Black widow mostly feels like an apology. It will appear as the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, two years (including a pandemic mulligan) after March 23. Avengers: EndgameIt showed an emotional scene that clearly led to death Black widowThe main character, Natasha Romanov. Her character has been a permanent presence in the MCU since 2010 Ironman 2, and she was one of the key connecting figures who actually helped all of these films feeling like a universe. She also appeared to be one of the few women of importance in the entire franchise. And after coming and going, she only gets her own independent film nowwhat does Black widow feel like an afterthought. It’s only the second MCU film to feature a female character, and that character isn’t even alive to take us to a new place.
Instead, Black widow takes us back to 2016, where director Cate Shortland and writers Eric Pearson, Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson tell a story about what Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson) is in the sizable gap between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. There is no real reason why this period matters. Natasha’s fate today is only recognized in a post-credits scene. The movie’s prologue is a flashback to 1995 in Ohio, introducing new characters that audiences will meet during the film. Most of the time, it’s a time in the character’s history when she’s isolated and on the run because she’s in on Cap’s side. has asked Civil war
Such is the prologue of the film in the mid-1990s, which introduces a brief period of bliss into the life of young Natasha. After her traumatic childhood training in the KGB’s Red Room program (as in Avangers: Age of Ultron) Natasha got the chance to play a beautiful American family life with her espionage “parents” Alexei (David Harbor) and Melina (Rachel Weisz) and little “sister” Yelena (played in adulthood by Florence Pugh). Natasha will reluctantly seek out this fake family when she discovers that the seemingly defunct Red Room program that turned her into a Black Widow not only still exists and still turns kidnapped young women into ruthless killers, it is more terrible than before – now it uses chemical mind control on its subjects. Natasha, with Yelena’s help, makes it her mission to find and close this new red room.
The stakes couldn’t be clearer, and in the first two thirds Black widow has a refreshing focus in the MCU that gives it a sense of style and fun that is really fun once you’ve overcome the film’s weird place in the MCU continuity. Almost immediately, Natasha is hunted by the mysterious Taskmaster, a cyborg-like super soldier who can mimic the fighting style of any Avenger. In fact, she’s the terminator. Taskmaster brings a degree of it Oh shit The urgency of fights that are ambitious but a little chaotic, either ending too quickly or too frenetically processed for the complex choreography to have maximum effect.
On the character side of things, the Black Widow family reunion is a really surprising source of comedy, as an inadequate quartet of trained killers comes together simply because the bogus family they played decades ago was also the only real human connection each of them had would have. Black widow
Unfortunately, the reason neither of these two aspects completely ends up in the third act, which feels like it’s from another movie. Marvel movies are often subsumed by their third act, where they give up all of the fun and taste that makes them fascinating instead of a series of big, loud CG explosions. Black widowHis take on it is workable – it’s bright and legible, with a few moments that look pretty cool – but it’s such a departure from the first two-thirds of the movie that it’s hard not to piss off. The makers of MCU films clearly want the films to deserve attention based on their own merits, and not just relative to other MCU films – widow wouldn’t work that hard to be one Bourne-esque thriller if that weren’t the case – but they can’t shake off or even reconsider the grand, required Marvel finale.
In some little ways Black widow is the bizarre movie in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the latest installment in an interconnected 14-year-old work designed to reward audience attention. So it’s more than strange that this latest MCU project should play so smoothly with the events of the previous one and act as if fans hadn’t just seen Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, die.
While Black widowThe director and writers are bravely trying to turn the film into a fitting swan song for Natasha and a formidable action vehicle for Johansson by incorporating the different character traits of the Avenger in seven other films into an action film that surpasses its male counterparts it is impossible to shake the feeling that it is circling a dead end. This character has no future and what is presented here is not strong enough to give viewers the confidence that others are possible Black widow Flashback movies would be worth the effort. Black widow joins the great wave of current superhero stories about legacy heroes passing their cloaks on to the younger generation – this post-credits sequence openly prepares Yelena’s next appearance as the successor to Black Widow. But with that hollow apology for disposing of Natasha’s character still ringing the bell throughout the movie, this setup sounds more selfish than promising.
This is the downside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe experiment: movies under its banner can bask in the glitz of its many successes but dance too close to its failures, and the remaining shame can sink an easy victory. If only Marvel could get it together enough to make and release Black widow in the year it is discontinued.
Black widow opens in theaters and Premier Access on Disney Plus on July 9th.