‘Black Widow’ review: Long-awaited Marvel film deserves hype


Courtesy of Marvel Studios

As a lover of all things Marvel, women, and Rachel Weisz, “Black Widow” called to me from the quiet realm of the local AMC theater in Harahan. I just knew that I had to experience this film in a theatrical setting. All in all, I would say that this highly-anticipated film definitely ranks in my favorites from Marvel’s series of films focusing on the backstories of individual characters.

I’ll be honest: going into the film, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Black Widow’s character, and I wasn’t a Scarlett Johansson enthusiast by any means. What I did know was that starring alongside Johansson was the icon of queer films Rachel Weisz, surrounded by the beloved David Harbour and the recent fan favorite Florence Pugh, so they really couldn’t go wrong. Personally, I’m not super picky about the logistics of a film as long as it’s got a great story and is told by a great performance. I like to think that the most successful films are the ones that I immediately want to watch again right as I am finishing the movie, and “Black Widow” is one of those films.

“Black Widow” follows the story of Natasha Romanoff (Johansson), a former spy and member of the Black Widows, and her sister Yelena Belova (Pugh) as they confront their broken past in order to navigate their future. Alongside the sisters is their mellow mother figure Melina Vostokoff (Weisz) and their misunderstood father and ex-big shot, the Red Guardian (Harbour).

The film contained the perfect balance of drama and comedy; it was serious when it needed to be while allowing Pugh and Harbour to break the tension without overdoing the jokes. With the mention of Russian names, you may be wondering where the recently trending Tiktok soundbite of the heartbreaking voice with a Russian accent pleading: “Don’t say that. Please don’t say that. It was real. It was real to me” came from. Well, it came from this movie. All in all, “Black Widow” was a perfectly paced film focusing on the meaning of family and personal redemption.

The one aspect that I thought this film fell short on was the background of Weisz’s character. We see a lot of the Red Guardian throughout the film, which creates his very own subplot and highlights his relationship with himself and with the girls, but we only see Melina at the very beginning, a little in the middle, and towards the very end. “Black Widow” is ultimately Natasha’s story, and the way Melina’s character is revealed in the short segments she is present in gives the audience enough to understand her role in the film. However, I feel that if we were given just a bit more, we would see more of the family dynamic, and her character’s story and essence would feel stronger and more convincing.

Overall, my only real criticism for this film is that Weisz’s character is missing a little something and didn’t quite hit home, but I feel that this film otherwise succeeded in everything it was trying to achieve. There were moments of heartbreak and realization, there were light comical moments, and there were many, many fight sequences. Being a Marvel film, the score supported setting the mood of the scenes, and cinematically, the visuals and sets were stunning.

Watching “Black Widow” is a great way to unwind and clear your mind from the stress of the outside world. The conclusion of the film leaves you with that same satisfying feeling of finishing a great book. I would definitely recommend checking out this film if you haven’t already, and as always, don’t forget to stay for the end credits scene!

“Black Widow” is now available to stream on Disney Plus. Click here to watch.

Illustration by Ariel Landry
Illustration by Ariel Landry