Written by Jac Schaeffer; Ned Benson
Directed by Cate Shortland
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz
Official Synopsis: In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka 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 long-awaited first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4 is finally here. And it absolutely delivers. The action in this movie is spectacular. The high-octane action sequences are exciting and the combat is well choreographed. However, there are several times when the action feels either out of place for the situation, or it is entirely too over the top.
While several heroes and villains show off their fighting abilities, Taskmaster is the standout. If one is paying careful attention, Task Master can be seen employing the use of many of the current Avengers best moves, including Black Panther.
The story also touches on Natasha’s childhood, and delivers an interesting and important chapter in her overall narrative. It also provides a fun and exciting way for kids to relate to the movie. I have to say, this is the perfect movie for action-oriented girls. This diverse woman led adventure features a wide range of female leaders, fighters, heroes, and villains. This is a movie for girls who enjoy fight scenes, explosions, and vehicle chases. And I think its great this film shows that women are just as capable as their male counterparts.
Also, in terms of representation, I applaud the MCU for not portraying women superheroes as sexualized femmes in impractical attire. It works to remove the double-standards and blatant sexism that frequents the fandom.
The relationship between Natasha, Yelena, Melina, and Alexi provide a great deal of comedy. This group dynamic is very entertaining. But it is also heavy in content and sentiment. Here, the protagonists not only face their past, but learn some important lessons in forgiveness, family, and self-love. Although, this is Natasha’s story, the other three play equally important roles. Especially Yelena, whose spunk and wit play perfectly against Natasha’s reserved stoicism.
With that being said, at its core, Black Widow is a story about the abuse and subjugation of women and girls. Much like the history of the super soldiers, the Widows were the subject of physical and psychological experimentation. The difference is that the super soldier program used adults typically active in military service. The Widows, however, are the product of either abduction or trafficking. The idea being there is an infinite number of product that know one will miss or bother to search for.
I feel this sentiment rings true. From the high numbers of missing and murdered Native American women, to the rampant abduction of Nigerian school girls, it is well documented that we live in a time when the disenfranchisement of women is prevalent throughout the world. If for no other reason, this storyline is important as it showcases the empowerment of the underserved. And it gives a voice to the otherwise overlooked and forgotten.
As has come to be expected from Marvel Studios, there is a mid-credit scene. In it, some unexpected happenings take place that set the stage for what promises to be an exciting future edition to the universe. This is a really enjoyable movie that is sure to be a summer hit.