Movie Review: Black Widow
The latest addition in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow, takes place in the timeline between Avengers: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Directed by Kate Shortland, well-known for her representations of strong women caught in off-centre situations, Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets her own film except it wasn’t what the fans had hoped for.
The movie starts in the ’90s where Natasha is a brave young girl looking after her younger sister Yelena (Florence Pugh). Her parents, Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour) and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) who are actually Russian spies disguised as a married couple, have been sent to the United States to complete a mission after which they flee back to Cuba and send their daughters to the Red Room – a secret Russian boot camp designed to train young girls into professional killers and control their minds.
After both sisters help The Red Guardian AKA Alexie break out of prison, the family reunion sequence depicts Yelena’s emotions on the suffering from all the indoctrination by the Red Room and how her family felt real to her while Natasha is more interested in taking vengeance. Moreover, Dreykov’s (Ray Winstone) insane idea to control the world using girls never get discovered.
The Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko) proves to be an ineffective asset. The movie tries to portray the Taskmaster as the force Black Widow has to take down in order to fully destroy the Red Room, but the character doesn’t feel as threatening as it should have. As the final fight comes to a showdown, the angels of death completely overshadow Dreykov’s ultimate project, Taskmaster. Having said that, the movie features an impressive alpine action sequence during the final confrontation. The choreography of the action sequence combined with the special effects adds a warm touch.
While the movie features an interesting plot, it fails to dive into its darker themes and seems more interested in family dynamics and drama. The elements audience was looking for in Natasha, they found in Yelena thus from the second half, the story revolves around Yelena, rather than a farewell to Black Widow. The movie’s attempt to connect Natasha’s past with her idea of revenge didn’t pan out the way it should have.
The action scenes featured in the movie surely caught the attention it deserved, nonetheless, the script grants Yelena an in-depth character progression and an urge to reunite with her family. Meanwhile, Florence Pugh does justice to her role by expressing grieving emotions towards her family and animosity towards Dreykov, perfectly balancing the character and indicating a possibility for Yelena to appear in future Marvel Movies.
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