By Lee Romero
Romanoff presents her own version of Russian roulette!
As Marvel Studios’ last hurrah, ENDGAME sealed off a decade’s worth of titles that connected us into one of the most interesting, adventurous, fun, and sometimes confusing storylines and/or cinematic experiences of a lifetime. Whether it generated feelings of good, bad, or indifferent, there’s no denying the power and engaging blueprint courtesy of Marvel. Where they went next was the big question and thanks to their Disney+ titles, I think it’s safe to say they’ve expanded their creativity in ways that has us locked in for the long haul. Therefore, I conclude, ENDGAMES’ endgame was only the beginning?
As a follow-up film, BLACK WIDOW (Scarlett Johansson) was a standalone film questioned throughout the years leading up to any AVENGER title. How and why the outcome was to wait it out is something only studio execs can answer, but the fact that it’s here leaves its fan-base curious as to its execution considering such a drastic “end-to-an-era.”
A year after its original release date, BW seemed to still generate interest. After months of what Disney would do with the film during pandemic pandemonium, I guess it’s obvious now. I was one that always said they would never simply release this on D+. Marvel films are monsters in terms of execution and/or releases, and after watching it, yeah, this wouldn’t have been as enjoyable on a laptop or flat-screen. I mean unless you have a home theater designed for its display (maybe). Otherwise, everything about this piece is big, adding more to its enjoyment as one takes it in the way it’s meant to: on a large silver screen.
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller BLACK WIDOW, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy linked 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.
Off the bat, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. Not Marvel’s best, but not their worst either. BLACK WIDOW isn’t only an entertaining piece, it’s also deep in the sense of decent, origin storytelling as backdrop, tied in with a specific timezone, leading to the present. The piece is inundated with fantastic action sequences, interesting and enjoyable characters, great sound-mixing, and a pretty smooth soundtrack. (In terms of soundtrack, there’s a pretty cool mashup opening scene that plays to a sweet cover of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ For some reason it hook’d me!) Here I thought this series reached its peak with ENDGAME, but I think I’m wrong. I believe the film does a decent job at presenting one of the Avengers’ most appealing, yet downplayed members. If that’s not all, stick around for its post-credit scene. It’s an interesting tie-in for what’s to come.
Overall, I don’t think BLACK WIDOW suffers a year delay. The film ignites an interesting fuse that’ll burn into new adventures and lead to enticing explosions. Of course, that depends on how the public receives this film. But like I said, they know what they’re doing no matter how you feel. We’re in this for the long haul. That being said… Great to regenerate that epic, MARVELous feeling again. (See what I did there?)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 2:13
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, Ray Winstone
Directed by Cate Shortand