Film Review – Black Widow

18 07 2021

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour

Directed By: Cate Shortland (Lore)

Written By: Eric Pearson (Godzilla vs. Kong, Thor: Ragnarok)

Hard not to be impressed by what Disney/Marvel have accomplished with the MCU, even the weaker entries are generally worth watching and given some more emotional weight as part of the larger universe. Black Widow certainly is not the best of the Marvel offerings but it is definitely worth watching based on the strength of its characters and some excellent performances by the cast.

Special effects and fight scenes are as over the top as one has come to expect from a Marvel flick, which is to say that they are seamless and entertaining as a comic or video game come to life. The scripting is a little weaker than one would hope, particularly for a backstory of a character like Widow who is supposed to be struggling with a troubled past.

The film takes place shortly after the events in Civil War which sees the Avengers split by the Sarkovia accords and Black Widow a fugitive on her own. She soon reconnects with her sister and adopted family from Russia and heads forward to right the wrongs done by the evil Russian assassin training program that developed her own skills. The script is funny enough to give the actors something to play with but not deep enough for anyone to really push any emotional depth. Pugh, in particular, is able to shine while delivering some one liners and being as emotional as the lukewarm script allows.

Overall this is worth a watch – it is nice to see Marvel films stripped back from cosmic threats to something more Earthbound. That said, script issues keep it from reaching the heights of other lower powered films like The First Avenger, Black Panther, or The Winter Soldier. Watch for the well choreographed fight scenes, the connections to the MCU, and the performances put forward by Johansson, Pugh, and Harbour. 4/5


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