alex 🍌’s review published on Letterboxd:
this movie has a lot going for it in my eyes. i'm a sucker for a spy movie, so the fact that they leaned into that vibe (in an exaggerated, james bond kind of way given the fact that it's a superhero movie) was always going to be a plus for me. in the quieter moments you can really tell that scarlet has really got a good grip on the character after all this time, so it's nice she's finally getting the chance to take the lead spot. florence pugh is amazing throughout. she and scarjo have really good chemistry which means all of their scenes together are a lot of fun, and then when you add in rachel weisz it gets even better. the action in the fight scenes feels really physical and visceral which is always welcome in my book.
in contrast, when it zooms back a little and goes for bigger action set pieces and even bigger explosions explosions in the third act it loses its way. plus, i really felt like any time it gestures back towards the larger mcu it really just highlights that this is a movie they should've made 6 years ago in the aftermath of civil war. (or like i've been saying for years now, even further back, after the winter soldier when it felt like they'd built to widow going off and reckoning with her past). if anything this ends up feeling less like a swan song for natasha and more like an intro to yelena which can't help but feel a little disappointing in a way.