Marvel’s “Black Widow” is Solid Adventure

The nuclear family of superhero assassins comprised of Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour are pretty much the anti-Incredibles in Marvel’s new action installment. Also not so incredible: the languid pacing of Cate Shortland’s Black Widow (B), but this somewhat perfunctory saga still showcases some interesting backstory, a few well choreographed action sequences and some committed acting from the ensemble. Actually the three characters who are not the lead are the ones who contribute the most to this installment. The plot finds Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff a fugitive on the run who’s forced to confront a conspiracy tied to her past, and Pugh gamely plays her estranged little sister with dollops of deadpans. The humor in this episode centers on the sibling’s wisecracks about the titular character’s self-important poses and the witty dialogue of Harbour’s spandex festooned Russian super soldier who’s a second-rate mixed bag of hero and father figure. Shortland loves to pull back from her stunt sequences to show what an epic landscape she is painting on, but all the globetrotting still feels more surface than lived-in. There aren’t too many surprises, but altogether it’s a pretty sturdy entry into the MCU canon with action and heart.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.