Black Widow was the send-off for Scarlett Johansson’s popular character that everyone wanted until it was released. Over the course of 7 movies, Black Widow became a hugely popular Avenger, right up until her dramatic, emotional, and rather untimely death. Since then, fans have been clamoring for a movie to give her the send-off she deserves. After all, she didn’t even get a funeral in End Game. Black Widow was supposed to be that movie.
Premiering on July 29th, 2021, the film was released both in theaters and on Disney+ catering to the fact that many theaters were still closed due to the pandemic. The movie centered around Natasha’s reunion with her Russian family. As per usual Marvel structure, the movie was a team-building tale, the estranged family coming together to complete a mission. That mission? To prevent her ex-handler, Dreykov, from brainwashing and controlling the minds of young girls, who he aims to shape into killers.
On paper, all of this sounds great, so where did this film go wrong for so many viewers?
The good bits
To be fair, generally, Black Widow is not a bad film. It’s a solid, average movie that delivers some excellent set-pieces. Not only that, it has some fun and even offers up a couple of memorable one-liners. Better still, it introduced us to Black Widow’s entertaining sister, Yelena, played by the excellent Florence Pugh. However, therein lies part of the problem.
Black Widow is overshadowed
In her own movie, Black Widow is not really given the chance to shine. As mentioned, Pugh’s take on Yelena is a real scene-stealer. She makes fun of Black Widow (in the best sibling way possible), but overall, she’s more memorable in this movie than Widow herself.
On top of that, her father or Red Guardian, played by David Harbour, is also excellent. He steals scenes with some much-needed comic relief. But this once again sidelines Black Widow.
Poor character progression aside for Black Widow, the whole movie falls a little flat throughout, and that’s even with some of the action (we’ll touch on that later). Part of the problem is the length of the movie — it’s over 2 hours. Where have all the 1 hour 45-minute movies gone?
For this movie could really do with a heft 20 minutes cut. By cutting this, the film would tighten up, push the pace and make this a much better ride than it is. It would also alleviate the issues prevalent in what is a rather tedious script.
Getting the action right
Most of us also go to a Marvel movie with some exciting action (after all, it’s not all play like at オンラインカジノ). Weirdly, Black Widow does this simultaneously well and not well. For instance, the action was a lot grittier than in other movies in the franchise. But the problem here is that to keep the low rating, there’s no blood. Instead, victims in the fight simply flop about. On top of that, there was almost too much action without enough storyline to back it up.
Timing and MCU placement
Finally, the simple existence of this movie is an issue. Arguably, this movie is 4 or 5 years too late. Set way back in the MCU timeline, it comes just after Captain America Civil War. There’s less emotional impact with this film too — after all, we all know she’s dead now in the timeline.
Let’s not forget that it doesn’t make sense in the wider MCU either — where were the Red Guardian and the girls freed from the Red Room in the final End Game showdown? Did they choose to simply sit out this epic, world-changing battle?
With all these issues, what could have been a great movie falls flat. That being said, it’s still an enjoyable romp.