The world functions on a higher level when it is controlled.Rachel Weisz as Melina in “Black Widow”
I love it when I watch a film and it exceeds my expectations, and that’s exactly what happened when I screened a preview of BLACK WIDOW last week. When I heard the character Melina’s (Rachel Weisz) quote above, I couldn’t help but think once more about the high level of excellence that the Marvel Cinematic Universe operates, and the tight control Marvel must possess over its projects to ensure that the mythos of the comics blend so fluidly throughout each film.
The pre-credit opening of “Black Widow” finds a young, multi-color maned Natasha Romanoff comfortably at home with her mother and sister, before her father advises that the family must leave immediately on an “adventure.” What both Natasha and her mother Melina (Weisz) know, but her younger sister doesn’t yet understand, is that the “family” (non-spoiler) is headed on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, only to end up in Cuba to meet with an employer/conspirator before the real struggle begins.
After a grunge inspired credit roll, featuring a mellowed-out version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Malia J, the film jumps ahead 21 years later – after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” – where an older Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is fleeing S.H.E.I.L.D. once more and eventually is contacted by her sister Yelena (Florence Pugh) to help with a mission involving a mysterious weapon.
The two decide to break their father Red Guardian (David Harbour) out of prison to assist, leading the trio on a quest to uncover what the mastermind behind the weapon has in store and also forcing Natasha to face and come to terms with her past before becoming an “Avenger.”
Once again, Marvel has created a story filled with dynamic action and fight scenes, emotional punches, great comedic timing and also a solid backstory for the Black Widow.
And, I always get a kick out of Marvel’s ability to poke fun at itself, with Yelena mocking Natasha for her fighting poses and one extremely funny reference to Antman – again no spoilers, but you’ll know it when you hear it!
It was also nice to see O-T Fagbenle (Luke, The Handmaid’s Tale) cast as Natasha’s friend/ally/former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Rick Mason.
A wildly entertaining movie, with thrilling action and really good twists, “Black Widow” is a great addition to the Marvel cannon, with an amazing woman-centered lineup – both hero and villain wise. I do wish we could have gotten this during an earlier phase of the MCU, but I’m glad it’s here nonetheless.
I rate it 4 out of 5 on the MMTromter.
BLACK WIDOW opened today in theaters and is streaming with Premiere Access ($29.99) on Disney+ (sorry to all the podcast listeners who were advised otherwise).
Until next thought, Thomasena
PS: take a look at the featurette below featuring Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz and Kevin Feige, producer, president of Marvel Studios, and chief creative officer of Marvel weighing in on the story of Natasha Romanoff’s past, and the role the film plays in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
AND – MMT is still giving away Fandango codes to see the film in theaters to FIVE lucky subscribers! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and the reason why you want to see the film in theaters. You must be an active subscriber. Winners will be selected and notified by Monday, July 12.