Quick Reviews/Favorite Films/Marvel Cinematic Universe
Directed by Cate Shortland
Written by Eric Pearson
Story by Jac Schaeffer & Ned Benson
Based on the character created by Stan Lee, Don Rico, & Don Heck
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, & Rachel Weisz
Release Date: July 9, 2021 (wide release)
Running Time: 2hr 13min
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) finds herself on the run and forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
She reunites with her surrogate family: Yelena Belova (Pugh), a fellow assassin; Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Russia’s answer to Captain America, who was a father figure of sorts to the young Natasha and Yelena; and Melina Vostokoff (Weisz), another seasoned assassin and scientist who acted as their mother figure.
Together, they plan to take down General Dreykov (Winstone), the man responsible for their training. They must also deal with his most dangerous operative, Taskmaster, who has the ability to remember and mimic all fighting styles.
I’m sure most know that this was supposed to come out back in 2020, but kept getting delayed due to that whole global pandemic thing going on. So we went a whole year without a Marvel movie! Boo! Thankfully, things are getting back to some semblance of normalcy and we finally got a proper theatrical release! Yay! As expected, the film received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances and action sequences.
I’ve made it no secret that I adore the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this that I really enjoyed this movie! It’s great to see Natasha get her own movie as she’s a kick ass character and Johansson does a great job in the role. Some might complain that this entry doesn’t bring anything revolutionary to the franchise (that or typical sexist bullshit comments), to which I say these people suck! When I go to see a comic book movie, I’m not expecting every new one to push some envelope or be revolutionary, I’m expecting to be entertained. And this movie does that job!
Entertainment aside, this movies does also give us some more insight into Natasha’s character, giving her some more moments of vulnerability. Also her interactions with her original surrogate family is amazingly delightful. She and Pugh have solid chemistry, leading to a lot of great back and forth throughout.
Harbour steals nearly every scene he’s in as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, and it’s great to see him finally in a good comic book movie after being in some shitty ones. Weitz is great as always, even though she doesn’t have as much screen time as the rest, but she still brings a lot of emotional depth to Melina. Winstone once again shows off what a great character actor he is, playing main antagonist General Dreykov, who’s thoroughly despicable.
So yeah, go see this movie. Excelsior, true believers!
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