Black Widow, 2021.
Directed by Cate Shortland
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbor, OT Fagbenle, Rachel Weisz, Ray Winstone, Ever Anderson, Violet McGraw.
Natasha Romanoff, also known as the Black Widow, encounters the darker parts of her book as a dangerous conspiracy with ties to the past emerges. Natashan must strive for a force that doesn’t stop anywhere to cause him to fall, and he has to deal with his spy history and the broken relationships that remain with him long before he became Revenge.
New addition to the MCU Jelena Belova (one of today’s most must-see rising stars, Florence Pugh) asks her estranged nonbiological sister Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson repeated, presumably for the last time, the Black Widow of the same name in this interquel series sometime after Captain America: Civil War) which is his story. It’s a pretty good question for Natasha and repeats in your whole mind as you watch Black Widow. The answer is something directed by Cate Shortland (previously directed by an underrated psychological thriller) Berlin syndrome) and the writing team of Jac Schaeffer, Ned Benson, and Eric Pearson (the former two only have story concepts with the latter, which is solely responsible for the script) is never clear. However, the journey is full of exciting still lifes that shift the style of ballet fighting and spy games. The nominal superhero is known within the larger endangered and destructive episodes.
Before you get into these special effects fireworks, Black Widow flashes back to Ohio in 1995, where childless Natasha and Yelena (Ever Anderson and Violet McGraw) live some sort of American dream, surrounded by baseball and a choice of classical melody, while searching for each other and learning about bioluminescent insects from their mother Melina Vostokoff. The idyllic peace of family life soon rises when David Harbor’s Alexei Shostakov returns home from work, clearly shaking, explaining to Melina that it’s time to grab their secret information and go for a run.
After some theaters where one character uses sniper rifles lying down during the takeoff of an airplane wing (action here can strain credibility, but is still usually a creative sight), the situation is not so resolved, although this group of four living under the guise of family for unknown reasons is now separated. This leads to a montage of the initials (the rarity of MCU movies, but appropriate according to the espionage story), offering a haunting glimpse of Natasha’s Russian assassination training (among so many other mentally and emotionally abused young girls) set on the gloom of Nirvana’s Teen Smells. It’s a compelling segment in terms of storytelling as the prologue lays the groundwork for a psychological show of horror that plunges into exploiting the relentless Dreykov (Ray Winstone).
From there, Black Widow jumps when the Avengers were disbanded, settling for a standard MCU notation that prioritized spectacle and budget over riveting character work. They are also frustrated that once this family has made a connection, the script is more interested in coming dangerously close to resembling the family’s comedy series focusing on humor. Alexei (who also passes through the multi-layered Red Guardian, which is the Russian version of Captain America) is a walking joke who is selfish, albeit slowly but surely acknowledging his shortcomings and correcting things to the best of his ability (the running choice is that he always breaks or is not heard trying to speak from the heart). David Harbor rolls with punches, succeeding in making this pathetic character fun. However, there is a perception that the real purpose of comedy is not necessarily to disturb the dark and depressing intriguing points of indoctrination, mind control, and everything else that happens in women in the undisclosed “red room” by doing nothing but killing at a young age but avoiding it.
Marvel never makes R-rated movies that would dive into the traumas of that upbringing, but the fact that the film sets itself up to be something deeper and more significant just to change gears for the more tried out is bummer bait and switch. The film is credited with a scene in which Natasha and Yelena mention the removal of their reproductive organs, but that too is a joke. It’s horrible to do for a woman, but the requirement to deal with such things through humor becomes obsolete and unsatisfactory.
Part of this is also due to the fact that it is only the middle part Black Widow committed to comedy through family dysfunction. Jelena is indeed tasked with acquiring and distributing an antidote to mind control, Natasha is hunting an insensitive and ruthless Taskmasker (their identities certainly infuriate the Internet, but fuck them, it’s a great revelation with a usable victory), and Dreykov behaves contemptuously without respecting women, an eye on the murder of his own daughter.
Aside from finally giving Natasa her own film (which still feels about seven years too late even watching it doesn’t offer much new context in addition to the family’s light message), another bright spot is Florence Pugh. He plays Jelena with a strange sense of humor and strange punctuation at the end of his lines that make him sound like he’s Tommy Wiseau’s long-lost Russian cousin (I say this wonderfully). Not only does his joke land, but he also has the most dramatic interesting scenes who firmly believe that while this is an orchestrated facade, this is a real family. Of course, he also has a handful of stylistic battle scenes and he’s more than a suitable replacement for Scarlett Johansson in the role from now on.
It should also be a certain kind Black Widow includes several notable action episodes (including fun psychological main games during the third act and an exhilarating final battle of the free-fall battle) that make the film fun despite the fact that the reservation is about tone, but this is already worth seeing for the Marvel brand, which probably means that you are going to see it no matter what. It’s an entertaining broadcast for Natasha who sprinkles future temptations of the future too late or not. And after Marvel movies haven’t been used on the big screen all year, it’s hard not to recommend this as a worthy escapist popcorn fun. But that’s it. Maybe one day Marvel dares to go through the dark and visceral treatment that such a story begs for, but it’s also easy to have fun watching Florence Puge mock Scarlett Johansson’s fighting postures while whipping all sorts of asses and cracking jokes. Keep it a pleasant mess.
Flickering myth rating – Movie: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also a Flickering Myth review editor. Check here For new reviews, follow mine Twitter or Letterboxdor send an email to [email protected]