After a long time away from visiting cinemas I decided to forego the Disney+ option today and my son and I lined up to finally see Black Widow. I’m glad I did too because it ticks a lot of the right boxes for me when it comes to my favourite style of MCU films.
Set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame, we see Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) on the run after taking sides with Steve Rogers. In hiding, she finds herself hunted by the mysterious Taskmaster when her “sister” (Florence Pugh) sends her a cure to save a new generation of Black Widows. This leads to Natasha reuniting with her “family” – a group of undercover Russian spies who fled the United States twenty years earlier after stealing sensitive data. David Harbour and Rachel Weisz are great as the parental figures in this ensemble and make the absolute most out of their roles and succeed so well in making this family dynamic work it’s a shame we won’t see more of it in the future… at least in this form. Numerous mentions of Natasha’s “hero pose” show enough self awareness to poke fun at one of the sillier aspects of past films too.
There’s something about this little corner of the MCU that Captain America resides in that I find really appealing with its spies, cold wars and conspiracies, and Black Widow digs into them deeply while also revealing more about Natasha who often talked about her past (in earlier movies) but we never got to see her living it. We finally get to learn what the big deal is about Budapest too. It’s a great looking movie that makes excellent use of locations and the fights feel more hard hitting compared to earlier MCU films and it really helps to sell just how capable all these characters are and it’s handled very well.
The movie might seem like a storyline dead end because of Natasha’s ultimate fate in Endgame but its fascinating to see how the traditional end credits tease now pushes hard into the Disney+ slate of MCU series. The film’s release might have lessened the impact as it was meant to arrive before The Falcon and the Winter Soldier but the possibilities it was presenting showed more spinoff potential too. It certainly confirms that both film and television are going to be sharing a place now in the overall narrative. The MCU is not slowing down that much is certain.
Black Widow is another reason why I like going to see MCU movies at cinemas. Lots of thrills, plenty of action and enough surprises to make me want to see the next movie (or series!). I had a great time watching it and that’s more than enough for me. 🙂