Arts & Culture Film

Black Widow: Unfulfilled Potential 

Peter Daza 22 

Contributor 

Finally, after her debut in Iron Man 2, Natasha Romanoff has gotten a standalone film. Black Widow is a spy thriller centered around the Avenger’s dark and guilt-ridden past, exploring the themes of family, regret for past actions, and vengeance. After years of fans wondering if it was ever going to happen, they now ask if this movie was worth the wait. And it was… kind of.  

The intro to the film was exceptional. It sets a grittier, more grounded tone than any other Marvel movies. It really gets you to care for these characters, to empathise with what they’re losing, and to realize how such a drastic change could affect someone. The opening credit sequence was one of the best I’ve seen in a while: it has such emotional and melancholic imagery. Unfortunately, the same quality is not held for the rest of the film.  

The first and second acts of the film are enjoyable but often feel sluggish and almost boring. The film has pacing issues where things slow for extended periods of time only to jump right to massive explosions and crazy CGI. Even though the fight choreography is adequate, often when it’s happening, you’re still reeling from just having been punched in the face with a massive and sudden pace change. Later in the film, the action becomes so superfluous that I lost all emotional investment. The final act seemed like it was directed by a discount Michael Bay, everything explodes for no other reason than “it looks cool.”  

My biggest complaint about this film is that it has an awful case of “tell don’t show.” Exposition is given through quick and uninteresting dialogue. It’s better to show something than to say it in film, and Black Widow tends to have long, drawn-out expositional conversations on ideas that require a visual.  

The villain faced throughout the film is underwhelming, apart from when they are first introduced. Without spoilers, I would compare them to Deadpool in X-Men Origins. Numerous pointless changes to the villain’s comic counterpart are made and their arc ends with a cheap and unearned ‘emotional’ moment.  

All the small problems accumulate, overshadowing the good things that this movie has going for it such as fun characters and good fight choreography, but these qualities are often just left on the backburner. Overall, Black Widow is just okay. It’s not a cinematic masterpiece, nor a complete mess, just a movie with a lot of missed opportunities and some less than stellar writing decisions. 

 

Black Widow (2021) - IMDb

6.5/10   

Photo Credit: IMDB