Black Widow is a 2021 American superhero action-adventure drama film based on the Marvel Comics featuring the character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The movie was slated to be released in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

Black Widow is set in 2016 in-between the events depicted in Captain America : Civil War and Avengers : Infinity War and provides insight into the backstory of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) viz. her ‘fake’ family in the 1990s, her Widow training and subjugation in the Red Room and most significantly, her frequently alluded to Budapest experience with Hawkeye. 

Overall, we found that the plotting and characterisations on Black Widow were way superior than the writing on the three MCU streaming series on Disney+ so far, and a welcome return to the high quality of MCU productions, which we had taken for granted in the Infinity Saga. Thus, Black Widow properly kicks off the MCU Phase 4 and bodes well for the other movies coming up in 2021 viz. Shang-Chi and Eternals, despite initial reservations. 

Indeed, the chemistry amongst the Black Widow ‘family’ viz. sister Yelena (Florence Pugh), father Alexiei/Red Guardian (David Harbour) and mother Melina (Rachel Weisz) was spot on throughout and most every scene featuring the four of them was deliciously enjoyable. Pugh especially was outstanding in her MCU debut and we will no doubt see more of her – as the post-credits scene suggests – perhaps in the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ streamer? 

That said, there were certain letdowns – as usual. For one, the handling of Taskmaster was a massive disappointment and akin perhaps to the way it which the Mandarin was originally presented in Iron Man Three. Also, of course, the third act was a little too stereotypical and with several moments stretching incredulity. But it’s an MCU movie so we guess, switching off your mind is part of the deal to a certain extent.

That all said, Black Widow still manages to blow out of the water any of the recent female-led DC Films like Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman 1984, by a wide margin at that. Highly recommended!

Now showing at the cinemas and streaming on Disney+ Premium Access.

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