Black Widow: Directed by Cate Shortland
SYNOPSIS: Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
The MCU is back in theaters after 2 years of waiting and to say I was excited would be an understatement. Black Widow was looking to be the final time we see Natasha Romanoff on screen while also introducing new characters into the already vast world. With the likes of Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour on board, my interest definitely peaked.
This film was a lot of fun. The action is stunningly shot and provided a look at some new action that had never really been seen before in the MCU. This is a gritty and down to earth film much like that of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the new Falcon and the Winter Soldier. With that, came the use of mostly hand to hand combat as the primary action. I loved it, thought it was shot very well and choreographed to perfection.
The writing is also very strong. Themes throughout hit the bounds of family, confronting your past and dealing with grief. All of which resounded heavily. The emotion was there. Maybe because this was the swan song of a beloved character and original six Avenger. Or maybe because the writing really was just that airtight. I tend to believe the latter. I was left feeling truly satisfied from a prequel about a character whose fate we already knew. An idea that many believed to be too little too late, came at just the right time.
The performances are the standout of this endeavour. Harbour and Weisz play their roles to perfection, adding both humor and heart respectively. Scarlett Johansonne did what she has done for over a decade and played that badass spy one more time. But this time, with heart and with cracks in her armor. We are so used to seeing Natasha have it all figured out, and be one of the leaders of the Avengers. But here, we see her heart on her sleeve and the performance is a big reason as to why. The standout is Florence Pugh, both funny and heartfelt, showing every range of emotion and becoming what will be a fan favorite for years to come. I am so excited to see what is next for Yelena Belova in the MCU.
The only issue I can think of is some pacing. It feels long at points, and the 2 hour and 15 minute runtime at times feels to drag. The problem here is the fact that I don’t know what I would cut to help the problem. The writing is just that airtight.
FINAL: Black Widow is a film that wears its heart on its sleeve, bringing in themes of family, acceptance and redemption. Fantastic performances from the ensemble bring the heart and soul of the film, while the action brings the fire and passion. This is an amazing swan song for our beloved Black Widow and an experience that fans will enjoy time and time again.
25 for Entertainment 19
20 for Performances 20
10 for Direction 8
10 for Writing 8
10 for Emotions 8
10 for Cinematography 8
5 for Pacing 4
5 for Rewatchability 5
5 pts Automatic 5
Black Widow: 89/100
Jack Lautaret is a film critic and the founder of the FinaticFilms YouTube Channel. He is a member of the Online Film and Television Association. Twitter: @JackLautaret