In true Marvel style, Phase 4 of the Cinematic Universe comes crashing onto our screens in dramatic fashion with Black Widow. Directed by Cate Shortland (Somersault, Lore) and with a screenplay by Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok, Godzilla vs. Kong), this film is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War and takes a look at the story of Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson – Ghost In the Shell, Lucy) a.k.a. Black Widow.
It is worth a mention that if you are not following the Cinematic Universe in any kind of order then this would be a very entertaining watch as a stand alone. If you are watching them in order however, do avoid the temptation to watch this after Captain America: Civil War as you will find a massive spoiler after the credits.
“Girls. Remember when I told you that one day we would have that big adventure? Well, today’s the day. Alright, let’s go.”
It’s Ohio 1996 and two young girls, Natasha (Ever Anderson – Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) and her younger sister Yelena (Violet McGraw – Doctor Sleep, The Haunting of Hill House) are playing outside together. Their mother Melina (Rachel Weisz – The Light Between Oceans, The Mummy) calls them in for dinner, but when their father Alexei (David Harbour – Stranger Things, Suicide Squad) comes home, he has bad news, they have to leave and quickly. It seems their little family was actually a Russian Sleeper cell, hiding in plain sight. With their mission successfully concluded, the girls are taken by General Dreykov to the Red Room to be trained as assassins.
21 years later and we see Natasha, now on the run from the authorities after a breach of the Sokovia Accords and division among the Avengers. She flees to Norway with the help of Mason (O-T Fagbenle – The Handmaid’s Tale, Maxxx), who sets her up with a trailer and all her basic needs. He also brings her a box of mail and personal effects from the Budapest safe house in which she has no interest. When her generator packs in, she heads off to town, taking with her the box of rubbish.
“Fanny Longbottom? What are you, twelve?”
On the way, she is attacked by a mysterious assailant, a robotic fighter, known as the Taskmaster, a very powerful opponent. It soon becomes apparent that what it is after is a box contained in her mail. She manages to escape with the contents, a number of red vials, which she realises was sent by her sister Yelena (Florence Pugh – The Falling, The Commuter). She heads to see her and although not keen to trust one another, they realize that they must join forces.
Natasha had believed that she killed General Dreykov (Ray Winstone – Beowulf, Cats), however Yelena reveals that not only is he alive but the Red Room is still active and now chemically controlling young women. Can the two sisters stop him before it is too late?
Black Widow is a highly entertaining film, packed with action and Marvel’s trademark self-deprecating humour. The special effects are nothing short of breathtaking with plenty of fight scenes and a lot of stunning scenery and action sequences. We also have the obligatory car and motorbike chases as well as some brilliant runway action.
The script is really well written and as ever the acting is superb. It’s great to see more of a back story for this character and it helps to explain a lot. It also ties in very nicely at the end. As with any Marvel film, make sure to watch to the end of the credits. A great start to Phase 4 and I can’t wait to see what Marvel has in store for us next.
A must own for fans of the franchise and well worth adding to your collection.
“You both have killed so many people. Your ledgers must be dripping, just gushing red. I couldn’t be more proud of you.”
Marvel Studios’ Black Widow is available now on Digital and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD September 13 2021.
Marvel Studios’ Black Widow Bonus Features*
- Gag Reel – Take a look at some of the fun mishaps on set with the cast and crew of Black Widow.
- Deleted Scenes
- Grocery Shopping – Natasha heads into a grocery store to prepare for her journey through Norway. After a long drive, she arrives at her destination: a mysterious trailer in the middle of nowhere.
- Bike Chase – Tailed by assailants, Natasha and Yelena speed through the city in order to escape their nemeses.
- Gulag Fight – Alexei squares up against several enemies and is quickly overpowered. When all hope seems lost, Natasha leaps in to lend a hand in the fight.
- Smile – The Taskmaster protocol is activated in a tense moment, and an iconic helmet is unveiled.
- Come After Me – Secretary Ross and Mason discover an important message Natasha left behind.
- Walk and Talk – Alexei and Melina have a playful exchange. The Taskmaster arrives and faces off with Alexei.
- Widows in Training – Yelena and Alexei awaken in captivity. Melina hands the Taskmaster vials while the Widows train.
- Kiss – Alexei and Melina reunite after the action. Natasha grieves over an untimely demise in the brutal aftermath.
- Ohio – Natasha witnesses the carefree nature of the Ohio suburbs through the neighbourhood children.
- Filmmaker Introduction Featurette – Director Cate Shortland introduces the film and her vision for it.
- Sisters Gonna Work It Out Featurette – Watch Scarlett and Florence as they train, fight, and bond to become the sister duo in Black Widow. Listen as the cast and crew discuss the characters, rigorous training, and building the dynamic between the two fearsome siblings.
- Go Big If You’re Going Home Featurette – Step back to appreciate the size and scale of Black Widow’s solo film. Shot around the world, the film balances family and drama with mind-blowing action. The cast and crew reveal the intricacies of stunts that made the film so action-packed.
*bonus features vary by product and retailer