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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Johansson perfects “Black Widow”

Black+Widow+was+released+in+theaters+and+on+Disney%2B+on+July+9.%26%23160%3B
via imdb.com

Black Widow was released in theaters and on Disney+ on July 9. 

As the 24th Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, film, “Black Widow” was released July 9 after its original plan of release was soiled by the COVID-19 pandemic and postponed from May 1, 2020. This long-awaited film starring Scarlett Johansson introduces a new storyline and dives straight into Natasha Romanoff’s background, anticipated since references in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Directed by Cate Shortland, “Black Widow” is now available to watch in theaters and streaming on Disney Plus with premier access.
The Marvel Universe is a massive combination of storylines, but the origin story they have yet to explore is Romanoff’s. As the only original female Avenger with no artificial superpowers, the spotlight on Romanoff has been long overdue. After “Avengers: Endgame,” seeing Johansson’s character on the big screen is bittersweet for Marvel fans but lifts spirits through its humor and familial aspects.
“Black Widow” explores a relationship dynamic fans are not used to seeing. Throughout Marvel, there are romantic relationships, best friends and the notorious brother bond of Loki and Thor, but “Black Widow” brings sisterhood into the mix. This film is full of hilarious remarks, but those that stand out involve the relationship Romanoff has with her “sister,” Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh.
Since the two characters are highly trained assassins, their physical dynamic is thrilling to watch, just as their entertaining dialogue leads the film. The characters have hysterical conversations related to wardrobe and other topics that are just a bit funnier to those that have firsthand experience of a sister bond. There is a humorous scene dedicated to a dark green and black vest filled with pockets that is part of Belova’s wardrobe that first appears in “Avengers: Infinity War,” filmed a couple of years before “Black Widow.” With this, Marvel continues their complexity through small details.
David Harbour’s character, Alexei Shostakov, also known as the Red Guardian, is dedicated to the laugh. Throughout the film, Shostakov brings humor through dialogue and physical actions. Harbour has made a name for himself, specifically in the Netflix original series “Stranger Things,”and gives a fantastic acting performance in “Black Widow,” almost as if the part was made for him. Rachel Weisz also does a tremendous job playing Melina Vostokoff and portraying the mother figure in the dysfunctional family. Their family is twisted, but these actors work well together onscreen, making the dynamic between their characters exciting to watch. Marvel is masterful when it comes to integrating characters from different storylines into new shows or movies.
It is no surprise this film fits right into the ultimate Marvel storyline, but it also captures a darker side of the MCU that hasn’t been seen before. Romanoff was trained as an assassin in the infamous Red Room, mysteriously located in Russia, and the theme of the film is perfect, but the intro credits grasp and introduce corruption in a new way that doesn’t exactly feel like the MCU. The intro credits tell a story transitioning from the beginning of the film that shows Romanoff as a child, to a flashback to the period after “Captain America: Civil War,” but feels like it is not necessarily geared toward the typical Marvel demographic.
There are plenty of “woah” moments throughout the film, especially in the well-balanced assassin action scenes, but the music is hit-or-miss. Sometimes the music perfectly fits the scene, but in others, it feels slightly off, specifically in the intro credits.
The post-credit scene is a tear-jerker but makes the moments in the film between Romanoff and Belova that much sweeter. After ten years as Black Widow, Johansson has perfected her character.
Katen Adams is a journalism senior and film critic for The Battalion.

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