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Movie Review: Black Widow *Spoiler free*

Black Widow One Sheet
One could argue we've actually been waiting a lot longer than a year for Marvel's Black Widow to be released due to the character's distinct lack of a solo movie (along with Hawkeye) as an OG Avenger. I would've taken a two-for-one solo movie with Black Widow and Hawkeye, given their shared history has been often referenced in other Marvel films.

In fact, that's kind of what I was expecting from Black Widow, among my very few expectations. However I wasn't disappointed with what the movie actually is (though I do think the film promised a lot more than it delivers).

The opening scenes definitely start out where most people anticipating this movie would expect, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) as a young girl, with her family in their Ohio home. Well, you probably weren't expecting it to be Ohio in the USA but otherwise, it's an origin movie, makes sense.

From there we get, what I thought to be one of the highlights of the film, an impressive, gritty, title sequence detailing the progression of how the Russian Black Widow program developed over time. The 'recruitment' of very young, mostly pre-teen girls into something we've come to know as 'The Red Room'.

Out of the titles we time jump to post Captain America, Civil War, Natasha is on the run from Secretary Ross (William Hurt) when she receives a package that leads her back to her past and the Black Widow program.

This movie definitely isn't a watch and forget in terms of the world building and outcomes on the MCU going forward. 

While you know where Natasha's story ends, it's also fleshing out quite a bit of back story that could fuel a lot of the MCU going forward, particularly with Yelana Belova (Florence Pugh), Natasha's younger sister. The film serves as an origin story for her as well, and it's no secret the character is poised to be the MCU's new Black Widow. Incidentally Florence is absolutely a highlight of the film.

I do think this film would have been better served and had more impact if it had been released as the next film after Civil War. Nat's death, as meaningful as it was in Endgame would have been even more so, but, more importantly, the fallout from the events of this film could have made an impact on other films and series a lot sooner... and maybe we would've seen Yelena appear in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

That said, it still has quite an impact with the characters introduced and the world building it does.

Overall this is as good an origin story as any previous character origin story. It's not amazing but it's still a good time, with plenty of action and humor that you expect in a Marvel film.

As I mentioned it does promise a lot more than it delivers, in the sense that the amazing title sequence, that really impressed me with all the history, we don't really see a lot of that in the present day. While the Black Widow program is still very much alive, it seems to have evolved into something very different to what it used to be but with similar outcomes.

If the Black Widow program had been more in line with how it was shown in the titles, and how Natasha herself has talked about it briefly in other movies, I think the third act of this film could have been a lot more powerful.

Despite that, it's still an enjoyable watch, with plenty of great moments for a character that was well overdue for a solo movie... and now you know what Nat was doing just prior to breaking out a few Avengers from the Raft.

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