Directed By: Cate Shortland
Written By: Eric Pearson 
Story By: Jac Schaeffer & Ned Benson
Cinematography: Gabriel Beristain 
Editor: Leigh Folsom Boyd & Matthew Schmidt 

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Ray Winstone, O-T Fagbenie, William Hurt, Olga Kurylenko, Nanna Blondell

Natasha Romanoff aka Black  Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

This film is a prequel of sorts that is almost a last hurrah for actress Scarlet Johansson in the role. Though it gives the character her props. It still manages to be a setup for future marvel series and movies. As we know the eventual fate of Johansson’s character in other Marvel movies.

Though in the marvel universe that keeps setting up a multiverse. They have proven the saying “Never say, Never” 

The film has top-notch action sequences. Though you might find yourself hoping for more grittiness in them and throughout the rest of the film. As it seems like it will be going down and dirty, but comes off almost too polished. The film relies heavily on hand-to-hand action scenes.

At least this movie offers more action and fighting than some other Marvel films. So much so that when there are dialogue scenes the film seems to drag. 

As at heart, this is a full-on espionage film, only simplified and without most of the confusion, those films can bring. 

The film’s theme seems to be that we all must pay for past crimes. Even throughout, the Black widow doesn’t bother to change her look or Into too many outfits. So she always seems barely hidden in plain sight.

It’s clear throughout that the cast is having fun and David Harbour in particular is a riot. One only wishes his HELLBOY performance was as much fun. 

The film’s main weakness is the villain. Who feels hollow. A similar problem was felt in ANT-MAN & THE WASP. Where the villain was weak in terms of creation and really only behind a truly bigger one who was using them. So essentially they are more of a weapon than a character or menace. That is the character of the TASKMASTER in this film. 

The main villain is Ray Winstone here he is good as always playing a villain and is believable in villainous roles usually. Especially ones who are made to be hated and despicable. Where do you believe he really would enjoy assaulting females by punching them in the face. 

It might be that the villain here is too simple and pedestrian compared to the ones we have seen in other Marvel films. Which can be a nice change of pace. Though might have helped if the film was made or brought forth earlier. As of now, it feels like a kind of break from world changers. 

That’s what it is good at. Just as ANTMAN & THE WASP was a more comedic adventure with science. It makes you totally forget the lacking villain. In fact hard to remember the villain from the get-go. 

The film goes for diversity as most of the female assassins under the villain’s plan are women of color. Who he considers as early on it’s noticeable and disturbing that the bench people the heroes fought and killed were mostly minorities. Which is kind of explained with the villains’ attitude towards them yet not the films? 

A little shocked when watching these films that respected actors such as Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz are in it, but these days who isn’t in a superhero or big-budget franchise movie?

In the end the film comes across as trying to be more serious than what it is meant to be pure entertainment and fun. 

Grade: B-

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