Black Widow – Budget of $200+ million – 2 hours and 14 minutes
Warning: If you don’t want to know the plot of the movie, skip to the last paragraph
In Ohio 1995, Alexei came home to warn his wife, Melina, that it was time to leave. After three years, he finally got the information from North Enterprises and burned the company to the ground. Alexei and Melina grabbed their two daughters, Natasha and Yelena, and ran off under a hail of gunfire. The family flies to Cuba, and Dreykov declares their mission complete. Alexei wants to leave spy work behind him and become the Red Guardian again. Dreykov’s men take Melina away to obtain medical care. And guards come for Natasha and Yelena. Seeing this, Natasha grabs a guard’s gun and tells them that they can’t take her little sister to the Red Room because she is only six. Alexei reminds Natasha she was younger when she went to the Red Room. He tells the girls to stay tough and stay together. Twenty-one years later, Natasha is on the run after violating the Sokovia Accords. Ross is on her trial and vows to have her in a cell next to Barton.
In Morocco, Yelena’s target is on the move, and Yelena goes after her. Just as Yelena turns the target over for the kill strike, the target sprays gas in Yelena’s face. Yelena apologizes to the target, takes the tracker out of her leg, and grabs the remaining vials of gas after the target dies. Yelena mails to vials to Budapest. At her safehouse, Natasha’s secret handler gives Natasha her mail from the Budapest safe house. She doesn’t know, but one of the packages is the vials from Yelena. When her camper loses power, Natasha heads into town with her mail. The Taskmaster hits her car and runs her off the road. In a fight, Natasha realized the Taskmaster isn’t after her but after the vials. She gets away with them and heads to Budapest. In Budapest, Yelena waits for Natasha.
After a bloody truce, Yelena tells Natasha that the Red Room and Dreykov still exist. Natasha sits in disbelief because she bombed a building and destroy Dreykov and the Red Room to become a SHIELD Agent. But Natasha never confirmed the kill. After Natasha left, Dreykov tightened the reins on his Widows and gave them a mind-control agent. One of the first recipients was Yelena. Now, the Black Widows are conscious but can’t make any decisions. However, the vials contain an antidote. Natasha and Yelena want to free the Widows while taking down Dreykov and the Red Room. But the need to find it and him first. In times like this, you need family.
This movie is about repairing family and wiping the slate clean. As Natasha said before, “I’ve got red in my ledger and I’d like to wipe it out.” Each member of her “family” has to come face to face with their past. When they sit to talk, Melina and Alexei come to terms with how they ruined Natasha and Yelena’s childhoods. But Natasha has to come to terms with leaving her sister behind to become an Avenger. These dynamics of family drama put this movie on par with the drama in Thor: Ragnarok (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It helps to see the 2nd Iron Man movie, the second and third Captain America movies, all 4 Avengers movies, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The actions scenes are some of the cleanest in the MCU because they don’t look cartoonish like the Hulk or Spider-Man. Poignantly using American Pie and Smells Like Teen Spirit, this movie warns you it will be an emotional roller coaster for the characters. With all the emotion and physicality, something still feels off about the movie. It’s the same feeling you get watching Ant-Man or the 2nd Thor movie. While it’s not an origin Black Widow movie, it is a filler movie for things to come. Consider this movie as an introduction to Yelena, and it will make a lot more sense. While it’s worth seeing on the big screen, don’t pay extra for IMAX or 3D. Of course, stay past the end credits.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
Such a poser – Yelena
Are you calling me a liar – Alexei
You don’t see the resemblance – Melina
Is the safety on – Dreykov
You didn’t fight in the shadows. You hid in the dark – Natasha