Movie Review: ‘Black Widow’: A major disappointment

Sarah Wandor
Movie Critic Columnist

When Natasha’s childhood began to play on the screen in the new “Black Widow” movie, I was pleasantly surprised at the execution of it. It was filled with mystery and intrigue, leaving me wanting to know more and staying to do so.

However, that is where its quality ended. The rest of the film is a mix of trying too hard to be funny, deplorable writing and attempting to tackle serious topics while failing in the process.

The movie lacked creativity, as I think is made clear in the course the movie runs and by certain sequences, such as the sad excuse of a “plan” for getting the Red Guardian (David Harbour) out of prison.

It doesn’t make any sense that the Red Guardian broke himself out of prison when Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) were more than skilled enough to get him out without making such a scene. They are better than and more talented than him, yet that is never shown during the film.

It is embarrassing and boring to watch. Having a man stumble around to get where he needs to and cause a ruckus is less than thrilling, and having an avalanche at the end does not make it any more exciting or less dull.

To make matters worse, the Red Guardian is the lamest excuse of a character I have ever seen on screen. He enrages those around him by being a terrible “father” and sticking his foot in his mouth; he is a waste of space after the opening of the film.

His character was not needed, yet for some foolish reason the writers saw fit to have him anyway.

Why? Perhaps for an attempt at comedic relief. But even then, what comes out of his mouth is trying too hard to be funny and makes things a disaster. If you are going to introduce a new character, at least make him useful and have him contribute to the plot of the movie instead of being a laughingstock for the audience.

Even the person who was supposed to be the villain of the entire film was weak. Dreykov (Ray Winstone) was built up to be this intelligent and cunning opponent but instead what we get is a character who is only in the entire film for about 10 minutes and is also incredibly childish.

He is like a 5-year-old in an old man’s body. He possesses no intimidation or attributes of a man with his reputation or position. It is clear that little thought went into the person who was supposed to be Black Widow’s adversary, and as a result, we are left with a whining man sitting behind a desk.

The writers should have thought to at least give Black Widow the courtesy of a worthy opponent because Dreykov was not.

Ultimately, “Black Widow” was rushed, and the film suffered for it. The creators did not give it the time it deserved by any means and instead slapped together the half-thought-out ideas they had and called it a movie. Sadly, it’s a poor excuse and a missed opportunity.

If they had taken more time to think through what they were creating, they could have made a film like no other about a character that many people have come to love. Yet instead, they chose to rush it and created an incredibly dull and boring movie, one which disappointed many fans.

“Black Widow” had so much potential especially with an incredibly talented cast and a captivating character. Unfortunately, all that potential was wasted on this film. I could say more about what went wrong with this movie, like how Natasha deserved better, but I’ll end with this: Marvel claimed it was worth the wait, yet I could wait another 10 years and it still would not be worth the 2 hours I spent watching this film.

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