I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’m a huge fan of superheroes and really love the direction the Marvel franchise is going on the screen from the recent Disney+ TV shows. Adam has been particularly looking forward to the Black Widow movie although I wasn’t quite as excited – Wanda (Scarlet Witch) is my go to and favourite is really the only reason why – but we paid the premier access fee of £20 to watch in the comfort of our home. I can not tell you how much I love this adjustment from having to pay high prices for the cinema to sit in specific seats because I have sensory issues and not feeling comfortable to move as/when I need to, watching through Disney+ was a really great experience for me. The film was available early on in the day so we dropped Felix off to preschool and then sat down with lunch and switched on. This blog post contains spoilers for Black Widow.
Black Widow starts with Nat as a child in what seems like a regular family with a mother and a sister, playing in the woods by their home. Then of course it shows that they’re actually Russian spies living in America and need to flee when the authories find out what Dad, Alexi, has done – then we are in Cuba and the girls are being seperated to train as Widows. There’s a time jump of about 21 years and Black Widow is being persued by the authorities for breaking the Sokovia Accords. So in a chronological order this puts the Black Widow movie after Captain America Civil War and before Avengers Infinity War. Nat is on the run and has hidden away in a Caravan to try and wait it all out. As she’s sat getting comfy her generator fails and she heads off into town to get fuel only of course nothing goes to plan and it ends in disaster. It turns out there was something in her mail sent by her long lost sister which encourages her to go and find her. When they collide things from the past are revealed and Black Widow goes to resolve it leading her to finding people from her past she never expected to see again.
I really enjoyed Black Widow. There was plenty of action, plenty of humourous moments which audiences have come to know and love. I found it really funny when Nat’s sister asked her why she does her black widow pose and hair toss and called her a poser. It was just really funny. I also loved that Scarlett Johanson wasn’t completely made up for the movie and the credit lies with the costume designers of the film, they did a great job. She was on the run, it was realistic that she wouldn’t look completely airbrushed and perfect and I just loved it. I also loved Yelena’s survival vest jacket and her reference to it having so many pockets. Women just love clothes with pockets! It had a real sort of dysfunctional found family vibe too which I really liked. There is an after credits scene which takes place after the events of Endgame which could show how Yelena (played by Florence Pugh) could come back into the franchise – she was my favourite character of the film for sure and brought a lot of the humour to the film but she was smart and strong too.
One thing that could have been done better was the addition of Taskmaster. Taskmasker is a mimic villain which in all fairness entered the film with a real bang. I honestly thought this was going to be a recurring, violent, persuit threat throughout the Black Widow film but sadly the film would be pretty much exactly the same without this character. I just feel that they didn’t live up to their potential, they would have been easily forgettable and really didn’t bring as much of an impact to the story as I was hoping. That isn’t to say that the character wasn’t compelling enough or a critique of the acting – the actual fight scenes were really clever and I did like how this was a character that could take on any fighting stance and replicate it – you saw this in fighting styles similar to Black Widow, Hawkeye and Black Panther. However, it could have been any tank style soldier to try and beat and the story would just be the same. Reading other reviews, some much more strongly worded than mine, I think this is a common feeling. But not every movie is going to be perfect for every person.
For those that have been watching the Disney+ TV shows which I really recommend, the after credits feature also has a character we see towards the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I feel like this particular person is going to be causing trouble for what’s left of the Avengers and will kind of tie in the shows to the future films. I’m excited for the future of Marvel films. I also need to say that this is an excellent film, with a great story that really gives background and makes Black Widow’s sacrifice in Endgame so much more heroic and painful. Like when watching Endgame you just think she’s alone aside from the Avengers but she had people in her life, who may not have been her family but were family enough for a part of her childhood and this inbetween time that Black Widow takes place. It’s soulcrushing and the end credits sequence really brings that to light. I am incredibly proud that this was a film directed by a woman, Cate Shortland, and I am here for more female lead superhero movies.
Black Widow is a really good movie with a strong female lead cast, an interesting, exciting and action-centric plot with some funny one liners that I think both Marvel fans and non-Marvel fans will enjoy.