Synopsis: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down. Natasha must deal with her history as a spy, and the broken relationships left in her wake.
Set between the end of Captain America: Civil War and the start of Avengers: Infinity Wars. Black Widow explores what happened to Natasha Romanoff in the space between those two movies. Having escaped captor by Secretary Ross and the US Government. Natasha goes on the run through Europe only to find her past catching up with her when her younger sister Yelena Belova reconnects with her. Yelena who was also one of the Red Room’s Widow assassins has been freed of the organization’s hold on her via an antidote to the chemical that Dreykov used on the girls to take away their free will.
After a bit of a sisterly fight. Yelena tells Natasha that Dreykov is still alive and kicking. This is news to Natasha because she believes that she successfully killed him on her final mission before becoming an avenger. But it seems that Dreykov was a tad too slippery for her. So, having learned this news Natasha agrees to work with Yelena and go after Dreykov and close down the Red Room once and for all.
Indeed, this will be no easy task. Because they first have to break their father Alexei aka The Red Guardian out of prison. And after that, they’ll need to reconnect with Melina who is the scientific mind behind most of Dreykov’s plans.
Scarlett Johansson is without a doubt brilliant as the Black Widow and has always shined in the role throughout all of her appearances in the MCU. So, it has to be reiterated that this movie was overdue and is a great send-off for Johansson’s take on the role. Florence Pugh is absolutely brilliant as Natasha’s younger sister and the onscreen chemistry she has with Johansson is brilliant. You actually do find yourself believing that these two women are sisters. The scene where Yelena was mocking Natasha’s hero pose was funny as hell. As was the constant banter between the two characters.
David Harbour puts in a solid performance as Alexi aka Red Guardian and probably has a majority of the onscreen jokes, which are mainly at his expense. Likewise, Rachel Weisz cuts a more serious figure as Melina who is definitely the brains of the operation. It also has to be said that the Russian accents used by Pugh, Harbour, and Weisz were fairly consistent throughout the movie.
Finally, kudos have to go to Ray Winstone for making a meal out of very little screen time when compared to the rest of the cast. His scenes with Johansson where Black Widow gets him to reveal his plans are fantastically performed. Dreykov felt very much like an old-school Bond Villain in these scenes.
As said earlier. This film is long overdue and while not the best Marvel film I’ve seen. It certainly isn’t the worst. If anything the film felt a little long for me. But that’s just my personal opinion. The action sequences were thick and fast. The sequence where they break Red Guardian out of jail being my favorite. But I’d have liked to have seen a little more time spent with the characters between action beats. Maybe seen some stuff from the point of view of Dreykov and the Red Room.
A smart thing that the writers did was show us Black Widow’s backstory in the pre-credits and during the opening credits sequence.
Overall. This is a pretty solid movie, but it does suffer from a few pacing issues. Don’t get me wrong. The action sequences are spectacular, but some of them felt a little overlong for my liking.
For more of our coverage on Black Widow. Check out the latest May The Verse Be With you, which pays homage to what a great character she is. And you can also check out our review of the collected edition of Black Widow: The Ties That Bind, which was great value for money.
- CGI & Stunts9.8
- Incidental Music9.5