85 / 100
Watchable Minutes : 133 / 133. All the Marvel movies these days are so packed with details that even if the story is lacking, there’s plenty of impactful and valuable lore to be seen in the background and in throwaway lines. These things are made to be watchable and enjoyable for as many people as possible and I think that they succeeded once again.
Trailer Comparison : It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a bad Marvel trailer and I don’t think it’s really possible anymore. They know the secret formula and use it over and over again. While this movie takes place between phase 2 and 3, it was neat to kind of go back to a time when the stakes were significantly lower than Endgame’s and this trailer sold that idea perfectly.
Movie or Film : Movie. End of Discussion.
- Run time : 2 hrs 13 minutes
- Studio : Marvel Studios
- Director : Cate Shortland
- Where to Watch : In Theaters, Disney+ ($)
Natasha Romanoff, on the run from the federal government after the breaking of the Sokovia Accords, receives a package in the mail from someone she once considered to be family. Intent on figuring out what this mysterious package is exactly, she is reunited with the former child agent who pretended to be her sister. Realizing the importance of the package, the two decide to team up with their former sleeper cell parents to take down the Red Room that created all of them.
Black Widow is the newest Marvel movie after a small, teensy pandemic flavored break nearly destroyed the theatrical release system and the whole world along with it. But now, after many long months, Marvel is back like it never left. Huge set pieces, mediocre music, impressive visuals and enough Easter eggs to create hundreds of click bait videos and BuzzFeed articles.
The story of Black Widow takes place right after Captain America : Civil War and at the same time as Spider-Man : Homecoming, according to this graphic posted by Rotten Tomatoes on their Instagram. It’s an interesting time frame to slot this movie into. I thought for sure this was going to be before Phase I (sometime before Iron Man II) just based on the trailer but I guess it makes more sense to put it where it is. It does a good job of explaining where all the big players were and if you are a big Marvel fan (like myself and my fiancé’s family) then you know where everybody else is too. The brief backstory at the beginning was well thought out and subverted my expectations. I figured that Natasha’s whole family was kidnapped and brain washed, not that they would be individual units put together. Their family life seemed so real and organic, but as the movie goes along you can see how it was all a sham and how damaging that is to everyone. As the rest of the movie starts to fall into place, you hear bits and pieces of history for Natasha’s past exploits and get the sense that the mysterious Red Room is a force to be reckoned with, but on a much smaller scale than what we have seen recently with Endgame.
Cate Shortland directs the latest Marvel movie, the one that is going to lead the masses back to the theaters. Her filmography is not packed with hits and blockbusters, but mostly things I’ve never heard of (my own fault). I like to see movies like these given to relative unknowns, as I’m sure most people would agree. It was a well shot and directed movie, without a wasted moment or out of sync scene. Everything lined up with that typical Marvel magic that the studio is famous for and it allowed Shortland to create a nice addition to the collection. The massive set pieces had impressive CGI and good looking visuals. The scoring was your typical super hero fare, with an odd cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit at the opening credits. Not a fan of that choice, but whatever.
Obviously Scarlett Johansson is very familiar with her character and knows what makes her tick. David Harbour’s accent was only semi laughable and he did a good job wearing that fat suit. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to act in that thing, but I think his more recent role in No Sudden Move was done much better. His character was interesting, but not compelling enough to make me like him too much. He’s kind of the odd man out here, because I thought the ladies all did great jobs in their respective roles. Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh absolutely nailed their roles and created compelling characters. However, I do think that Florence Pugh stole the show and that’s awesome because her character feels like the next evolution for the Black Widow mantle. Obviously that’s the case, because of the connection in the end credits scene. I won’t spoil that one here, but it’s pretty neat that they’re connecting the Disney+ shows.
I’m so happy that theaters are back in action and that Marvel is leading the charge. It’s been so long since I saw a movie in theaters that I forgot how early you have to get to the theater for one of these movies otherwise you end up in the nosebleeds. I got stuck in the second row from the front and had to crank my neck up at a 45 degree angle to see the damn screen but I still managed to have a good time. I’m very pleased with this movie and I think even if you’re just a casual fan of the genre or the studio, this entry is par for the course.
If you like this, check out :
- Avengers : Endgame
- Iron Man II
- Captain America : Civil War