yelena (a normally stunning Florence Pugh).
As a victim of the dictatorial drug her own self, Yelena opens her eyes focused on taking down the people who are that are behind this operation. The scene in the Red Room was adduced in previous films and is now directed by the seemingly untouchable Dreykov (Ray Winstone). With an Avenger aboard there will be more assistance required. Assistance comes in the form of two of them Yelena and Natasha used to call Mum or Dad. In the past, they were a phony nuclear family living undercover in Ohio and Ohio c.1995 and specifically designed to penetrate S.H.I.E.L.D. In comes Rachel Weisz, as steely scientist Melina and Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Russia’s once pretender captain America Alexei – aka the Red Guardian. The show definitely belongs to Pugh who can execute multi-layered impetuosity like him and all four actors are explosive. It’s their chemistry that sets the film apart from being dismissed as a typical Marvel film. Rarely is the line between tragedy and comedy so well in a blockbuster about superheroes.
However, Black Widow has its many flaws. Winstone is pretty awful as the film’s big bad, and paving the way to a torrent of laughable accents. They’re Russian is that not true? Eric Pearson’s script, however, does not really take advantage of the inherent misogyny that is inherent in Dreykov’s plots. It’s clear that there’s a lot of potential in the notion of a patriarch who is so agitated by women that he’s come up with a method to strip young women of their emotional inclinations, their agency, and the capacity to bear children.
As refreshing as it is to be able to witness the very real-life – horror of forced hysterectomies being so openly disseminated in mainstream film, the darkness of this world is too overwhelming for the film. It isn’t. The director Cate Shortland instead retreats to the scenically diverse, yet ultimately lengthy scenes of action with a typical explosive finale. It is worth a shout-out, at minimum for Yelena’s mockery at her sister’s ridiculously pose-based fighting style. We can expect more from her in the coming appearances.
In a world unique to itself, Black Widow provides the goods. Within the overall MCU, the astonished reviewer might consider it to be the most costly end credits addition. Natasha is, in the end quite dead and it’s not absurd to be averse to the film that will undermine such a tragic finale. In all, Johansson wastes no time in proving her worthy of the effort. This was never doubtful. Also, if Black Widow does nothing else for the fourth season of Marvel other aside from launching Pugh as an integral part of the puzzle it’s okay too.