It’s been just over two years since Marvel released Spider-Man: Far From Home in cinemas. Things have changed a lot since then, and Black Widow brings new opportunities.
For starters, new storytelling opportunities, with the MCU now clearly able to jump around in time. And for Disney, new ways of delivering content.
Film first though. To give you a general idea, on first pass, Black Widow comes in 13/24 on my MCU rankings. It enters an extremely contested mid-table area, which starts with Iron Man 3 in 8th, down to Thor in 20th. Slim margins there, speaking to the quality that the MCU has consistently achieved over the last decade and a bit.
The normal MCU requirements of action and humour are met easily, though there is a far more grounded undercurrent, specifically in the opening credits. Granted, that slips when the action kicks in and people can just walk crazy falls off. But it’s interesting to see.
Pugh, Harbor, and Weisz come together to form an amusing, if very damaged and suspect family. Johansson herself gets plenty to do, showing both the softest and hardest edges of the character.
Pugh is the standout though. This is the third completely different role I’ve seen her in. She can do it all can’t she? On the flipside we have Ray Winstone. I thought actors had accent coaches?! I’d say at best he’s performing a Russian accent 50% of the time. I’m likely being generous, but either way he’s a casting mistake.
I can’t help but feel Taskmaster is a wasted opportunity. I’d have to venture into spoiler territory to explain further. Looks cool, but for a relatively well-known baddie, feels shortchanged. I understand the focus is quite rightly on Natasha, but some more meat on those particular bones in terms of character or interaction would have been welcome.
Black Widow should have been released years ago. In the future, no longer burdened by its release date, it will fit nicely into the overall story. Because you know, we all needed to know where the jacket came from 😉
Note – We watched Black Widow at home on Disney+. It will be an interesting decision to make going forward. D+ is making a lot of money, that they get to keep 100% off, so I doubt they’ll remove the Premier Access option. The cinema experience is wonderful, but I can’t deny that, particularly as a parent, it’s nice to have options.
Note #2 – I joked about the vest, but the costuming department did a great job. Pockets, flat boots, and awesome plaits. This is how women in action would and should dress.