BLACK WIDOW fans can breathe at last. The long-waited, action-packed Marvel Studios movie about the Russian-spy-turned-Avenger hits theaters and Disney+ (Disney Plus) Premium Access next week, fourteen months after the coronavirus pandemic delayed its original debut date.
Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, BLACK WIDOW shows Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) on the run and trying to fend for herself, as she now faces prison for breaking the Sokovia Accords – an agreement that places the Avengers under government authority.
When Natasha survives an assassination attempt by the Taskmaster – a mysterious villain who can copy someone else’s combat style – and is reunited with her estranged sister, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), the duo decides to work together and bring down the infamous Red Room.
A Hero’s Time to Shine
Natasha Romanoff, the original Black Widow, was created by Stan Lee, writer Don Rico and artist Don Heck, and first appeared in the comic book Tales of Suspense #52, which was released in 1964. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character made her debut during Iron Man 2, in 2010, before becoming one of the founding members of the Avengers.
From her very first moment onscreen, fans have asked Marvel Studios for a solo adventure for Black Widow, but things only started moving forward in 2018, when filmmaker Cate Shortland was hired to direct the movie. In April 2019, it was reported that Florence Pugh, David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Rachel Weisz (The Mummy) would be joining Scarlett Johansson in BLACK WIDOW.
Written by Jac Schaeffer, who most recently commanded WandaVision – Marvel Studios’ first limited series on Disney+ (Disney Plus) – and Ned Benson, BLACK WIDOW was originally supposed to arrive in May 2020, but ended up being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The movie finally hits theaters and the streaming service Friday, on July 9th, 2021.
How Good is BLACK WIDOW?
BLACK WIDOW is a great experience for everyone who enjoys spy thrillers like Bourn Identity and Salt. The first act gives us some of the best action scenes in the MCU since Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Scarlett Johansson shows once again why she is so perfect to portray the red-haired hero, bringing her A-game from combat sequences to emotionally reckoning with her past as a trained assassin.
Additionally, BLACK WIDOW introduces one of the most memorable characters in the MCU since Tony Stark. Yelena Belova is fierce, has a lot of heart and has just the perfect comedic timing for the kind of humor that has become a trademark for Marvel Studios. Much like Robert Downey Jr. himself, Florence Pugh gives everything, with a show-stopping performance that you can never get enough of.
And under the direction of Cate Shortland, BLACK WIDOW feels very familiar, bringing even more of the visual identity Marvel Studios has crafted for its spy movies. Shortland has a very strong point-of-view when it comes to action, while Schaeffer’s and Benson’s script values character development.
However, it is worth to point out that BLACK WIDOW has some very bad moments. Although highly emotional, the second act feels interminable, and the movie has one of the most disappointing set of villains in the MCU.
Theater or Streaming?
As with most blockbusters, BLACK WIDOW was made for theaters, and it would be more appreciated on a big screen. However, considering some people may not feel safe going out right now due to COVID-19, watching at home is likewise a good option.
The movie will be available on Disney+ Premier Access for $29.99, which is not cheap but could bring some peace of mind when it comes to staying healthy. Fans who decide to watch at home won’t be missing anything, and the movie is certain to be just exciting and satisfying.
BLACK WIDOW comes out Friday, July 9th, simultaneously in theaters and Disney+ and it is a fitting good-bye to a hero that has meant so much for Marvel Studios fans for over a decade. Natasha Romanoff’s legacy of honor and family comes full circle in this action-packed spy thriller that delivers great performances by Johansson and Pugh, and adds another piece on the giant puzzle called the MCU.