Marvel Studios’ Black Widow was released in cinemas and on Disney Plus on July 9 2021. This movie was sitting untouched with Marvel for over an year.
So, here’s my review for this movie.
Director: Cate Shortland
Writers: Eric Pearson, Jac Schaeffer, Ned Benson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Ray Winstone, Olga Kurylenko, William Hurt
Music: Lorne Balfe
Budget: $200 million USD approx.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Superhero, Thriller
Synopsis: Natasha Romanoff is on the run after she violated the Sokovia Accords. She decides to go underground when an unknown individual attacks her. Her life takes a spin again as her past haunts her. She must stop the person who’s causing so much trouble and whom she presumed dead.
This movie is set somewhere between Captain America : Civil War and Avengers : Infinity War. The first half of the movie is pretty good and piques interest. The plot sets up the movie nicely with many action sequences till the movie reaches the middle. Then there’s a bit of family drama and again in the end the plot rises up with rushed up action sequences in the climax.
As the name itself suggests, this movie was meant for Black Widow. But, I’m in a dilemma as for its purpose. This is because this movie doesn’t do any for Natasha Romanoff. So, if this movie doesn’t do anything for the main character, I thought it would do some Justice to the supporting characters namely Yelena, Red Guardian and Task Master.
But surprisingly, the plot takes these characters nowhere. It’s just like Marvel introduced new characters in the movie and may use them somewhere in the future if they feel the need for it. The post credit scenes make this movie perfect fit with the timeline as they connect beautifully with Avengers: Infinity War and into Phase 4 setting up Thunderbolts.
Natasha – There was no room for development for this character as Marvel had this character develop almost fully in its previous movies. She’s in pain throughout the movie but we’ve already seen her going through the same emotion in the first half of Avengers : Endgame. Despite this, Scarlett Johansson does a very good job of staying in her character until the end.
Yelena – Neither the movie nor the post credit scene set her up in a plausible way for her to take up the mantle of Black Widow. This movie just gives a glimpse of what she can do but fails to explore her character.
Red Guardian – Maybe Marvel introduced this character to resemble everything from comics and then use him again in Thunderbolts. I’m seeing for the first time that Marvel didn’t use an amazing actor properly. I think they could have set him up to induce action or emotion. But this movie did nothing for this character.
Task Master – When the trailer was released, this character was very impressive. But the way the plot and climax are set-up, it’s very disappointing that Marvel wasted this character as well.
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The background music or the sound effects have always been top notch in any of the Marvel projects. Black Widow too continues this legacy with superb sound.
This movie like all other Marvel projects has excellent cinematography. You do get a feeling that you’re running around many places just because of exceptional cinematography. This movie uses the same filters which Marvel used in Phase 3 movies such as Captain America : Civil War.
I can’t say that the direction was flawless just because at points especially in the climax scenes, it feels like the movie was being rushed. There are many points which were unexplained which is surprising for me in a Marvel project. Some of which are Red Room and its origins. Marvel teased a lot about the Red Room in its previous movies, but when it finally had the chance to show it off, they simply rushed, gave a glimpse and then destroyed it. They didn’t even show properly of everything that goes on in there.
So, this movie isn’t a Black Widow’s origin movie. It just reinstates the facts which were previously stated in Phase 2 & 3. This movie doesn’t give the end which I think that Black Widow deserved. They could’ve shown the Natasha’s dying scene again to add more emotion to this movie.
The main reason as to why I think that this movie could have done better is the script. I don’t know if Marvel did it on purpose or not but the script was poorly written. This was the reason why the characters didn’t get any time to evolve. There’s an absence of a strong villain in this movie.
Also, there are many points for which the script either doesn’t provide explanation or the explanation is purposely omitted. This is the reason why I feel that this movie could have been better. Marvel Studios could have simply hired a better writer or added more details.
Action / Effects
The action in this movie is fantastic. Until the middle of the movie, it gives you the vibe as if you’re watching a Bourne movie. The money Marvel has spent can be seen totally.
But some of the action scene are set-up to such a high level that Marvel almost thought that Black Widow is a super soldier. It doesn’t matter if a character is highly skilled, but there’s no way a character can pull every single stunt without getting hurt.
The effects of the movie are very good. But the climax is so overly done that it’s very easy to make out the effects they put for every explosion. Which means at certain points I could make out that part of the scene wasn’t happening and the actors were just assuming it happened.
All that being discussed, it’s disappointing that even after having so much time for reshoots, Marvel just developed this movie just for a formality to give a little bit importance to Black Widow. But still this doesn’t change anything for the character.
If they really wanted to explore this character more, Marvel could have opted for a TV show just as they’re going to do for Hawkeye. But what this means in the grand scheme of things is that every character they’ve introduced in this movie may be used at some point later in the MCU.
I think that we’ll surely see Yelena in Thunderbolts and in Avengers 5.