It’s been a long time coming but the Black Widow movie is almost here. The popular Marvel character, first introduced on the big screen in Iron Man 2 (2010), hogs the limelight in a story of Soviet intrigue and espionage, helmed by director Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome).
Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff who, in-between the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), jaunts back to her old Russian stomping grounds to tackle the mysterious Taskmaster.
Fortunately, she’s got help in the form of Yelena (Florence Pugh), Alexei/Red Guardian (David Harbour) and Melina (Rachel Weisz), old cohorts from Natasha’s ‘Black Widow’ spy programme. Black Widow introduces Phase Four of the MCU, which is set to encompass Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings (September 2021), Eternals (November 2021), Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 2021), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 2022) and Thor: Love and Thunder (May 2022).
Full reviews of Black Widow are currently embargoed but teasing snippets of reactions have been unleashed online. Pugh’s performance has come in for much praise, as has the film’s action and chemistry between the characters of Natasha and Yelena.
#BlackWidow was exactly what I'd hoped for: a story about family and sisters that deepened Natasha's character development and provided some really fun fight sequences. Florence Pugh as Yelena is the star, bringing lots of charm, humor, and emotion. pic.twitter.com/RW7YoX3De8— Nicole Ackman (@nicoleackman16) June 17, 2021
BLACK WIDOW feels like a Phase 1 Marvel movie in that’s it’s the most standalone story in quite awhile. That whole “An MCU entry like you’ve never seen!” trend, yeah that’s not this. Florence Pugh rules. (Also bonus points for a great MOONRAKER reference.)— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) June 17, 2021
#BlackWidow : Actually bruising fighting and chase sequences, a go-for-broke Florence Pugh performance (does she turn in any other kind? nope), and a first half that's intimate and talky and kind of funny in a new way for the MCU; yes, I enjoyed this. pic.twitter.com/i48fFmjNud— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) June 17, 2021
‘Black Widow’ doesn’t have a big bad and doesn’t necessarily add to the larger MCU narrative. It has a singular focus and in the pursuit of telling a stand-alone story about Black Widow it ends up being a much better film overall.— ferdosa 2.0 (@afrofuriosa) June 17, 2021
It isn’t just a puzzle piece. pic.twitter.com/FSzY93Lul8
Florence is one of the bright spots, she's hilarious and perfectly vulnerable— Hoai-Tran Bui (@htranbui) June 17, 2021
Dug #BlackWidow a good deal! Was kinda worried about watching this story unfold knowing what’s to come in Endgame, that it might diminish the stakes, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, this is the kind of prequel story that feels bound to enhance other installments of the MCU. pic.twitter.com/sFcwHzW30Y— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) June 17, 2021
As someone who went into #BlackWidow worrying it might feel like a placeholder following Nat's fate in ENDGAME, it's a joy to wash that concern away. This is a fantastic chapter in the MCU, packed with pulse-racing action, genuine stakes, and a KNOCKOUT end credits scene!! (2/2) pic.twitter.com/jtDFVZOztJ— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) June 17, 2021