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Film REVIEW: Black Widow - ★★★★★

Updated: May 19, 2022

Director: Cate Shortland

Writer: Eric Pearson - based on Marvel Comics

Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, Olga Kurylenko, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, Rachel Weisz.

A film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Captain America: Civil War and Avenger: Infinity War

In Cinemas Now - Rated PG

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) kicks off its highly anticipated Phase Four slate of films with Black Widow.

Whether you're a die-hard MCU fan or just getting into Marvel's amazing cinematic universe, here's our thoughts on the first standalone adventure for Scarlett Johansson's alpha-female Avenger.



Struan - ★★★★★

'A really good prequel and filled in the blanks.'

Matthew - ★★★★

'This movie was great! It was filled with epic action scenes and introduced awesome new characters. It was very interesting to find out about Black Widow’s background and how she became such a skilled fighter. Taskmaster made an awesome villain. This movie also seems to set up one of the characters for future movies, which will be cool to see them in action again. The worst part of this movie was how anticlimactic the taskmaster identity reveal was, for a plot twist it felt very thrown in your face, this was due to having no build up. Overall it was a very good movie.'

Callum - ★★★★

'The movie was a good farewell for Black Widow. I liked meeting new characters from the comics and learning about more about her backstory. David Harbour was funny as the Red Guardian. I wish Taskmaster had a bigger role. Don’t leave before the end credit scene…(wait until the end of the credits - it will be worth it!)'

Elizabeth - ★★★★★

'I found it exhilarating and funny, there were quite a few jump scares that I wasn’t prepared for and I nearly broke my seat from the them. Amazing movie and shows the meaning of her name.'

Charlie - ★★★★★

'It was very good and I might be biased just because it was a marvel movie but the storyline is well thought out and I think the end credit was good because it was setting up for something brilliant maybe a series or something.'

Aiden - ★★★★

'A fun action packed film that teaches the viewer the importance of family. Even though is tells a relatively mature story it still manages to be funnier than some other marvel movies. It is one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2021, and the only one, that I could watch in the cinema.'

Mylo - ★★★★★

'The film was very enjoyable and really funny. It was full of action and it kept you entertained. Most importantly the film was female positive. It was good to see women play main powerful parts. It was really good.'

Dylan - ★★★★★

'I would give Black Widow 5 stars because It’s really exciting and action packed.'

Francisco - ★★★★

'Black Widow was fun to watch. It feels more like the early marvel movies where the stakes are much lower and there are much less characters. The teaser at the end is really cool and I cannot wait to see it play out. It has all the normal action and fight scenes you would expect of a marvel movie and it is fun to watch it all happen.'

Stewart - ★★★★

'A long awaited and deserved film for Scarlett Johansson, starts off really well and the bizarre family dyamic plotline works best with the chemistry between the two on-screen sisters (?) - with Florence Pugh - is when the film is at its best. Gets lost in the smash-y explosions of typical Marvel endings and villain a bit sub par but still this was a great film with some excellent action sequences throughout.'

Anna - ★★★★★

'Black widow was one of the best movies | have seen this year and marvel have gone to a great start of there continuation of there massive movie empire. My favourite character was yelena belova as she is strong funny and very skilled but she is also upset by her past as anyone can agree her childhood was only normal for a limited time ,until it was unfolded as fake but to her seemed very real and true. This role was taken on bye the confident Florence pugh . Pugh said "it was just like get involved , get stuck in and i was grateful to get involved". We may see later appearances of her in other marvel films. Other great actors who did there roles so well where of course scarlett Johnson, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. This story of black widow fills some of the holes in her past before the events of infinity War. We get to see the bond of sisters and more info on black widows

origin and answers the question of what really is a black widow? Well if you don't know whatch it the rest of the movie was amazing to the beautiful locations and epic costumes props special effects and more this movie was amazing.'

Have you seen it yet?


Black Widow plot: Where does Black Widow fit in the MCU?

Black Widow is a prequel, and is set shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before the S.H.I.E.L.D. top agent's pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

The new film follows Natasha Romanoff as she is forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her dark and mysterious past as a Soviet-trained assassin and to a dangerous new enemy, call-sign Taskmaster, who is capable of mimicking his opponents' combat styles with scary precision.

We can expect some of Ramanoff's previously murky past to be fleshed out in the film, and it could well be the last appearance for Scarlett Johansson in the MCU.


Black Widow cast and characters. Who's in Black Widow?

It wouldn't be a Marvel film if we weren't getting a glut of new heroes to get to know. Thankfully, Black Widow delivers in spades with an entire team of new characters entire helping Natasha uncover her murky past.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON (The Avengers, Jojo Rabbit) is Natasha Ramanoff.

Black Widow marks the eighth time Johansson has played the superspy, and the first time she has had the lead role in a standalone adventure.

It will also - SPOILERS! - presumable be the last time we see her after Natasha sacrificed herself to obtain the Soul Stone in Avengers: Endgame.

FLORENCE PUGH (Little Women, Fighting with My Family) is Yelena Belova.

Yelena was raised in the same Cold War-era Red Room training programme as Natasha, and the two see each other as sisters.

It's not been confirmed officially bit it seems very likely that Belova will take up the mantle of the Black Widow over the course of the film, and Pugh is rumoured to appear in several upcoming Marvel projects, including the Hawkeye series currently filming for Disney+.

RACHEL WEISZ (The Mummy, The Mummy Returns) is Melina Vostokoff.

We don't know a whole lot about Melina, played by the ever-brilliant Rachel Weisz.

Apart from the fact that she's a mother figure to Natasha and Yelena, has been through the Red Room training program no less than five time, and (in the comics) went on to become a freelance mercenary under the alter ego, Iron Maiden.

DAVID HARBOUR (Stranger Things, War of the Worlds) is Aleksie Shostakov

Natasha's father figure is also the Red Guardian, a Soviet-era hero featured prominently in the Marvel comics as a Russian equivalent of Captain America.

Shostakov is a flawed character struggling to live up to people's expectations of him. David Harbour brings an appealing mixture of nobility and fallibility to the MCU's Red Guardian.

We can't wait to see how that frames this figure from Natasha's past.


Why should you go see Black Widow?

  • It's the first MCU film to be solely directed by a woman.

Cate Shortland makes history as the first woman to direct a Marvel film on her own (2019’s Captain Marvel was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck); if her track record with indie films like Lore and Berlin Syndrome is anything to go by, Natasha Romanoff is in very safe hands.

  • We finally get to see a live-action incarnation of Taskmaster

The character of Taskmaster has featured prominently in a variety of video games and animated series, but this is the first time we’ll get to see him strut his stuff on the big screen. It’s unclear at this point who’s underneath the mask, but we can certainly expect his mimic-based fighting style to give Black Widow and allies a run for their money.

  • We'll get to say goodbye to Natasha Romanoff

A sticking point for many Endgame fans was the lack of a funeral for Natasha, and her farewell will be addressed in Black Widow. Director Cate Shortland has said that Scarlett Johansson didn’t want the character to have a funeral in the same way Tony Stark did, and apparently her exit here will be much more in-keeping with Natasha’s private, quiet personality.

  • The action will be spectacular

We all know that Marvel movies belong on the big screen more than anywhere else, particularly with their superb action sequences. Here, the action seems to have been inspired by the viscerally exhilarating likes of the Bourne series (2002-2016). Count us in.

In the clip above The Bourne Legacy stars Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner - spot the link?

  • It's the first Marvel film in Phase Four

The film is sure to kick off the MCU's eagerly-awaited Phase Four with a bang, but it’s also worth remembering that this will be the first Marvel film in nearly two years thanks to cinema closures in 2020. We can’t think of a single better way to get back into the MCU.


Have you seen these films? How do you rate them?...

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