Black Widow: Did her future affect her past?

Updated: Feb 5

With Black Widow streaming free on Disney + I thought it was high time I get around to watching it, so here is my very spoiler heavy review of Marvel’s Black Widow.

To summarise the plot briefly, the film focuses on title character Black Widow, AKA Natasha Romanoff. With the events set after Captain American Civil War, Widow is on the run from the US government and is hiding out in remote areas. Only when she gets a package from her younger sister, Yelena, does she start doing superhero things.


Once she’s reunited with her fake family, Natasha sets off to take down the red room, free all the mind-controlled widows and kill the big bad. She then soon jets off into the events of Avengers: Infinity War, and we all know how that ends up.


So, with the plot out of the way, how does the film hold up?


The story isn’t the main problem of the movie, it’s actually a really good concept just done at the wrong time. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the character Black Widow, but knowing the events of the previous movie Avengers: Endgame, this movie feels...late.

Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, but we see Natasha sacrifice herself for the soul stone. She is canonically dead after those events. Black Widow is a prequel movie, again set after the events of Civil War, this means the movie holds no stakes because we know Natasha’s going to live since canonically, she dies seven years later.


It also felt too PG, Natasha has been known to have a dark past and this movie dips its toes into that but not enough that makes me weep at her backstory. If you’re walking into this movie thinking it’s an origin story, you’re going to be disappointed. We do see brief flashes of a backstory in the beginning and through the title cards, but otherwise, the movie is set with Natasha in her prime and past that style of living.

I think if the movie dived into more things like what we see in Age of Ultron, it could have held a much more impactful third act. I don’t just want to see Nat in a car as an explosion goes off, I want to see the lead up and the aftermath. I don’t just want to hear about Clint and Nat hiding in a vent, I want to see it.

The movie constantly teases us with moments from her past but never goes into detail about them, which I think was something they missed out on. Instead, they focus on the aspect of family, something Natasha never thought she’d have but then leaves the movie with two.


That leads me to say something positive about this movie: the characters. They’re so fun and also have this insane quality to them, these people should definitely not be allowed to walk on the streets. It’s revealed in this movie that Natasha has a younger sister, Yelena, who is easily the breakout star. Her constant one-liners and snarky attitude, though repetitive in the MCU, has good chemistry with any character when she’s on screen.

I can’t wait to see Florence Pugh reprise her role as Yelena in the next Disney + show, Hawkeye, as teased in the movie’s end credits.


David Harbour does a great job at portraying the Red Guardian, a washed-up super soldier with an ego bigger than a planet. His obliviousness to the serious situations around him always brought a good laugh out from me. Then we have Rachel Weisz who does a good job at being the stereotypical plot-twist villain, when you think she’s betrayed her found family it’s actually just a ploy made by Widow.

As for the actual villain of this movie, Ray Winstone plays Dreykov, leader of the Red Room. He’s only really seen at the end of the movie when the heroes come to take him down, with such an important role he really doesn’t come across as threatening and cunning to me. More so, he just seems like a man with a gripe against the world, not a genius or master manipulator.


Now a character that I was really looking forward to seeing was Taskmaster. The character was featured in the trailer and leaks from set photos, and let me tell you, I was really excited about seeing this guy on screen. However, what we got was basically a different character; really all they kept was the look of the suit and the powers. At the end of the movie, it’s revealed that Taskmaster is Dreykov’s daughter, who Natasha thought she killed years ago.

The movie sets it out like these two are arch enemies, but they’re not; one of them doesn’t even talk until a sentence at the very end. I was just a little disappointed with how they handled the character, knowing there could have been a lot of potential for them.


Now before this review gets any longer, I want to talk about the CGI, I feel like recently, especially in the shows, the CGI hasn’t been that great. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still leaps and bounds compared to other movies, but it’s becoming more obvious when characters are standing in front of a green screen. I’m not sure if it’s just me noticing it now and it’s always been like this or if it’s a recent thing, but I can never unsee it.

Black Widow is a movie made in the wrong time, with that being its main downfall. There’s no real tension and the character seems to be invincible with the amount of times she evaded death in this movie. The chemistry between the characters was possibly my favourite aspect of this movie, the CGI while mostly appearing good had occasionally points that let me down.


Black Widow gets 3 widows out of 5.

Black Widow is available to stream now on Disney +

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