Black Widow, the long awaited solo picture of the first female member of the Avengers, opened in theaters July 9, 2021. I’d been hoping for this film since The Avengers was released in 2012. In my opinion, it wasn’t worth the nine year wait. Gareth Von Kallenbach had a much more favorable opinion of the movie, as did my son, who called it an amazing movie.
Black Widow is an action-packed film, full of fisticuffs and explosions. The fight choreagraphers, the stunt performers, and special effects crew, especially the pyrotechnicians, certainly earned their paychecks. It is rated PG-13 for violence and profanity.
The movie starts in the 1990s, when Natasha is a little girl living in an ordinary suburban neighborhood. We soon find out her family is not at all ordinary. (Minor Spoilers) They are in fact, Russian sleeper agents living undercover in Ohio. Her father turns out to be Alexei Shostakov, the Red Guardian, Russia’s first superhero , whose first appearance was in Avengers #43 in 1967. (End spoilers).
The movie then jumps ahead twenty years, after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity Wars.
Black Widow answers some questions we’ve all had since 2012: Dreykov’s daughter, Budapest. However, Black Widow raises many more questions than it answers. So much happened so fast that I had trouble keeping up. Your mileage may vary; I have a medical condition that affects my ability to focus,
If I were still teaching, I would grade this movie 87% .
What I liked best:A For most of the movie Natasha wore the arrow necklace she wore in Captain America: the Winter Soldier, an obvious momento of Hawkeye, and probably a gift from him. BThe cast was superb.
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanova, the Black Widow
- Florence Pugh as Yelena (Angela in Malevolent, Abbie Mortimer in The Falling)
- O-T Fagbenle as Mason, an absolute scene-stealer — expect to see him again
- David Harbour as Akexei Shostakov (Hellboy in the 2019 Hellboy, Dexter Tolliver in Suicide Squad, Gregg Beam in Quantum of Solace)
- Ray Winstone as General Dreykov (Will Scarlett in Robin of Sherwood, George McHale in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
What I disliked:
Watching Black Widow reminded me of reading Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, where the action happens so quickly that it’s not until you reread it that you notice the plotholes. I had difficulty keeping up with all aspects of the plot. Taskmaster especially confused me. At first, Natasha thought Taskmaster was one of General Thunderbolt Ross’ agents. This turned out not to be the case, but I wasted a fair bit of time trying to recall comic books I hadn’t read in decades and compare Taskmaster to USAgent or Nomad. Taskmaster turned out to be someone else altogether, and not working for Ross (played by William Hurt) at all. The code name Taskmaster, by the way, comes from Wikipedia, I don’t recollect it being used in the movie once.
If you like explosions and catfights, you’ll love this movie. If you crave leisurely storytelling, watch something else.
Plot: rescue the Black Widows in training.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.