The day is finally upon us, Black Widow releases at midnight tonight. With the option to view the film at home via Disney+ and premiere access as well as in cinemas. This is a film that truly should be experienced on the big screen.
Black Widow is an ambitious action film. It might (dare we say it) be the best action movie we’ve seen in the past decade. The stunts are awe-inspiring, while the humor makes the film zip along as you’re sucked into the MCU. We wish this movie had hit cinema’s pre-Avengers, but honestly it was worth the wait. The only shame is because of the death timeline in Avengers Endgame we’re feeling bereft that Black Widow is only gleaming in a stand alone picture, with no sequel in sight. The Scarlett/Florence pair up is brilliant, and we want more of it. Much more.
The official synposis of the film read as “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.” But, the film is so much more. Don’t let the critics snark, and apprent distaste for powerful females deter you. Black Widow as a standalone film is a force of nature, that is excellently executed.
Director Cate Shortland’s vision that has culminated as Black Widow‘s stand alone movie confirms that Black Widow should have carried her own flick ages ago! There is a loaded character with back story, and bucket fulls of intrigue, so much so that Black Widow could’ve inhabited a whole world for a series of films. A trilogy of Widows if you will.
SPOILERS ABOUND. TURN BACK. RUN. THE TRAILER IS THE FINAL FRONTIER BEFORE YOU HATH BEEN SPOILETH.
This movie proves that the history of one of Marvel’s most popular characters, Black Widow despite a late delivery is truly better so very late than never. The film is a prequel to Avengers, in a post Civil War on the MCU timeline, but pre-Endgame. Black Widow has impressively taken the spy-action adventure flick and dialed the imagery, dialogue, and story up by 100%. The film gives the Bond franchise a serious run for its money, and we’re bereft that Scarlett doesn’t have sequels on the horizon alongside Florence. Although…if you stay for the post credits scene we have a hunch that Yelena (Florence) might be tapped as the new Black Widow, along with her very own Marvel series on Disney+. Give it a double take and let us know your thoughts. Our thinking caps for story popped right up, when that scene wrapped.
With the film taking place in a post Civil War timeline, Natasha is on the run from the government (globally because, of course) while her Avengers family is in shreds. Funnily enough it is this fugitive state that sets her on a collision course her with past, namely her other makeshift family from Russia, who tie in with her “Red Room” past. Don’t let the name confuse you with Fifty Shades, the only wips in this room are for injury, not pleasure. Hiding out, and minding her business, is cut short when un-answered mail is quite literally the end of her peace and quiet. With a crazed super-human like armoured villain after the unopened viles, Natasha’s life is flipped upside down once again, as she flees with gene altering vials in her clutches. Forced to reconnect with her “little sister” she is soon thrown down the rabbit hole of Russian assassins. This meeting reveals that Natasha and Yelena were once normal little girls, before Dreykov (Ray Winstone) got ahold of them, effectively turning them into living breathing killing machines. Natasha it’s revealed separated from the Widow program when she murdered the head of the program, Dreykov, and his daughter upon her flip to Shield. Except, of course he survived, and now the crazed, automated killing machine coming after her and the nerve altering gas is his daughter. Meanwhile, Yelena is searching and yearning for her years as a family to matter. The trials the film puts the sisters through, shines, revealing that it was real, their bond, even if their blood relation was not.
Natasha and Yelena’s journey in Black Widow are surprising parallel as the two are both on the run. The action portion of the story revolves around Yelena, who is suffering through her own forced exile after discovering a substance that releases the Widows from their chemical subjugation. While the Widow’s retain all of their stellar killing arensal, the gas releases them from Dreykov’s diabolical control. One the villain of the film feels justified to use on the “lost girls” of the world as he sees women as an infinite supply. Easily acquired, and easily disposed. This signals a huge point of view message from Disney/Marvel on the ongoing human rights crimes being committed against women on a daily basis. You cannot watch this film and not walk away with a sense of anger, at how accurate the portayal of power, versus the mistreatment of women in the world, because of its accuracy. Natasha triumphs over Dreykov (lets hope we didn’t see a body afterall), while entrusting her sister to find the rest of the girls, trapped under the mind control of the red room across the world. Natasha has to afterall, get the “gang” (Avengers) back together.
The film is also full of laughter, like the origin of Natasha’s utility vest. It’s funny and sweet. Small details like this are what set Marvel apart from your run of the mill action-adventure movies. Also, their “father” Alexei Shostakov portrayed by David Harbour is a hilarious departure from the typical “man shows up to save the day” troupe. A Super Soldier like Captain America himself, is broken out of prison in what might be the most EPIC rescue/destruction mission ever accomplished onscreen. His arrival sparks more comedy, as his out of shape condition, and refusal to let go of the past and imagined scenarious alienates him from the women who run the show. Hey, he tries though. Its a great combination of strength and comedy in his character as he searches to re-integrate into the modern world and his family. Of course the reason for Alexei’s rescue is to reunite with the Black Widow who really made the vials, Melina. Melina acted as the girl’s mother in small town Ohio, before their subsequent escape due to detection. This “family” plot ties the movie all the way back to the vials, revealing Melina’s research in Ohio led to the vials ultimate creation. With feelings high, the three Widows unite to take down Draykov, in a move to finally end the complete choke hold control he is excerting on women across the globe.
We loved it. The action, the family, the comedy and drama. Black Widow should hail a 10/10.