Marvel Studio’s Black Widow brought back Scarlet Johansson to the MCU two years after Engame, but she’s not the highlight of the movie. The movie avoids a disaster thanks to Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova.
Everyone knows that Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff died in Endgame, which put Marvel in an awkward position. Thankfully, Black Widow‘s events happen between the end of Captain America: Civil War and the post credit scene in that movie. Romanoff goes on the run, re-unites with her “family”, destroys the red room (again!), and gets back to breaking out some avengers out of prison (watch Civil War again).
Because we’re not introducing a new main character, Marvel Studios’ options were limited. So, I’m not going to comment on the story, but let’s talk about the cast and new characters.
It’s obvious that the movie’s main mission is introducing Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, aka future MCU Black Widow/Young Avenger. And to be honest, Pugh was up to the challenge. Belova is lovable, great in action scenes, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. Plus, we get to know her suffering, her background and what motivates her. Pugh’s comedic timing is impeccable, and I can already see a bright future for Yelena Belova in the MCU.
However, I can’t really say that about any of the other characters that were introduced: Alexei (David Harbour) is a bit too annoying and too loud. Yes, he’s the underutilized Russian version of Captain America, but why would you be in jail if you can just break out by simple brute force? Why wait for your “girls” to help? As for Melina (Rachel Weisz), I have to say that Weisz was the wrong choice. She has zero charisma with Harbour, and her acting is just too flat.
Lastly, we get to meet Antonia / Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko). The biggest disappointment here is that the MCU’s version of Taskmaster is just too ridiculed and toned down. Marvel butchered the adaptation and made the character insignificant. Add to it that we barely get to see Taskmaster in action, the result is a very disappointing antagonist.
Should you watch it?
Marvel Studio’s Black Widow is not a bad MCU movie nor the greatest one. With limited options, Marvel did its best to give Natasha Romanoff her own feature, but some details felt very underwhelming. Black Widow gives you a lot of MCU spy and actions scenes, mixed with some comedy banter highlighted by Yelena Belova.
Where can I watch it?
Black Widow is now playing in theaters. In addition, you can also stream it on Disney Plus via Premier Access.