BLACK WIDOW (2021) – My rating: 8.5/10

Black Widow is a superhero film based on Marvel Comics that features its comic character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Cate Shortland from a screenplay by Eric Pearson.

Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), the film sees the Black Widow on the run and forced to confront her past. After what happened in Avengers: Endgame (2019), I enjoyed seeing more of this character but sadly, Johansson said she was “going out on a high note” and was proud of the film, feeling that her work portraying Romanoff was now complete.

Black Widow opens in 1995 with what appears to be a normal American family living in Ohio  In reality, dad (head of the household) is a Russian super-soldier Alexei Shostakov / Red Guardian (David Harbour) and mom is a Russian Black Widow / Melina Vostokoff (Florence Pugh).   They work as Russian undercover agents, along with their two young Russian daughters, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlette Jonhassan) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), and are responsible for stealing S.H.I.E.L.D. intel as instructed by their boss, General Dreykov (Ray Winstone). After raiding the Ohio community, the General has Natasha and Velena taken to the Red Room for training. Years pass, during which Alexei is betrayed and imprisoned in a Russian prison while Natasha escapes and defects to S.H.I.E.L.D.

I truly enjoyed Black Widow.  The plot was pretty simple, Russian operatives against America, headed up by a mad general and his team of Black Widows. The adventure was exciting, fun, and all ends had closure.  The cinematography was fabulous as Black Widow took you to many different countries including Norway, England, Budapest, Rome, and Maroco. There are many chase scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat.  I loved the relationship Jonhassan enjoyed with the character Mason (O-T Fagbenle) who I recognized from the Handmaid’s Tale. Mason’s character services Natasha as Alfred services Batman.  Additionally, Ever Anderson played Natasha as a youngster and speaks Russian. Anderson felt her background in taekwondo along with her gymnastics training was helpful to the role. Black Widow broke several pandemic box office records and has grossed over $371 million worldwide, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2021; it also made $67 million through Disney+ in its opening weekend. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances, particularly those of Johansson and Pugh, and the action sequences. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 420 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Black Widows deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that’s rounded out by a stellar supporting cast. Aside from appearing in theaters, Black Widow is also streaming on Disney+with premier access.  Check It Out!



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