Black Widow Review – Silky Smooth, But Little Bite

Black Widow review

(L-R): Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Black Widow review: Black Widow is the story of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), a KGB spy turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent turned Avenger. Taking place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, the Black Widow is on the run for her involvement in breaking the Sokovia Accords. After receiving a mysterious communication, Romanoff decides to investigate its implication which forces her to engage with her former “family.” As a result, Romanoff quickly becomes embroiled in a plot to bring down the evil organization of assassins that originally trained her.

What works in Black Widow is the character depth. Since her introduction in Iron Man 2, Romanoff has gone from supporting eye candy to standalone movie. Director Cate Shortland capitalizes on this opportunity to bring life to the character by exploring her humanity and flaws in the context of trust, love, and family. In a way, Shortland applies the finishing touches to a beautiful piece of art that completes the fascinating picture of who Romanoff is as person and what drives her. If anything, Black Widow makes Johansson’s work in Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame more interesting and worthy of a second look.

RELATED: July 2021 Preview: Black Widow, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Snake Eyes, Jungle Cruise

Black Widow also gives the world a second, younger Widow in Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). While the character has a background and combat style similar to Romanoff, Belova is a bit spunkier, scrappier, and more sarcastic. Pugh does a fantastic job of crafting Belova as a very welcome addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe bringing a new perspective and charismatic attitude to the superhero proceedings. It is likely she’ll be a fan favorite after this debut.

There are a few reasons some individuals may not enjoy Black Widow as much as others and it is mostly due to the tightrope walk the movie attempts to make amidst the larger Marvel universe. On one hand, the movie doesn’t expect too much from audiences in terms of previous familiarity with the character or the multitude of other films—people can watch this as a standalone experience. Conversely, the stakes of Black Widow feel light compared to previous MCU entries, especially since many people know what ultimately happens with the character when she appears next. This makes the film unfortunately less memorable.

Black Widow is in the unfortunate position of being a really strong movie released at the wrong time. The action and characters are very enjoyable, and certainly worth a watch for all Marvel fans newcomers and completionists alike. That said, its place in the timeline sadly diminishes the impact it ultimately has.

Recommended if you enjoyed: Ant-Man and the Wasp, Iron Man 3.

Leave your thoughts on this Black Widow review below.

FINAL GRADE: B+

Continue the LRM Online conversation on Discord by CLICKING HERE!

----- GenreVerse Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcast feed yet The Genreverse Podcast Network? This includes our premiere podcast The Daily CoGBreaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, Nerd Flix & Chill, Marvel Multiverse Mondays, Anime-Versal Review Podcast, and our Star Wars dedicated podcast The Cantina. Check it out by listening below. It's also available on all your favorite podcast apps! Subscribe on: Apple PodcastsSpotify |  SoundCloud | Stitcher | Google Play Grow Generation

Fox Troilo

Fox serves as an entertainment journalist in the Washington, D.C. When not covering cinematic news for LRM, he critiques films as a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Fox also has a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Strategy from Indiana University Bloomington.

Read Previous

Alec Cutter and Igal Albala on Boy’s Dream to Watch Brazilian Soccer in Nando | Tribeca 2021 [Exclusive Interview]

Read Next

Demetria McKinney, Amalia Holm and Lyne Renee Tease on What to Come for Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem Season Two [Exclusive Interview]

This website is using Google Analytics. Please click here if you want to opt-out. Click here to opt-out.