There’s no reason for Marvel/Disney to have taken so long to get Black Widow a solo film, but whatever the reason, it is here now.
Directorial duties went to Cate Shortland (“Berlin Syndrome”, “Somersault”) from a screenplay by Eric Pearson (“Thor: Ragnarok”, “Godzilla Vs Kong”), Jac Schaeffer (“WandaVision (TV)”, “The Hustle”) and Ned Benson (“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” series), I’m also going to mention Mark Valenzuela who is credited for the continuity.
Let’s get in to it then, as I’m sure you all know, Black Widow is played by Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”, “Isle of Dogs”). She is joined by her ‘sister’ Florence Pugh (“Midsommar”, “Little Women”), her ‘father’ David Harbour (“Stranger Things (TV)”, “Hellboy”) and ‘mother’ Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”, “Denial”).
This dysfunctional family aren’t really a family at all of course. Harbour and Weisz are spies who are given two girls to make their cover in the USA that bit more believable. We join proceedings just as they are forced to flee the country in a dramatic chase, shoot-out.
The bad guy in the movie is Ray Winstone (“Jawbone”, “44 Inch Chest”) who is in charge of the Widow program. He’s using a mind control substance to control the girls he finds, turning them into ruthless assassins, with Pugh and Johansson, having both been a part of it at some point.
Pugh comes across an antidote for the mind control and the family must unite to take Winstone down and free the girls. This is all whilst Johansson is being hunted by Secretary Ross, William Hurt (“Avengers: Endgame”, “The Host”).
The film itself isn’t bad necessarily, it is as action packed as you would expect, lighter on the special effects than other Marvel films, but then, that’s because of who we’re dealing with more than anything.
The problems begin when you look at things that little bit deeper, rather than taking them at face value for example.
Earlier I mentioned the continuity, the reason for this is because it is truly terrible, I’m saying that, in years to come, people will be watching Black Widow for the bad levels of continuity like they watch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando now. Just keep you eyes peeled when Johansson and Pugh are trying to escape from Antonia, Olga Kurylenko (“The Courier”, “The Death Of Stalin”) for instance.
Then there’s the gaping plot holes; let’s put aside the ‘when’ Black Widow is meant to take place, which would mean that Tony Stark, amongst others, where watching the skies like crazy given the alien invasion that had previously taken place, yet fail to notice a massive floating HQ…
If that weren’t bad enough, we get towards the end of the movie and Johansson decides to wait to be arrested by Secretary Ross, a man who has been hunting her since the start of the film, and in the next scene she’s seen riding her motorbike, free as a bird. No explanation, nothing. One minute, waiting to be arrested, the next, free…
So, in summary, we’ve waited a long time for a Black Widow movie and, on face value, this is fine. Dig a little deeper though and the cracks open as wide as you care to dive.
7th July 2021
THE QUICK SELL
Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.