A look back at the life of Natasha Romanoff and how she became Black Widow, focusing mainly on her time between Civil War and Infinity War in the wider Marvel Universe.
What did we actually learn about Natasha Romanoff over the years and her alias Black Widow? Other than being a Russian spy it is all very much a secret and we only have small hints at her possible background. Being able to explore the past of a character we have grown to totally love was certainly a very good thing, but quite frankly should have been done a lot sooner. Another female led film was more than needed considering we only had Captain Marvel before this one.
The film opens back in 1995 as we see a young Natasha in Ohio with her family or what she believes is her family at that point. Trying to protect her younger sister Yelena and then wondering why her parents suddenly have to leave the house they had been living in. Those being Alexei and Melina who were not exactly who the girls thought they were.
Dreykov is power mad and wants nothing more than to control people, in particular women and have them as his super soldiers all over the world. Creating a Red Room that in turn creates Black Widow’s, therefore Natasha is not the only one who has been trained in that manner. The training sees young girls taken away from their families or just taken off the streets. It is actually quite a deep storyline when you compare it to trafficking but in this sense being forced to become a trained killer.
When Natasha is wanted for her crimes as an Avenger she must disappear for a while but when she receives a strange package from her sister Yelena she realises that she must be in trouble. Having not seen each other for almost twenty years the pair clash and then decide to work together to prevent more girls like them from being put into the Red Room. It is actually a joy to watch them together even though they are not actually related it certainly highlights just how strong memories and experiences can really be. Yelena was younger and the times in Ohio are the best she had in her life, as it was more innocent before the Red Room.
Despite being excited for the film I have to admit that I had no idea what the storyline was going to be around and considering this film should have been seen so long ago now it was more than worth the wait. The mixture of the very impressive action and fight sequences, mixed with some rather dark at times humour. I mean who didn’t love the jokes around her pose? I absolutely loved that as just made everything feel more real. It actually raised many questions about people and morals, how they can change or how fear can really dictate what you do.
Considering this is only the second female led Marvel film (which is a disgrace I must add) I thought it pushed further and did more than Captain Marvel. It is just a shame we did not get this actually between the two films that the timeline follows. So happy to have this now though and give female characters a chance to shine in the best possible manner.
Scarlett Johansson has played this character across many films and although she had some very good and impressive moments this was certainly her chance to really shine and gain more plaudits for the role. Having Florence Pugh in as Yelena was terrific casting and lived up to my expectations. Then when we add in David Harbour and Rachel Weisz who were also both perfectly cast in the film. My only slight criticism in terms of casting was Ray Winstone, I actually cannot believe I am even saying that in all honesty as I have always been quite a fan. I just felt the shift between having or not having an accent was a little bit annoying. That is tough on a whole when you slip between the two, isn’t it often better to either full on go for an accent or not to take away the risk of moving between the two.
On the whole though I really felt this was a strong addition to the Marvel Universe and I cannot wait to see where this arch takes us to next.