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Marvel Studio’s “Black Widow” Review

Black Widow is finally here, after what feels like consistent delays. I think for me as a massive superhero fan is just how happy I am we finally have an MCU movie. It’s been almost 2 years now since we last got a movie from Marvel Studios.

Scarlett Johansson has been portraying Black Widow with such perfection since Iron Man 2 which came out in 2010. Natasha Romanoff ultimately died in Avengers: Endgame, and this movie is set between Civil War and Infinity War.

All of the original Avengers are deserving of their own solo projects, but Black Widow is one that definitely deserved this movie. And now it’s here. I’ve broken down my reviews into sub-categories. Our rating is based on multiple factors that give our overall rating. If you’re viewing on the AMP mobile version, scroll to the bottom and click “exit mobile version” to see the article in the fullest details.

In case you didn’t know, this article DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. If you don’t want the movie spoiled, then I would recommend you click off the article now.

Overview

In a nutshell, Black Widow is a great movie. It’s not perfect and does have down points but it’s incredibly enjoyable, and it does explain a lot of the origin aspects of Black Widow. Including the infamous Budapest mentions now finally have a meaning as to briefly what went down there with Clint helping out.

Black Widow is the starring character, but we are introduced to many others including Red Guardian for the first time, which adds further to Widow’s character. I do believe this is a movie we should have got back when Civil War had finished, because of the timeline that is, and it absolutely sucks knowing this will likely be Scarlett’s last adventure in the MCU.

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Despite a poor send-off, Natasha Romanoff is given the truly heroic ending she deserves. We all know the way she controlled the battlefield and stepped into a leadership role alongside Steve Rogers within Infinity War and Endgame. This movie showcases that even more, just how tactful Natasha is – what she stands for, and it’s even more courageous considering the things she went through within the Red Room. All of which the movie does explain to us.

The action scenes were immense, and they always have been when you watch Black Widow within a fight. The way she controls and commands a fight is mesmerizing, and it’s no different here. She fights multiple soldiers, Taskmaster, Dreykov, and even Yelena at the beginning. Each fight she’s in is done well, and you can half feel it. Especially when Yelena flings Natasha into a doorframe, it just looks and felt so realistic.

Human trafficking is still rife in the world, and this touches on how bad it can actually get. Especially for young girls in the world, but it also shows that we can go through our worst moments and STILL BE A HERO. She also proves to us that you don’t need superpowers to be genuinely a good human being.

In the end, this movie was needed. Even if a lot of people believe it’s too late, as do I but as they say, it’s better late than never and it’s here. I am excited to do my next run of the MCU, and slot this in right after Civil War so it makes more sense there. But overall, it’s fantastic.

Story

The story actually surprised me. I knew it was set between Civil War and Infinity War, immediately after the events of Civil War, which we actually got to witness Natasha make her escape from Ross. The story progressed in a good way, obviously showing us Natasha and Yelena as kids, how they ended up in the Red Room, to what their relationships were within the family.

Despite it feeling fractured during Natasha and Yelena’s younger scenes, the rest was enjoyable. I think giving the ability for Black Widow to actually have a standalone film so we understand her better was needed. Even the constant references to Budapest with Clint were great, we actually got some clarity on what happened in that time which was great.

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What most people should understand is that this is more of an action spy movie and not the typical superhero films we’re used to seeing. This story centered around Natasha’s origins, how she became to be the assassin she is, how it affected her choices, and the family she was ripped away from but in some dysfunctional way, she found a new one. With Red Guardian and co, plus the Avengers. It truly showcased that Natasha can go solo, and finish the mission she sets out to do.

Which in turn, she obviously did in this movie. The one thing which I have noted in my dislikes below is the fact she never got a send-off. We all know she died in Endgame, and this was the perfect opportunity to give her the best send-off possible.

Characters

One of the absolute best characters of this movie was Yelena Belova played by Florence Pugh. To be honest, Yelena was one of the characters that I really didn’t care much for in the trailers, but she was fantastic. I’m never one to say that humor should take over a movie that is attempting to be serious, but Yelena’s smart, witty remarks in regards to everything were fantastic. I really hope with the way the movie ended, that she’s given an opportunity to continue within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Another special mention here is for Red Guardian. What a guy, and I mean it, what a guy. Despite my dislike of the fact we didn’t really see him fight, besides that, he was amazing. What kind of shook me going into this movie was the fact Alexei also had the super-soldier serum, the same as Captain America. I didn’t know much about the character, his origins, or anything so this was a nice surprise. I just really wish we had seen him fight just a little bit more.

The final special mention is for the fierce woman herself, Natasha Romanoff. I kind of feel super sad knowing that will likely be her final ever appearance within the MCU. She’s been fantastic since the very beginning, and she’s been a focal point throughout all of the phases. I just wish they could find a way to bring her back again, but I understand the same as Cap and Iron Man, that her time is up. She went out in a big way with her solo movie.

Besides Taskmaster, everyone played their roles extremely well. Marvel drafted up an excellent cast, and it pulled off in a big way with the movie.

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For the full cast list, you can visit IMDB by clicking here.

Hype

Due to the COVID pandemic, the hype surrounding the movie was at an all-time high. The movie was pushed back multiple times due to the pandemic getting worse, but now it’s finally here. We rate the movie on a scale of 1-10 if it was worth the hype, and we’ve rated it 7.

Whilst the movie was great, there’s no taking that away but it falls short due to the multiple delays, and the feeling that this should have been here 5 years ago. However, take that away and it’s solid. I was super excited all week for the movie and had it bought through Premier Access on Disney+ the moment it became available.

Favorite Moments

1. My first favorite moment is the fight between Natasha and Yelena. This fight scene was absolutely epic. You’ve got 2 assassins that are almost matched in hand-to-hand combat, and you could tell their fighting styles were so similar it was difficult for one to get the upper hand. I love scenes like this, and it was a great way for us to be properly introduced to Yelena’s character besides the initial scene.

2. The prison break moment from the movie had me engaged from the first moment Alexei was dominating prisoners at arm wrestling without breaking a sweat. Natasha and Yelena swoop in with a helicopter to save him, but ultimately the prison ends up being destroyed with Alexei escaping with Natasha and Yelena.

3. This is a subtle one, but I loved it. Melina, Alexei, Natasha, and Yelena were a family that was an undercover operation for Alexei and Melina, meaning they’re not a proper family. However, once they reach Melina after the prison escape, the entire scenes here were hilarious. It just shows what a family looks like when they’re all disagreeing with each other. I loved this because it truly showed the nature that despite the undercover op, Alexei and Melina did actually care for Natasha and Yelena.

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4. As this was a spy movie, I expected a lot of twists and turns, but the best one came where Melina and Natasha swap to each other in a ploy to take out the Red Room. The scene at the beginning actually never told us, and we just see them ambushed by Dreykov’s soldiers, with Natasha already unconscious you believe Melina completely set them up. This wasn’t the case, and it was a great way for Melina to get a knife to Yelena before she almost undergoes horrific brain surgery, rescue Red Guardian whilst Natasha confronts Dreykov to end this once and for all.

5. Once Melina goes off on one and destroys the engines keeping the Red Room afloat in the sky, everything goes to hell. This entire scene was so well done, the escapes from each character were great whilst still trying to take out Dreykov, which in the end Yelena manages to do even in spite of her risking her life in a dangerous way. They manage to get to the floor, but it’s the way in which the escape is done. Regardless of my issues with Taskmaster, Natasha does save her, and they end up fighting to the ground until the other Widow’s, now completely cured of Dreykov’s brainwash, step in to help. I just loved this moment.

6. Yelena shows up at Natasha’s grave after the end credits, and despite Cassandra ruining the scene, I liked this. Mainly for Yelena’s character and Florence’s future within the MCU. It gave us an indication that Yelena still has more to do within the MCU, and I liked this. Yelena was the standout for the movie, and if the Avengers still need a spy/assassin similar to Natasha, then Yelena would be a fantastic introduction into that.

Dislikes

1. The initial structure of the movie was all off, it felt rushed. For the first 15-20 minutes I didn’t have a clue what was going on. Whether that was meant to be part of the film then okay, but at least give us a timeline from where Natasha and Yelena were still young. It never made any sense at all.

2. Taskmaster was the worst part of this movie. Hands down, I said it. Taskmaster has been a villain I’ve been screaming for, for quite some time now and Taskmaster is obviously one of Black Widow’s greatest opponents. The gender-swapped Widow aspect did not do the character justice, at all. I can deal with the gender swap, that doesn’t bother me – but to completely destroy the character origins and backgrounds is a no-go. I did like the mimic aspects, that was done well and Taskmaster’s fighting scenes were great to watch. It was the reveal more than anything that just wasn’t great. I think Anthony Masters still should have been the one behind the mask.

3. I did like how Natasha managed to end the Red Room, but it all just felt rushed at the end with her breaking her nose in order to defeat Dreykov. I kind of expected a little more considering this is a man who almost completely ruined Natasha’s life.

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4. I loved Red Guardian, he was a fantastic character, however, my dislike comes from the action aspects more than anything. I really wanted to see more action from him. I feel like he should have been the one to put Taskmaster in the cell in the end, but he barely got a punch in, which I found ridiculous.

5. No cameos? Yet Natasha features in multiple standalone films such as Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and more. I can’t see how Nick, Clint, or Steve couldn’t make even the briefest appearances in order to set up Infinity War properly. It also ties into my next point.

6. WHERE IS HER FUNERAL?! This is straight-up just frustrating. Tony got the most beautiful send-off in the world at the end of Endgame, and still nothing for Natasha. Just a gravestone Yelena visits at the end which is pathetically interrupted which is disrespectful to a character that has been with us for so many years. This actually annoyed me, and this deserves to be talked about more. This was her movie, most likely her final MCU appearance. She deserved a proper send-off.

Recommend?

I know my dislikes above make it think like I hated the movie, but in 2 hours it’s not difficult to find even the small things you don’t like. It’s just natural. Despite the above, I still definitely recommend this movie.

Verdict

Black Widow is a great standalone movie, and for any fan of superheroes, I definitely recommend watching this. It gives us a lot into Natasha’s character, her backstory, and origins. Whilst the movie did have issues, in the end, it was still fantastic, even if it did come a few years too late. We’re going to miss Scarlett portraying Natasha Romanoff, and the movie was a great way to end her run in the franchise.


Rating 8.3/10


Black Widow is available in cinemas worldwide and also available on Premier Access on Disney+. You can visit here for more information on Premier Access.


Ratings

Story - 8
Structure - 8
Quality - 9.9
Action - 9.5
Characters - 7
Entertainment - 9
Hype - 7

8.3

Great

Black Widow is a great standalone movie, and for any fan of superheroes, I definitely recommend watching this. It gives us a lot into Natasha's character, her backstory, and origins. Whilst the movie did have issues, in the end, it was still fantastic, even if it did come a few years too late. We're going to miss Scarlett portraying Natasha Romanoff, and the movie was a great way to end her run in the franchise.

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Daniel Lewandowski

28 years old. Founder, and co-owner of Comic Universe. Journalist specializing in the Arrowverse shows, and the MCU. Creator of the Comic Universe website.

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