Black Widow (2021)

Two years. It has been nearly two years without a new Marvel film. And, finally, we get one that fans have been asking for for years. Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff aka the Black Widow. Taking place between Captain America: Civil War and Infinity WarBlack Widow follows the titular character on the run from the United States government for violating the Sokovia Accords (the events that unfolded in Civil War). While on the run, we find out more about Natasha’s past (and what happened in Budapest!!) as she comes across some old “friends”.

All I’ve wanted since the introduction of Black Widow was to have the MCU go more in-depth with Natasha’s past solely because her past, her childhood, is so different from the others in the MCU. It’s more rooted in reality than some of the others. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that it was a lot of fun to dive deep into the Red Room and those involved in it.

The supporting cast in this film did an outstanding job, particularly Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova. I was already anticipating a killer performance from the young 25 year old actress, as she had blown me away in, not only Midsommar but also in Little Women. And, let me tell you, she did not disappoint. Pugh perfectly layered in comedic and witty dialogue that in no way felt forced. She perfectly blended and melted into the MCU, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of her.

David Harbour and Rachel Weisz played Alexei and Melina and were equally as believable as Pugh. Their chemistry was evident and Harbour really embodied the Red Guardian. And, as always, Weisz played her role with such grace and ease. I would love to see more of both of them in the future, but I don’t know how likely that is. I’m hopeful, though.

I loved the overall style of this film. This new era of Marvel films seems to be a lot less chaotic, if that makes sense. There’s more of a focus on the individual rather than this huge overarching story. Don’t get me wrong, there still is very much a huge overarching story, but each film and show narrow down our focus to one or two individuals before revealing a larger picture. Unlike the era before this, where the focus was to introduce as many of the Marvel characters as possible, give them their backstory, but then have them interacting with each other. And, that was completely necessary for the first three phases of the MCU. There was a lot that needed to be told to the audience to really draw them in. Now, we are all attached to these characters, so it’s a lot easier to just shift focus. We have that emotional connection already established.

Black Widow is the first film of Phase Four of the MCU. We are now diving head first into lesser known characters (lesser known from a pop culture standpoint. Not a comic standpoint) and their backstories, which I believe will start to come to peak here shortly with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness next year. Disney+ is proving to be a huge asset for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we now have brief series that further the MCU without a large film release. And, just like Black Widow, those series are able to have more of a sole focus on one character or one incident, furthering the emotional connection the audience already has to these characters. Talk about synergy.

You can currently see Black Widow in theaters or on Disney+.

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