'Black Widow' reviews are in: What critics have to say about Marvel's latest - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday 29 June 2021

'Black Widow' reviews are in: What critics have to say about Marvel's latest

The reviews for Marvel Studios' Black Widow are here, and it seems like the movie, whose release was delayed by over a year due to COVID-19, was worth the wait. Many critics praised it for its strong cast and what may be some of the best action the MCU has ever seen. However, critics also noted that a solo movie for Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), while long overdue, feels like too little, too late after her death in Avengers: Endgame.

Taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow delves deeper into Natasha's past and her ties to the insidious Black Widow program. The movie also brings new faces to the MCU with the introduction of Natasha's "family": Yelena (Florence Pugh), Alexei (David Harbour), and Melina (Rachel Weisz).

Here's what critics are saying about Black Widow.

A solid standalone film

Mashable, Angie Han

For long stretches, it's almost possible to forget Black Widow is a Marvel movie at all, and that's a good thing. It's the palate cleanser the franchise needed after the intense cross-pollination of the Phase Three films and Disney+ shows: a self-contained, back-to-basics adventure that works just as well for newbies and casual viewers as it does for longtime fans.

Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson

Black Widow is a prequel of sorts, and an origin story, a robust and satisfying glimpse into a defining interlude in Black Widow's life that almost, almost pulls off the trick of being wholly its own thing.

IGN, Nicole Clark

The film is, in a word, ambitious. It's a superhero flick but also an espionage action-thriller, a dysfunctional family drama, a send-off, and overwhelmingly, a film about recovering from abuse. Much of it doesn't feel like a Marvel film at all, thanks to the darker tone used to tell the story of a Russian program that kidnaps young girls and trains them to become assassins.

Pulse-pounding action

Mashable, Angie Han

With relatively few superpowers or even super-gadgets in play, the action sequences tend more toward the kind of vehicle chases and hand-to-hand combat you might see from a Mission: Impossible or James Bond movie, as opposed to the more overtly fantastical displays of a Thor or Spider-Man movie. It's for the better. The (comparatively) grounded choreography leads to some of Marvel's most thrilling battles since at least Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Actually, an early sequence involving a plane might even be better than anything in that movie.

Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson

[Director Cate Shortland's] action scenes have both gnarly, intimate crunch and dizzyingly zoomed-out sweep. The film is as exciting when it's two people fighting in a dingy Budapest apartment as it is when it's gone grand and fiery and skyborn. The physics are different here than in other Marvel movies, more finely attuned to the hardness and weight of things. It all feels a bit more real, I suppose, even when Natasha is accomplishing superhuman feats of endurance and agility.

Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh)
Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh) Credit: marvel studios

Strong performances all around

Cinemablend, Sean O'Connell

The familial vibe and the chemistry shared between Johansson, Pugh, Harbour and Weisz ensures that Black Widow stands on its own and thrives when the action slows down...Harbour, specifically, steals the show with his cavalier arrogance, playing a once-significant Soviet spy who's out of the game but doesn't yet realize it. But Johansson and Pugh also forge a sisterly bond that sings every time they zing each other with back-handed criticisms in the midst of battle.

IndieWire, Eric Kohn

Pugh has carried the same anxious-tough balance through everything from 'Lady Macbeth' to 'Midsommar,' and here serves a perfect young foil to Johansson's soaring overconfidence. Few stories of sibling rivalry include quite as many punches as they do zingers, but this one juggles both with aplomb.

The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney

The remarkable Pugh, who just keeps getting better and better, brings warmth and complexity to that internal conflict of a woman trained to think not emotionally but tactically yet unable to suppress her feelings. Her sparky chemistry with Johansson yields many lovely moments of resilient sisterhood. And while this isn't quite a Natasha Romanoff origin story, it does dig deep enough into the character's pre-Red Room history to expose the raw wounds of a stolen childhood, which Johansson plays with touching vulnerability. It's to her credit though that while the film bears her character's name, it's very much an ensemble piece for the four leads.

For Natasha, it's too little, too late

Slashfilm, Hoai-Tran Bui

A prequel film that takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow's narrative function is mostly to serve as a bridge between the two movies, while working backwards to try to fill in the large gaps in her past thanks to the MCU's spotty characterization of the character. Which all might have been fine and good if the film had come out 10 years earlier. But, just like Natasha's senseless, overshadowed death, Black Widow leaves you feeling like she deserves better.

Collider, Matt Goldberg

[Black Widow is] an awkward prequel of sorts that claims to fill in Natasha's backstory, but really is more of a showcase for her little sister (and likely future holder of the 'Black Widow' mantle), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Yes, we do learn about Natasha's origins, but there's a curious, Natasha-shaped hole in Black Widow. Her arc is painfully thin, and it makes Black Widow feel more interested in the character as a brand to be continued than a hero that people, and especially women (as the only female member of the original Avengers), could admire.

IGN, Nicole Clark

While Black Widow eulogizes Natasha Romanoff as a formidable, tough-as-hell hero with the clearest heart, it also intensifies Endgame's poor handling of her send-off, and the unbalanced level of respect given her male peers.

Black Widow hits theaters and Disney+ (with Premier Access) July 9.

Source : http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/tGd3JBcW_i0/black-widow-review-roundup

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