Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour
Director: Cate Shortland
Running Time: 134 mins
Black Widow is an American film and the 24th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After going on the run following the events at the Sokovia Accords, Natasha Romanoff reunites with her past that takes her all the way back to where her career first began.
It was always going to take a while for the MCU to warm up again after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and as such Black Widow doesn’t necessarily have the earth-shattering stakes of more recent Marvel entries, even though it more than delivers as a fun, action-packed superhero blockbuster.
With Scarlett Johansson finally given the chance to lead a film as Black Widow, this movie provides a captivating and emotionally resonant look into the character’s past, with Johansson’s effortless charisma and action chops more than enough to keep you engrossed from start to finish.
She also works brilliantly with her character’s estranged family, played by Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. While much of the film features Johansson on her own mission, a significant part of the story – particularly towards the latter stages – is all about the family quartet coming back together, and that brings with it great humour and some really lovely emotion.
Admittedly, Black Widow doesn’t quite have the depth to really tug at your heartstrings, but there’s such brilliant chemistry between the family quartet that they’re a fantastic rag-tag team when it comes to bringing down a big supervillain, with Florence Pugh more than delivering as a potential successor to Johansson’s Black Widow.
Admittedly, the film doesn’t quite deliver when it comes to telling a groundbreaking or exhilarating story. Black Widow is a fun film with great action throughout, but it’s one of the more generic superhero movies in the MCU, with a fairly simple plot that sees the heroes aiming to save the world from a villain.
The best films in the MCU, many of which have come in recent years, build on that trope by integrating with the franchise’s overarching story arcs, whereas Black Widow – being at the beginning of Phase Four after Endgame – doesn’t have the chance to do that, and as a result really does suffer.
That said, the movie is still a really fun watch, and a welcome return to the big screen for Marvel after a full year out. With excellent performances across the board, great humour, brilliant action, some lovely emotion and a fun albeit predictable story, Black Widow is a solid superhero blockbuster through and through, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6 overall.