Blu-ray: Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars out of 5
Release Date: July 9th, 2021
Movie Release Year: 2021
MPAA Rating: Parental Guidance Suggested
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

Black Widow - Theatrical Review

Review Date June 29th, 2021 by
Overview -

The Fallout of Civil War left The Avengers a broken family with some superheroes on the run and the others in jail. Natasha Romanoff was one of the lucky ones to find herself free of a jail cell and looking to take a break from the superhero life for a much-needed vacation. That vacation barely lasts a few hours when she is thrown into one of her biggest adventures and a fight for survival as she must confront the horrors of her past in her very own feature film - Black Widow. This is a nice welcome back to the MCU and although it's bittersweet to see Natasha on the big screen again knowing her ultimate fate from Endgame, this film lets it be known that the Black Widow is indeed one of the greatest Avengers to have ever lived. 

Catch Black Widow in theaters July 9th, Order Your Tickets on Fandango!

 

OVERALL
Highly Recommended

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

4.5 Stars out of 5

Black Widow was supposed to be released in the way way back in May 2020, but due to the pandemic, was indefinitely pushed back. There was talk about just releasing it on home televisions via the Disney+ app, but due to outcry from fans, it was wisely delayed. Everyone knew that Black Widow deserved her very own theatrical debut and now that time has come to unleash it upon the world's biggest screens - and it does NOT disappoint. It's action-packed, funny, and delivers some emotional family dynamics throughout, giving some much-needed origin and background history to this beloved character. Black Widow officially starts Phase Four of the MCU and it does so with an absolute bang while introducing some exciting new characters and allowing Natasha to display her impressive spy skills and fight training in almost every scene. 

Black Widow picks up right after the events of Civil War where Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) heads for a little rest and relaxation in an undetermined rural area. But before the big action begins, there is an impressive opening scene that reveals Natasha's young childhood in America where she had a sister named Yelena, a father named Alexei (David Harbour), and a mother named Melina (Rachel Weisz). They appear to be the typical American family, but soon enough, it's revealed that both Melina and Alexei were Russian Spies and aren't the real parents of young Natasha and Yelena. In an action-packed escape sequence, the family flies out of the country and splits up like nothing happened, forcing Yelena and Natasha to undergo severe spy training. Flash forward 21 years to her vacation in hideout, Natasha receives a package of red glass tubes containing a secret powder from her sister Yelena (Florence Pugh of Midsommar).

It comes to light that Natasha, Yelena, her faux mother Melina were all trained in something called the Red Room, led by a sinister figure named Dreykov (Ray Winstone). It turns out that Dreykov has kidnapped tons of young women all over the world and manipulated them into becoming hardcore assassins just like Natasha for sinister purposes. Meanwhile, Natasha and Yelena's faux father Alexei (Harbour) is actually the Red Guardian, which is Russia's equivalent to Captain America. Natasha seeks out her sister and after a fantastic Kill-Bill style fight, the two reconcile and set out to have a family reunion of sorts to track down the Red Room, Dreykov, and save all these women from a life of enslavement and killing. 

Throughout the MCU, Natasha delivered only a few crumbs of her past and what it was like growing up. It was known that something had changed her to where she broke out and became something great, ultimately joining The Avengers. That something is revealed here and is extremely tragic. Natasha's character has come a long way and this film showcases her emotions and raw inner psyche to do the right thing even for those who have abandoned her and treated her poorly. It's a sendoff the character deserved, which displays all of her excellent traits, while still pointing out some of her mistakes from her past.

The dynamic between the relationships of this little faux family is excellent and is brought to life by screenwriter Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok). The film is consistently keeping things witty with jokes about Natasha's superhero poses from the past films to how Alexei's love and jealousy of Captain America come above everything. But there is also a very sincere and dramatic side as Natasha rekindles her sisterhood with Yelena and her fake parents. This doesn't happen overnight but is rather a process through the film that gives the characters an organic transformation from super spies to a loving family.

Australian director Cate Shortland knows exactly how to convey these strong emotions between each character. She also perfectly films some of the most spectacular action sequences that are both on a grand scale falling through the sky or in tight confined small rooms. It could be said that these might be some of the better action sequences of the entire MCU thus far - which also have some entertaining and fun F9-style elements to them. Rachel Weisz and David Harbour are excellent in their roles with Harbour having a complete blast as the "heavyweight Captain America" who serves mostly as comic relief but can turn on the dramatic side at the drop of a hat. Florence Pugh is just as flawless as ever as the new action star in Hollywood with remarkable acting chops, and it all comes to the center stage in Black Widow. Scarlett Johansson is simply phenomenal once again as this character, but now she has enough time to showcase all of the might, heart, and soul in every scene, rather than just a few minutes here and there. 

 

Video Review

N/A Stars out of 5

Audio Review

N/A Stars out of 5

Special Features

N/A Stars out of 5

Final Thoughts

Lorne Balfe's score is excellent with some amazing song cues, and of course, hearing that iconic Avengers cue will bring back all the emotions for those who have watched Endgame so many times since it came out in 2019. In true MCU style, be sure to stay to the very end of the credits for an amazing stinger that will set up future shows and movies at Marvel. Black Widow is epic, grande, and wonderful. Don't miss it - and see it on the biggest screen you can find!

Catch Black Widow in theaters July 9th, Order Your Tickets on Fandango!

 

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