Black Widow (dir. Shortland)

Image: Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow [Source: Google]

★★☆☆☆

Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

Director: Cate Shortland. Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, Ray Winstone [12A]

Black Widow is exactly what you might imagine it to be. A film they forgot to release about a decade ago.

It’s easy to see Black Widow exactly for what it is, an origin story about Black Widow that does its best to dispense with the actual origin and tell a story about her adoptive family and the bond between her and her sister. Sadly none of this feels like something asked for or something needed. Namely because Black Widow is dead. But also we have experience her character grown and evolve in the background of the avengers. Has she felt like an integral part, certainly not but she added her own degree of flavour to the mix.

Which is why its such a puzzle that this origin story is being released now. By the end of the credits you know why exactly as marvel continues to use its loose continuity to drag audiences along to whatever ride it thinks they need to experience. You can understand the odd Thor: Dark World or Dr. Strange being another formulaic origin story but to grab hold of audiences with such force to come out and see a story involving Black Widow that not only feels like it should have been released a long time ago. Even when the MCU was all origin movies this would have stood out as the weakest among them.

A villain as lacklustre and camp as a James Bond villain but lacking all logic and sneering charisma, though admittedly Black Widow does somewhat acknowledge this influence. But the story itself can be seen coming from the beginning, which is why by the end there does not seem to be any real character growth at all. Black Widow is always Black Widow, we never see Natasha – which is Marvels biggest crime here.

I left feeling as though for what it was, for anyone really wanting a Black Widow movie this will scratch all itches and them some. As while Johansson is frankly vastly overshadowed by the character possessed by others around her such as Florence Pugh and David Harbour’s Red Guardian. Who honestly a solo movie for him would have settled a lot better in my books. But all this proves to me is that Black Widow is a dull character and Marvel does not have a clue of what to do with her or how to write a story for her. The film might have turned out somewhat greater if they had actually went with an origin and showed us how she actually became a Black Widow and all the untold horrors that came with it that they decided to just sum up in a vague credit sequence.

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