I went into Black Widow with few expectations, except that it would be mediocre. The trailer didn’t evoke a lot of excitement. There didn’t seem to be a story that needed attention or was anything more than a footnote. I think in large part because the film was released after the end of the Infinity Saga.
If it had been released five years ago, sometime before Infinity War and the culmination of all these films, if there were questions about where it would lead and how it played into the larger narrative, then the story would have seemed more interesting. I think even a little sense of urgency would have served Black Widow well. Because without that, the only reason to watch is if you’re curious about the character (which I’m not). If you don’t care about her, then it’s not much worth watching.
Which is a shame, because it’s actually a pretty decent movie. I really enjoyed the humor in it, especially since it was unexpected. The directing was really solid. Surprisingly, the casting worked well. I’m normally not a fan of Florence Pugh but the brusqueness of her manner that I normally find a bit off-putting worked well as a Russian assassin. Plus, she was the funny one. And I haven’t liked Scarlett Johansson much as Black Widow from the beginning, so she wasn’t a draw to the film. But you surround her with people like Rachel Weisz and it offsets Johansson and her perpetual seriousness nicely.
I thought the action was well handled, especially because the movie is filled with the fast, sleek sort of fighting style that Black Widow has.
Which is really, kind of the thing. This is a movie where almost the whole cast are women. They’re smart. They’re the good guys and the bad guys. They fight hard and fast. That’s the fun part. And it should have been a core part of the MCU years ago and not an afterthought once the story was told and we know how it all ends. Black Widow is a decent enough movie but it deserved more. We, as the audience, deserved more.