Black Widow is a movie that was long overdue in the MCU and unfortunately came out during a bad time for movies. It came out earlier this year as movie theaters were just opening up again and I’m reviewing it instead of when it came out because I wanted time to sit on it and watch it again. I’m going to share my reactions to the first time I saw it in one paragraph and provide a detailed review as per usual after a rewatch.
Initial Watch at the Theater: Because of how delayed this movie was I wasn’t as hyped for it as I normally would be for a MCU movie. Not only should it have been made years before, it kept getting pushed back due to covid and felt less and less exciting each time they moved it. I’m not sure I really appreciated the movie correctly the first time but it did add a lot of depth to Black Widow’s character. Regular MCU viewers who don’t know her story were able to learn about where she came from and the pain and suffering she went through in Red Room. They also were forced to acknowledge the darkness of human trafficking and how horrific it is for young girls who can’t fight or protect themselves. The inclusion of Taskmaster made sense for the film and I rather enjoyed the character and the costume, though I know many did not. Something I didn’t quite understand was the weight Yelena and her family put on them being a family. They didn’t spend that many years together and the majority of Natasha’s and Yelena’s life was spent in Red Room. I can somewhat understand the clinging to this small glimpse of happiness, but it still seemed to hold more importance than I expected. The movie does, however, continue to prove my point that Clint (who’s family is a scam) should have been the one killed in Endgame and not Natasha. At least What If… got that right. Overall, it was a pretty good movie but doesn’t stand against the other stand-alone MCU films.
Watch for Review: After watching this movie a second time I have to say it’s pretty good! I still think it came out a bit too late and I’m not ranking it too high on my rankings of the MCU, but I did still enjoy it. The movie starts out in Ohio 1995, where we see Natasha’s fake family with Alexie, Melina, and Yelena (who doesn’t know what will happen to her in Red Room yet). Alexie steals some information and they escape from America later to be seperated and Natasha and Yelena are forced to go through Red Room. Natasha already had some experience there and tried to protect Yelena, but they had no choice but to go. The intro to the movie has a beautiful song but the sequence itself is tragic. We see heartbreaking scenes of the girls being seperated, transported, tested, trained, and experimented on. I think this sequence is good though because it really forces the audience to consider how serious human trafficking is. Later in the film Yelena explains how they were neutered so they wouldn’t get pregnant.
The film is set just after the events of Civil War; Natasha is eluding Ross and off to a safe house to lay low for a while. We also see her debating dyeing her hair blonde, which she does later so now we have backstory on that choice. Meanwhile, we see Yelena breaking free from Red Room’s control and running off. She sends the vials to Natasha who runs into Task Master on her way into the city for gas. Now, I understand that this version of Task Master is not comic accurate back-story wise, BUT I think the costume and character is still pretty badass and I feel that they could have someone else take the costume and be Task Master 2.0 or something. As Yelena and Nat are catching up and escaping from Task Master, we learn exactly what happened in Budapest with her and Clint and get a glimpse of Natasha back when she still had a Russian accent (something she rid herself of to better fit in with S.H.I.E.L.D.). We also see their bond as sisters as they joke around, Nat takes care of her, and Yelena gives her the vest she wore in Infinity War. We also get to see Natasha in a white suit, which I loved!
Natasha learns the truth about what happened to her mother and manages to kill Drakov. Marvel leaves us with the easter egg of Ursa Major who was arm wrestling Alexie in prison, though I doubt he will return since the entire prison was wiped out in the snow! Unless that’s his backstory…who knows! The film ends with Yelena going to Natah’s grave and whistling their little whistle, and there was a scene where she whistled back but I guess Marvel decided to keep Natasha dead. Valentina comes and shows Yelena her next target who is Hawkeye, but I’m a bit confused as to how that will work since the Hawkeye show is (supposedly) set two years after Endgame. I am reviewing that as well…so check it out! Overall, this is a really good movie!
This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast I created that was inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you listen to your podcasts and subscribe!