Pages Navigation Menu

"No matter where you go, there you are."


Review: Black Widow – “A fun solo adventure”

Post-Pandemic, the first Marvel film to return to the big screen is the long-delayed Black Widow, placing itself as an inbetween-quel. After several films and a firm to conclusion to her story in Infinity War, the film confusingly takes place just after Captain America: Civil War when the Avengers are disbanded and she is on the run. This allows her alter ego Natasha Romanoff to finally explore her origin story without the baggage of other heroes, though they constantly remind you why she’s on her own.

Minor spoilers ahead.

The film begins with a young Natasha enjoying her childhood in Ohio, except she’s part of a cover for her ‘father’. Once the cover is blown the family escape and goes their separate ways. Natasha is trained to be a deadly assassin for the shady organisation Red Room, which she thought she had escaped years ago but has now returned. The film actually doesn’t explain much and assumes you will know enough from the tidbits in the previous films to fill in the blanks. Gearing itself up as an action spy film, there is plenty of action, but the choppy editing robs any fight of its choreography. The strength of the film is in the cover family Natasha reconnects with, specifically Florence Pugh as Yelena, Natasha’s ‘cover sister’.

Scarlett Johansson may be the star of this film but Florence is the one who steals the show. Yelena forms the emotional core of the film, both traumatised by her time with Red Room and ecstatic at reconnecting with her family. The interactions between the family (David Harbour and Rachel Weisz are dad and mum respectively) are wonderfully dysfunctional and do something with the superhero family that hasn’t happened since The Incredibles or Fantastic Four.

Black Widow has themes of disillusionment – with the American way, with family, with revolution but it never explores these themes, instead leading to a fairly dull and predictable finale. Fans will also be disappointed by the characterisation of the villain Taskmaster, which works for the film but deviates from the comics.

As the Marvel films have grown and developed, Black Widow is a return to more humble origins and tries to tell a story before the obligatory action happens. It’s a fun solo adventure that gives the character the development and attention she deserves, but as an action/spy film it feels uninspired and unfulfilled.

Previous PostNext Post


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.