We decided to spice up our movie reviews by adding a little twist to the editorials. So, we came up with a way to get you, the fans to express your own opinions and views through chatters and structured surveys. After all, two or more heads are usually better than one, not forgetting that if any work of creativity should get more positive reviews than the negative, then it’s hard to dispute that that work is a success.
Disney and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Widow is the feature of our maiden edition of Fans Review The Movies. After several delays, the long-anticipated back story of fan favourite Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) was finally released, marking the birth of a new era (Phase 4) for the MCU. Although there had been several MCU Phase 4 contents (WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki) arriving on Disney+, Black Widow formally welcomed fans to the new and expanded multiverse in the MCU and received them back into theatres, of course.
Warning; Spoilers Incoming…….
The events in Black Widow took place across different timelines and brought to life several comic book characters such as Taskmaster (Antonia Dreykov, played by Olga Kurylenko), Yelena Belova (played by Florence Pugh), Melina Vostofoff (played by Rachael Wesiz), and Red Guardian (Alexei Shostakov, played by David Harbour).
The movie sheds light on the much talked about past of Natasha Romanoff and how she was able to run covet operations for the Avengers after Captain America: Civil War. She and estranged adopted sister Yelena, and foster parents Melina and Alexei team up to take down Dreykov (Ray Winstone) who is the mastermind behind Black Widows; trafficking young girls and turning them into cold killing machine.
With his chemical mind control technology, Dreykov is able to get his will done by the Widows and even made himself unharmable by them using a certain olfactory nerve technology. The antidote to the mind control is finally discovered and Natasha and Yelena are able to kill Dreykov at the second attempt, learning about the network of Black Widows under Dreykov’s mercy and freeing a dozen of them, as well as Taskmaster.
Fans who have been keenly following the MCU would have noticed a pattern; how Marvel is painstakingly making sure that things align after the events of Avengers: Endgame. After losing several stalwart characters such as Ironman (Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America, (Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans), and Black Widow, the MCU is investing a lot in character development and making sure these fallen heroes are replaced in the best way possible; and it’s working.
So far in the MCU Phase 4, we have seen the likes John Walker, The Falcon, and now Yelena in Black Widow taking centre stage. The biggest significance of the movie was to clear a few mysteries from earlier movies, and explain Natasha’s high seat on the Avengers’ table. Going forward, it was also used to introduce Yelena who has now been primed to become the new Black Widow.
From the the post credits revelation which brought us back to the present timeline, we learn that Yelena has been working for La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, whom we know from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. That scene was supposed to air before the series but for delays, so it wasn’t met with a lot of surprise.
However, Lady Val presented a new task to Yelena and it is to kill Hawkeye (Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner), accusing the Avenger of killing Natasha. It’s a false accusation but, it’s not exactly clear whether Fontaine’s intention is good or evil. Nonetheless, we might be set to find out more about her in the upcoming miniseries Hawkeye that will release on Disney+ this year.
What the fans think:
Black Widow failed to match the massive expectations set before it, but fans’ ratings show it still performed better than average.
From our collated data, fans generally think Black Widow is a good movie. It didn’t draw too many extensive praises though, with many of them saying they wanted and or expected more. Perhaps we can blame that on the high standards set in earlier MCU movies like the Avengers series.
Nonetheless, it still got a few 5 star and near perfect ratings but they weren’t enough to say it opened to generally excellent reception. An insignificant section of the fans also rated the movie as poor, with one in particular giving it a negative 5 rating. But again, those negative ratings and poor remarks weren’t enough to influence the final verdict or say Black Widow is a bad watch.
Overall Verdict from The Fans: 7/10, 3.5 Stars/5.
What do the Critics Think?
Black Widow opened to generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $260 million worldwide, not including the $60 million+ it did on Disney+ in its opening weekend. As well as being praised for strong characterization and impressive performances from the cast, Black Widow is considered a commercial success, becoming the 6th highest grossing title of 2021 and the highest opening weekend income since the pandemic.
Popular rating site IMDB and Metacritic scored Black Widow 6.9/10 and 67% respectively which is almost identical with what the fans think in their reviews. However, it got a slightly higher rating, 81% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Have you seen Black Widow? Enjoyed the film?