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Black Widow (2021)

Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
2.5 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
3.2 / 5
MOVIE SCORE
Representation
Black

Incluvie Movie Reviews


Daleyna
July 26, 2021
3 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
3.5 / 5
MOVIE SCORE

‘Black Widow’ Is About Yelena, Not Natasha

Natasha Romanoff, the MCU’s first female hero, finally gets her solo movie over a decade after her first appearance. And it’s not enough. The movie is too little too late for most Marvel fans and it does Natasha the injustice of sidelining her in her first solo film. Black Widow's true purpose is not to look back at Natasha’s past, but to serve as a launchpad for Yelena. The name of the movie is Black Widow, but we aren’t talking about the Black Widow we all know -- this movie is truly Yelena’s debut as the MCU’s next Black Widow.  The most promising and intriguing part of the movie is the opening sequence. In Ohio, a young Natasha and her seemingly normal family must leave when her parents (truly Russian spies) steal important U.S. intelligence. After escaping the country, Natasha and her younger “sister” Yelena are forcibly separated and returned to Dreykov, founder of the Black Widow program. The opening credits parallel real-life human trafficking and are the most haunting, risky thing I’ve seen Marvel do. Little girls scream and cry as they are dragged out of shipping containments, juxtaposed with a coldly calculating Dreykov as he points at girls, choosing which ones will live and die. Then the girls are brainwashed and trained to become assassins.  After this opening sequence is over, the movie changes. I was hoping the rest of the movie would be like those first few minutes -- exploring the complex, hard-hitting reality of human trafficking. I expected too much. (This movie might have been better if it was in the same vein as the darker, grittier, more intimate Marvel Netflix shows). Instead, the movie returns to classic Marvel action sequences and spectacle that eclipse the nuanced topics it began to address. I had hoped we would see the gray moralities of the Black Widows. Instead, the movie gives them a copout: mind-controlling nanites. All of the new Widows are under mind control that Dreykov uses to remotely manipulate their bodies so they’re forced to do the things they don’t want to.  While I do appreciate the parallels to modern-day discussions about women’s bodily autonomy, this felt like a way to absolve everyone in the Black Widow program of responsibility. One of the things that makes Natasha such a compelling character is that she killed and was in control of herself. Interestingly enough, the thing that guilts her the most is not even something she did for the Red Room, but for S.H.I.E.L.D. -- killing Dreykov’s daughter. I would have liked the movie to address that more in depth and discuss how S.H.I.E.L.D. did some pretty terrible things too, but the movie has clear-cut bad guys and good guys that it sticks to. 
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Movie Information


Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Rating:PG-13
Genre:Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Directed By:Cate Shortland
Written By:Eric Pearson
In Theaters:7/9/2021
Box Office:$379,751,655
Runtime:134 minutes
Studio:Marvel Studios

Cast