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Marvel's Black Widow solo movie (Simultaneous cinema/Disney+ Premier Access release, July 2021)


Nick R
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Back from the cinema. Accidentally booked tickets for a subtitled screening, and the left side of the screen was permanently out of focus. Fucking Odeon. But it was an entertaining film! Better than my dampened expectations would’ve allowed.

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Saw it at the cinema last night also.

 

I thought it was solidly middle of the road without a single surprising moment. The core cast was really good though, but I thought the big bad was a complete waste of talent, and most certainly did it for the paycheck.

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Surprised at all the positive posts about it. It's fucking shit. The opening scene and credits were great, but everything after was fucking woeful.

 

And how on earth is Ray Twatstone still getting work? He's fucking appalling in everything, including this.

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On 07/07/2021 at 15:32, NickC said:

There was one rather awkward bit of dialogue, be interested to see if anyone else thought this was odd:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Post-fight banter begins after the prison break and Alexei scolds his daughters.

 

Yelena punches her father in the face.

 

Alexei says something like "What was that for, are you on your period?!"

 

Natasha and Yelena go on to explain that they can't have periods, and give a fairly detailed explanation of the FGM they suffered when under the control of the authorities in their journey to become Widows.

 

Alexei says something like "Eww, too much information kids!"

 

Post-fight banter resumes.

 

Just felt like quite an interesting topic sandwiched into some light relief dialogue, it didn't land for me.

That did stick out for me, as did the whole concept of

 

Spoiler

Natasha casually offing the big bad's daughter in the explosion, but hey, that's ok, she's not dead just mangled and brainwashed by dad. 

As for the film, it was enjoyable. Not essential and Black Widow has never been the best character but the addition of Florence Pugh made it worth a watch.

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I did have a moment of wondering if Jos Whedon had a pass on this script, given the awkward dialogue mentioned above.

 

It’s difficult to understand how that makes the final cut given that it must have been poured over for years since it first wrapped.

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Just got out of this.

Decent enough overall - middling in the Marvel movie rankings.


Some bad stuff:

Ray Winstone was absolutely fucking terrible!  Every time he spoke I couldn’t help but laugh, he had a complete shocker of an accent.  You thought Kenneth Branagh was bad in Tenet?  Are you in for some lols!

Pugh and the scriptwriters too obviously channeling Killing Eve with her character?

A few too many wisecracks, and some stupid immersion breakers re physical trauma to characters - seemed worse than other Marvel movies but may have just been me.

 

Nice tight story though, casting & performances apart from Winstone were on point, the family shenanigans were fun and authentic overall, and really nice action sequences particularly at the end.

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I was surprised that Black Widow’s little sister felt like the focus of the Black Widow movie, but then 

Spoiler

here comes that post credit scene where you realise you’ve just been watching another set up for some future Marvel product. As much as I enjoyed her character I think after Doctor Strange 2 I’ll be done with all this.

 

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Thought this was average. Dull plot, dull villain, lots of dull scenes between the action scenes which were also pretty dull. And once again...

 

Spoiler

it ended with a big thing in the sky blowing up. Although they seemed to acknowledge this with the clips from Moonraker. After all, nine times out of ten, a big base blows up at the end of the Bond movie. So why moan about it in a Marvel movie?

 

I dunno, I was just kinda bored by the whole thing. I'd certainly never watch it again. Seemed to be a lot of gratuitous, lingering shots of Scarlett's butt. I'm not complaining. It's a nice butt.

 

2 out of 5

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Yeah, weird amount of male gaze for a female director. Male DP I guess. 
 

This was OK at best, a good cast with good chemistry elevate it a shade above pointless. But only just. It doesn’t hold a candle to the Mission Impossible films it’s emulating in a slapdash zero-stakes way. 

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I enjoyed it. It's solid B tier MCU. It lives and dies on the fact it has a good cast and solid action. The story itself isn't bad but suffers for

Spoiler

having an absentee threat and a glorified henchman that is also a blank slate stand in as the villain for most of it. This is a pretty crap take on Taskmaster all told and the attempt to make the character emotionally important to Natasha is pretty weak stuff.

But it's ultimately just serving 2 purposes - it gets a Black Widow film out there and fills a gap on the timeline and

Spoiler

Serves as a decent origin for a new Black Widow.

It's solid.

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Yeah- Taskmaster from the comics has great potential, and as such has been absolutely wasted here, with no real way to redeem the choice of how to use him in the MCU. They can't get away with the Mandarin style retcon a second time.

 

I also thought the direction was very..... masculine? misogynistic?...... for a female director. The butt shots- I'd be suspicious a body double was used.

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Scarlett and Ryan Reynolds were married once upon a time, yeah? I’m not Mandela effecting myself? They played the super hero landing gag multiple times in a gendered way that didn’t have the wink and nod that Deadpool gave.

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I thought this was a mostly successful Marvel does a bit of Bourne, MI  and Bond, back when Bond was actually fun. The finale was a bit duff, with location, 'big action' and Ray Winstone's accent almost derailing things completely.

 

The family are entertaining throughout.  

 

Definately mid tier Marvel but as far removed from the quality of Falcon and the Winter Soldier as Edge of Tomorrow is from Tomorrow War.

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The stuff with the pigs 

Spoiler

I thought was interesting. Seemed to be implying that Americans are pigs being mind controlled by Russians like they are doing with bots through social media - but maybe I’ve listened to too much Joe Rogan. Was waiting for a glorious action scene when the Red Room squad attacked the farm with the remote control pigs springing into action. 

 

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Yeah mixed bag. It honestly made me kinda sad that after however many films with her in they finally gave Natasha some depth and humanity after they’ve killed her off. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I might actually care about seeing her character again and I won’t. 
 

The family were good. Florence Pugh was great, guy from Stranger Things was good and Rachel Weisz was fine. The story was pretty good and most of the action was enjoyable, I liked that the characters felt quite vulnerable and human the majority of the time, and that I could see what was happening in most of the action scenes.

 

Good Stuff:

 

Spoiler

The relationship between Nat and Yelena was really well realised and explored. I thought it was really sad when Yelena whistled at her grave at the end. I quite liked their take on taskmaster, especially because instead of her suddenly becoming less powerful at the end she was defeated through being freed from the mind control. It was refreshingly focused on the female characters. The opening scene and earlier action scenes were great. The other Widows felt threatening. It bought back the important Marvel tradition from X-Men Origins of giving an incredibly detailed origin story to a jacket.


Not so good stuff:

 

Spoiler

Ray Winstone was bland and a bit rubbish. It felt like there was no real reason at the end that she didn’t leave with them or that she’d not seem Yelena again, which made it feel a bit retcon. They’re clearly trying with this and the D+ shows to introduce a lot of new characters they can use in future and I don’t think they’re handling that as well as they did in Phase 1. It was a bit weirdly male gaze at times for a movie directed by a woman that was so strongly focused on female characters, though maybe the director is just as impressed by Scarlett’s butt as everyone else in the world is. The action got a bit silly and OTT at the end. I thought the superhero landing joke was cute the first time but less so the next few times. 


Overall it was solid but weirdly placed. I think it’s kind of a shame it wasn’t just released where it’s set in the timeline. A good, 6/10 movie.

 

Edit:

 

I forgot but I really wish they’d not felt the need to explain what happened in Budapest. It felt a bit Star Wars to go back to the one thing we’ve had implied about Nat’s backstory and explain it in needless depth.

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On reflection, it did feel more like an earlier MCU film, much more straightforward plot, a one-dimensional villain, and (arguably) less connectivity to a wider universe. Which made it all feel more unsatisfying than a top-tier MCU film would’ve been.

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1 hour ago, the_debaser said:

Just started black widow. The horrendous plinkety plonk whispery female Smells Like Teen Spirit cover at the start is beyond awful. 

 

Did you come straight here to post that after hearing it? Are you on the internet while also watching the movie? Are you at home or at the cinema?

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Start at 10

 

-3 for smells like teen spirit

-2 for ray winstone being ray winstone and the least threatening bad guy ever

+3 for gratuitous shots of scarlet’s arse
-1 for people saying it’s like Mission Impossible when it is nothing like Mission Impossible

+1 for the sister

-2 for being over 2 hours long 

-2 for casting Poundland Craig David

 

So a solid 4/10, putting it on a par with Captain Marvel and Thor : Dark World. 

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1 minute ago, drmick said:

 

Did you come straight here to post that after hearing it? Are you on the internet while also watching the movie? Are you at home or at the cinema?


Disney Plus extra or whatever it is called. 

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I thought that was great. 

 

The goofy family dynamic was a surprise but was really well played and fun.

 

Action scenes were all good, although the last one was typically too long. And Ray Winstone was a decent baddie, with the other baddie reveal making me go “Oooh!”

 

Thought this was going to be another rather dull espionagey one, but it had more in common with the better fun ones like Dr Strange and Ant Man.

 

Probably my third favourite Bond movie after Goldeneye and Moonraker.

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