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REVIEW: Marvel’s “Black Widow” Exceeds Expectations

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I wanted to begin by saying that I had the pleasure of seeing Black Widow in an actual cinema and it was such a great experience. I got the chills seeing the opening Marvel logo come up on the big screen for the first time in a long time. You don’t realize how much you appreciate something until its gone, and I’m so grateful the movie going experience has returned.

In Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, (Scarlet Johansson), confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy, and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

I was definitely in the camp where I felt that we didn’t need a Black Widow movie. To me, she was a somewhat minor character in the MCU, similar to Hawkeye. She is no Captain America, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, or Thor. If you don’t have super powers or a cool suit, go tell your story on Disney+. I think that what helped this movie work is that the character of Black Widow is not always front and center. She sometimes takes a back seat and lets the newer characters get their screen time. It is definitely more of a team movie than a solo outing for her, which was a really smart move, be cause in the end, she is still the one that stands out.

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Black Widow is very different from most of the films in the MCU in that it really doesn’t feel like a Marvel movie at all. This feels more like a James Bond film, with a touch of Mission Impossible, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Sometimes we need something different and unexpected. The film even telegraphs those James Bond roots when we see Natasha watching Moonraker on her laptop and she knows the dialogue from the film word for word. Just like Moonraker, the villain is over the top, and so is his henchman and so is his headquarters. I loved that.

You will see a few familiar faces from a Marvel movie or two, but they are very minor characters. Don’t expect Captain America or Iron Man to make a cameo, because it’s not going to happen. Other than Black Widow being in it, you wouldn’t know this was a Marvel movie at all.

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Black Widow definitely delivers with the action. You can tell that the money that was spent on this movie is right up there on the screen. It starts off with a bang and has a really tense and exciting opening. It gets you interested and invested with the characters and the story from the very start. I’m really impressed with how the director handled a lot of things in this movie.

This movie takes place after the events of Civil War. This makes it feels like a direct sequel to Civil War, but seen through the eyes of Black Widow. The story is not the greatest, but at least the movie has a lot of decent action and fight scenes in it.

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As I mentioned before, the action and the fight scenes in this movie are really impressive and worth the price of admission. When this movie moves, it really moves. But when this movie slows down, it gets REALLY slow. I always enjoy character development that adds to the story, but for the most part, the character development was just boring. Any time Natasha tries to have a moment with her sister, or other members of her family, that’s a good time for a bathroom break. The comedy doesn’t really work well either in this movie.

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The villain in this movie is Taskmaster. He is a fan favorite from the Captain America comics and he is definitely a great character in this movie. Similar to the comic book, he has the ability to replicate the moves of whoever he is fighting. Without a doubt, Taskmaster will always give any hero a tough time when going toe to toe with them. I am not going to mention a big spoiler for the character, but I guarantee a lot of comic book fans will be very disappointed. I definitely rolled my eyes when the moment occurred, but with a lot that Disney has done lately, I wasn’t really surprised either.

I have to mention that the musical score done by Lorne Balfe was fantastic. Usually, Marvel doesn’t give a damn about their soundtracks. For the most part, it is just generic action movie music. Balfe does a really good job here and I noticed right away that he put in some work coming up with some nice scores to match the action on the screen. Balfe has worked previously with the wonderful Hans Zimmer on The Dark Knight and Megamind. So here is hoping that Marvel uses him more in future movies. I will say that I could have done without the ultra slow Nirvana cover during the opening credits.

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In classic Marcel fashion, there is a pretty good after credits scene that was very emotional and opens the door to a new story.

Black Widow is not the best Marvel movie out there. No one is getting an Academy Award for acting or for writing the screenplay, but if you love action movies, there is a lot to enjoy. I really went into this movie expecting a complete disaster of a film, and ended up being pleasantly surprised. I suggest going in with low expectations and just sit back and enjoy the ride. And go see it on the big screen!

I give Black Widow a 7/10.

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Gamble
Gamble
15 days ago

I’m seeing some very split opinions on this one. Reminds me of the Phase 1 marvel films (sans Iron Man). You either were pleasantly surprised or hated them.