It has been over a year since I last stepped foot in a movie theater, and I did not know it would be the last time for a while. So, I knew my return to the cinemas had to be one to remember. And it was…
After being delayed over a year after originally supposed to be released back in May 2020, thank you COVID for that, Marvel Studios’ Black Widow is finally here. And it was worth the wait. Taking place after Captain America: Civil War and before the Avengers: Infinity War, Scarlett Johansson saved her best performance as Natasha Romanoff for last. Making Black Widow my new favorite MCU installment.
After the events of Captain America: Civil War Natasha is on the run after violating the Sokovia Accords. Thinking she’s in the clear, her former life comes back to haunt her. Nat must finish what she thought she finished back in Budapest, yes we finally find out what happened in Budapest. With the help of Yelena Belova (younger sister figure), Alexei Shostakov/ Red Guardian (father figure) and Melina Vostokoff (mother figure) in taking down the Red Room once and for all.
Scarlett Johansson has been playing Black Widow since her first appearance in 2010s Iron Man 2. She was the first female Avenger in the MCU and has been a fan-favorite character for years. One thing is that it is criminal that we had to wait this long for a Black Widow solo movie. But Black Widow acts like a proper goodbye to Natasha. Something we didn’t get with Endgame with her unexpected sacrifice. This is truly her swan song.
The absolute standouts of Black Widow first being Florence Pugh as Yelena. Pugh stole every scene she was in adding wit and humor and her emotional scenes were pure gold. Luckily Pugh will be seen again in the Disney+ Hawkeye series. And hopefully in more projects for years to come. David Harbor as the Red Guardian aka the Russian Captain America lightened up the more intense moments leaving me wanting a Red Guardian movie or series exploring him in his prime.
If you are a die-hard Taskmaster fan you may find yourself a little disappointed with the plot twist involving the Taskmaster’s identity. Somewhat similar to the Mandarin identity reveal in Iron Man 3. Although I’m pretty sure there’s no “real” Taskmaster lurking somewhere. The change instead adds to the plot well and was a welcoming change to my perspective. Black Widow has great action and fight scenes. Johansson and Pugh’s fight scene took sibling roughhousing to a whole new level. The beginning of the film was a heartbreaking glimpse into Natasha’s “childhood”. But probably the best part and the most memorable was the opening title sequence featuring a haunting cover of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit by Malia J.
Black Widow is not just another great addition to the MCU but explores topics like woman’s reproductive rights and the disturbing underworld of human trafficking. This movie was made by women for women and you can tell down to the last detail. Even the little things like women’s love for pockets. If you know you know.
Black Widow was a long overdue installation in the MCU, should’ve gotten this movie back in 2017, the year it takes place in the timeline. But I am glad we get it now. Because it allows Natasha to get a proper sendoff while allowing the future to be wide open for Yelena. I already miss Natasha and I’m still not ready to say goodbye. So rather than saying goodbye, I’ll leave this review with these words from WandaVision. We’ve said goodbye before. So we’ll say hello again one day.
And thank you, Scarlett Johansson.
Here’s Natasha Romanoff’s complete MCU story arc in timeline order
Iron Man 2 (2010) Avengers (2012) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) Captain America: Civil War (2016) Black Widow (2021) Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Avengers: Endgame (2019)
My rating 5/5
Watch Scarlett’s Johansson as Black Widow one last time in Marvel Studios’ Black Widow now in theaters or you can watch at home on Disney+ with Premier Access (additional fee required)