This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
hay’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
okay, please READ my review before blasting my ass out of my ears. i didn't hate it, but it most definitely was not my favorite mcu movie. this will be the only movie i write a thinkpiece on (so far) and not just call people sexy. but rachel weisz is sexy.
to start, i loved the reluctant found family dynamic in the beginning. it really established despite all that natasha's been through, there is no changing her inner instinct. throughout the film we see it persevere and even grow, extending to her adversary in the form of the widow chasing her before drakov makes the widow commit unalive. the titlecard and montage at the beginning of the movie makes it feel like a television show or a crappy action movie where the only reason it made its way to the theater was because of a group of a-list actors who are getting paid too much to be there. it was also very disorienting, although i guess that was the point. props to that.
yelena was one of if not the best part of the movie. eric pearson definitely knew what he was doing; he has great comedic timing and yelena is the picture of it. some of her lines were definitely fillers to distract us from some things, but she was overall great. i look forward to seeing her in the mcu in hawkeye and beyond. (her superhero pose bit was top notch)
they've been sitting on this movie for a year and they couldn't make the cgi just a LITTLE bit better? like the scene with the helicopter crashing outside of melina's hut (?) looked like it had been done on one of those apps you get that superimpose car crashes and airplane crashes on top of random videos in your camera roll. and don't even get me started on the scene when yelena sticks her stick (?) into the helicopter engine. i have gotten better chroma-keying at my school on a lime green tablecloth.
the editing in this movie was HORRENDOUS. there were so many jump cuts that left you disoriented and confused as to how the characters got there. there were a few, but the worst was probably when melina was looking through the scope of the sniper rifle at alexei, nat, and yelena all on the hill and then pulls her eyes away and suddenly they're staring at each other from across a chainlink fence. it really took me out of the film and made me think for a couple seconds about how they got from there to there so quickly. the fight scenes were so well-choreographed, especially the one where the widows are fighting with nat. it was a really intricate and important scene, as this is nat quite literally coming to terms with her past and not erasing it, but accepting it and changing for the better. however, the camerawork for these scenes was broken and made it SO difficult to keep up with the intricate fights that really made this movie great. maybe it was made to be that way, but i definitely would've liked to see the intricacies a little bit more.
the cast had such a wonderful chemistry and their family dynamic was nice. florence pugh and david harbour were great together and the scene of alexei singing american pie to prove yelena wrong when she thought he never cared about her was wholesome. i would've liked to see more of nat and melina, though; they were both the prodigies of their age and we should've gotten them talking more than they did. (also, another fat joke? come on dawg)
overall, this movie despite its flaws was an incredible metaphor for both natasha's and women-aligning persons reclamation of autonomy. the red room/drakov took all of her choices- her life, her personality, her ability to have children- from her, and her inability to hurt him due to the pheromonal thing-a-ma-jig really helped portray that. in the end, nat was not only able to take back her own autonomy, but helped yelena and the rest of the widows imprisoned in the red room take back their own. i love the movie in this aspect, but all of the intricate pieces making up the movie themselves were misguided.
overall, black widow in my opinoin does nat justice despite being ten years and countless (not really countless i just don't feel like counting) movies too late. marvel's last-ditch attempt to right their wrongs worked out in some aspects, but not others. again, the overall metaphor for the reclamation of women-aligned autonomy was powerful and much-needed in today's society. maybe i just hate women, maybe i'm just bored. but that is indeed a thinkpiece if i have ever seen one myself. (ps the post credits scene was a+)