Trying to fall in love with film again.

A Black Widow movie was LONG overdue.

Story

While on the run for violating the Sokovia Accords, Natasha Romanoff gets a mysterious package from another Widow, Yelena Belova, her surrogate sister. The two end up on a mission that sees Natasha revisiting her past and correcting some of her mistakes.

What I like about the story is that you get to see more of Natasha's backstory that has been alluded to in previous films and if you remember the Budapest line from The Avengers you get clarification into what that mission entailed.

That being said, there are parts of Natasha's story and training that were glossed over that I wished were not. Especially her training that was alluded to in Age of Ultron. 

Acting 

Scarlett Johansson's performance in this movie is one of her best as the character. Second maybe to the first Avengers and maybe Endgame. You've seen her go through a lot in this universe and the character at this point is at the culmination of her emotional arch (even though this movie takes place in 2016)

One thing to say about Scarlett playing this character is that she is incredibly consistent and that is both a good thing and a bad thing. The consistency means that she fits right into the character, regardless of the situation but it also means that your know what you're going to expect from her. However, in this movie, you do get to see a little more from her than you are used to However, I do wish we got to see more of her backstory. 

The standout performance was DEFINITELY Florence Pugh. Natasha might be the emotional core of the film but Yelena is the comedic core of the film and those moments don't come at expense of the plot like they sometimes do in Marvel movies. You can tell that she really enjoyed making this movie. Yelena is like the antithesis of Natasha and because of Florence and Scarlett's chemistry, you buy that they are estranged siblings. Before I saw the movie I heard rumblings that she was going to be replacing Natasha and now that have seen the movie, I am prepared for and happy with that handover.

Writing/Direction 

When the movie ended, I said to my brother, "We haven't seen a spy thriller from the MCU since the Winter Soldier." And we get shades of that in this movie. You get to see how fast she thinks on her feet as well as how she plans her next move. 

Does this movie have the best writing in an MCU movie? I personally don't think so.  However, I do think the movie does make sense given its location in the timeline and Nastahsa's character arch. She's wanted to wipe the red off her ledger since her character was introduced and you get to see her do that here by taking on the organization that shaped her and is a huge part of her backstory. I will commend the fact that you get to see more of the human behind the avenger. 

There are some interesting elements and subtle commentary about Russia and the US's approach to the super-soldier serum and propaganda which is quite compelling coming from Natasha who has lived on both sides of that coin. 

Black Widow is a straightforward movie. You know where you are going when you start the movie and this leaves for few surprises along the way which given the nature of the character isn't necessarily a positive. Apart from Natasha and Yelena, the side characters aren't fully fleshed out and feel like they only really exist to serve both the plot and Natasha's motivations. This is most evident in taskmaster and how little of them you actually get to see in the film. 

CGI/Set Design 

A big issue that a lot of people have with the MCU is its lack of visual diversity. All the movies have similar colour palettes and this one is no different. I will say though, that there are some beautiful establishing and landscape shots at the beginning of the movie, but it does give way to a CGI-heavy third act. 

And here comes my biggest gripe with this movie. The CGI in the third act rages from pretty good, to glaringly obvious to the point where it takes you out of the movie. Given the fact that we are four phases into the MCU, I am not as forgiving as I would have been a couple of years ago.

The action sequences and stunt work are really good in this movie. Shoutout to Heidi Moneymaker who has been Scarlett Johansson's body double since she was introduced into the MCU. However, they did feel a little long as the movie entered its third act

Score/Soundtrack 

Sadly, I can't remember the score in this movie. That isn't me saying it is bad, however, the movie didn't bring a lot of attention to the soundtrack or score. Given the nature of the movie and its subject matter, it makes sense that music is not the main focus f the film. I just wish it was more interesting. 

Overall Thoughts

This movie has more to do with Natasha confronting her past and acknowledging her mistakes. One thing I wanted to see in this movie was shown in a montage at the beginning and that is my biggest qualm. Natasha references her Widow training in Age of Ultron and we see a little of it in this movie but apart from the aforementioned montage, we don't see much. 

Interestingly enough, this movie is very similar to Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence. I am not going to say one is better than the other but I will say that if you were wondering what Natasha's widow training would have looked like, that movie goes into a lite more detail. 

All in all, I liked Black Widow, I do think she deserved more from her first solo movie but it was nice to see her dynamic with other characters that aren't core MCU characters. And you also get to see more of her human side that we have been introduced to as the movies have gone on. 

And about Budapest? Here is the line in question 







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