This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Alison 🏳️🌈’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"This would be a cool way to die."
I have a lot of things to say about this and not a lot of energy to share those things, so here goes.
It was okay. It was- perfectly average. And that is both technically fine but personally sad.
This movie was given to us years too late. It was given after people asked for it, begged for it, gave up on it, and then moved on. It was given after the main character has died, now multiple movies ago. (Sorry, MCU spoilers, but like it comes with the territory.) This movie is only average, but the characters in it are so colorful and rich and strong, and watching this mostly just made me sad that we didn't have them all along, back when we should have.
This was not the "feminist send-off" for Black Widow that they promised us, obviously, but I knew that going in. It wasn't an origin story either. I'm honestly upset at how average it is, compared to so many other Marvel movies that I have loved- why does this character keep getting this treatment? It makes me so tired and frustrated. As someone who really loved Black Widow before these movies, they have been a long lesson in disappointment concerning her character. Instead of making us feel excited about a character, which is what the best MCU movies have done, this script was filled with fatigue.
The movie itself is okay. It won't blow anyone's mind but it's not bad, it kept me engaged most of the time, I liked the characters. I wanted way more from the story, but it wasn't charmless. However, it wouldn't have been nearly as good if it weren't for some nice acting by Weisz, Pugh, and Harbour. ScarJo's supporting cast not only propped the movie up and gave me characters that I wanted to dig my teeth into, especially Yelena. There is so much character potential there and she acted the part perfectly. The downside to having such a great supporting cast is that ScarJo really falls flat in comparison. I don't have anything against her, but I don't think she's the most emotive actress, and that was terribly highlighted in this film.
There were moments I thought were interesting, moments I really enjoyed, moments that made me roll my eyes or sigh in disappointment, moments that gave me just a taste of something great and then disappeared: this movie was a roller coaster for me, in terms of consistency and my reaction. Overall-- I just keep coming back to the fact that, even with my expectations lowered by all the reviews, I came out of this so disappointed. Disappointed for the character of Black Widow, for women who don't feel like Hollywood cares about them, for movies that don't get made cause of stupid shit, and the fact that there have been a billion movies now in the MCU and pretty much all of them felt like they were given more effort than this. Whatever, I'm bitter.
So. Did I enjoy this? Moderately, yeah. It's an action movie, there are fights, there are explosions and tight leather, and some good supporting characters. And as much as the MCU has done her dirty, I still love Black Widow as a concept. All of that. But am I happy about how it went overall? Do I want to praise it? No.
I do hope they keep Florence Pugh on if they decide to keep the Black Widow lore actively in the MCU universe. She was great in this and her character's story is compelling, emotional, and so interesting. Natasha's story was too, but they missed that boat. I guess we'll see what happens next.
Whew! Well, I feel better.