Black Widow

Black Widow ★★★

In the action and visual aesthetic department, Black Widow breaks no new ground for the MCU. Where it shines is in how it expands and deepens the themes of loneliness and unbelonging found in Natasha Romanoff's character in Avengers: Endgame. There's a core of sweetness that penetrates the cloak and dagger world of shadows that Black Widow has grown accustomed to inhabiting in the form of an absolutely delightful tale of a dysfunctional family. 

This is an example of a stellar cast elevating decent material. Much has already been said about Florence Pugh's Yelena. She's solid in the role and her and Johansson have palpable chemistry as estranged sisters. Rachel Weisz is always great, and so it is no surprise that she is here as well. For my money David Harbour absolutely steals the show as Alexei Shostakov/The Red Guardian - the Soviet Union's first and only super soldier turned aging, insecure buffoon with a heart of gold. His comedic timing is par none and the way he consistently attempts to deliver heartfelt speeches to a makeshift family that has no interest in hearing them just adds to how endearing the character is. 

I suppose I'll weigh in on the Taskmaster thing briefly since I collect Avengers comics and Taskmaster is one of my favourite comic book villains. I'll avoid getting into exactly what is different for fear of spoilers and just say the changes didn't bother me. The cinematic universe always felt like it takes place on an alternate Marvel Earth anyway and between that and the medium differences between movies and comic books there were bound to be changes. The character is definitely weaker in the film but that's not to say they won't be developed into something stronger down the road. Who knows. Just my take but it doesn't seem like anything worth getting too worked up over. 

There's no sense going on much longer. At this point everyone knows how they feel about the MCU and this movie isn't likely to change anyone's mind. This one has a sense of fun to it, a truly great cast, and the family stuff at the centre of it all is enough to make it worth checking out.

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