Black Widow Is Here! Our Spoiler Free Review!

Black Widow Movie Poster

Hey All!

After appearing in 7 Marvel films over the span of 11 years, in her 8th film, Natasha Romanoff The Black Widow stars in her very own film, the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Marvel’s Black Widow. Returning as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in her first solo film is Scarlett Johansson. Most of the cast of characters in this film are new to the MCU and, despite the events which occur prior to and after this film, that freshness helps this film stand on its own. This film introduces Black Widow’s first family with a cast of very familiar and talented actors. Natasha’s “sister” Yelena Belova is played by Academy Award Nominee Florence Pugh (Little Women 2019).

Black Widow With Sister

Natasha’s “father” is Alexi Shostakov played by David Harbour (Stranger Things). Her “mother,” Melina Vostokoff, is played by Academy Award Nominee Rachel Weisz (The Favourite). Directing the film is Marvel’s first solo female director Cate Shortland (LoreBerlin Syndrome) who provides a more down to earth and emotional feel in the quieter scenes, but goes fully cinematic in the larger action set pieces, giving the film a wide range of scope.

Black Widow Movie Rachel Wiez

Black Widow is an interesting entry into the MCU in that its events take place after the split of the Avengers in Captain America Civil War, but before her fate in Avengers Endgame. This space between allows for the idea that she can be off on her own for a solo adventure without being able to get aide from any of her fellow Avengers. We also get to see a flashback to Natasha’s childhood which really helps to add context for this story and provide an emotional anchor to the film and all of its characters. In this flashback is where director Cate Shortland’s personal touches seem felt the most and is definitely a standout in the film.

Black Widow Movie Director

Though the film is not beating you over the head with it, there is definitely some overt sprinklings of the darker side of the world. The film touches on human trafficking and how girls are more pray to be trafficked. A major part of the plot deals with the taking and harsh training of young girls to become killers for a “man behind a desk.” But the film also has some Marvel style action set pieces that involve globe-trotting, car chases, and destruction of large facilities.

Many of these elements remind me of a Mission Impossible film, but better. Black Widow also deals with our “trained killer” constantly making choices NOT to kill many people, especially NOT killing people who are victims. In that sense, the film has a very female forward and heroic take that is really commendable. Often the characters in the Marvel films, and in this film as well, refer to Natasha as a killer, but here a conscience effort is made to make her more heroic. One character has a line “You are the assassin that little girls look up to” and you can tell that the filmmakers and the character Natasha know this and wants to change that image.

Black Widow Movie Villian

As with all Marvel films, the effects are of the highest quality, the action is big, the drama feels real, and there is just enough humor to provide levity. We have been fortunate to have received three MCU shows on Disney Plus (WandaVisionFalcon and the Winter Soldier, and currently Loki), but this is Marvel’s return to the big screen and to feature length films and after two years of no Marvel films, it feels really good to say that Marvel is back and the wait did not disappoint.

Oh, and it should be said that Black Widow does, as almost ALL MCU films, have an end credit scene which sets up a future MCU project. No spoilers here but be sure to stick around and see what will be coming next.

Black Widow With Sister

Black Widow is rated PG-13 for good reason. I do believe children under 13 will be able to watch and enjoy the film, but it should be stated that some ideas communicated in the film may be difficult to explain to children that are too young. The kidnapping of young girls to be trained as killers, a scene of two female characters explaining the process done to them which makes them sterile, some swearing, and of course some more intimate violence in the fight scenes than you would normally see in an Avengers film.

None of this is gratuitous and in fact does add to the vibe and purpose of the story. The aforementioned is simply stated to inform parents who may be curious, but definitely not meant to deter. Again, Marvel’s Black Widow does provide a very positive message about heroism, redemption, and being female forward.

Check out this featurette for the film below:

Be sure to check out Black Widow in theaters or on Disney Plus! The action-packed spy thriller launches simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access in most Disney+ markets on July 9, 2021.