Review of the film "Black Widow". Our Poor Natasha

Of all the original Avengers, Natasha Romanoff is perhaps the most unlucky. Even Hawkeye in the films got several bright emotional scenes and a couple of great jokes, and the Black Widow, a character without exaggeration of a cult, had only a short romance with the Hulk and a martyr's death. As Scarlett Johansson justly noted, the rest of the time, the spy played the role of a walking adornment. It wasn't until MCU architect Kevin Feige finally defeated his former boss Ike Perlmutter, a notorious sexist and conservative, that Widow finally got her solo album. And then the picture lay on the shelf for a whole year due to the pandemic, and now it came out according to a hybrid model, which almost always guarantees a box office failure.

The Avengers split period. Romanoff openly opposed General Ross, for which she was outlawed. Well, not the first time. Things have been collected, a quiet place in Europe has been found, you can lay low and think about what to do next. But just a couple of days later, the avengers come to the soul, and it is by no means the government, but a mysterious super-soldier who can defeat the heroine in close combat one or two times. And soon Natasha learns the terrible truth: the "Red Room" program, which turns orphan girls into super-killers, is still working, even though Romanoff eliminated its creator a long time ago. Rather, I thought I had eliminated it - in fact, the ominous General Drakes is more alive than all the living and cherishes truly Napoleonic plans. Now, to bury the ghost of the Cold War once and for all,

From the moment of the announcement, they were expecting a branchy cranberry from the "Black Widow", but, paradoxically, it is rather stingy with it. An evil Russian general has been out of the system for a long time and does not even try, as in some Call of Duty, to return the homeland to its former greatness - all purely for the sake of personal gain. Nobody calls the prison in which one of the characters vegetates "Gulag", there is not a single fighting bear in the frame, the Cyrillic inscriptions do without ridiculous mistakes, and even in the original the actors do not please with funny pearls - everyone speaks broken but understandable Russian ( except for the Red Guard, it is impossible to understand him without subtitles), and the crowd was completely recruited from native speakers. As seen in Hollywood, the national flavor clearly breaks through only in the scene of the family reunion, where Natasha and her foster relatives whip vodka almost from their throats. Well, then I'm sorry. In general, those who were waiting for "Black Widow" to laugh at earflaps and balalaikas will remain disappointed. As well as those who wanted to see a funny Marvel blockbuster after two years of stagnation.

Kate Shortland's film is desperately trying to fit into Marvel's darkly serious lineup alongside Another War and recent Falcon and the Winter Soldier... There are relatively few jokes, violence, on the contrary, has been brought to the maximum limits allowed by a teenage rating, and all key characters are traumatized and reflexive to one degree or another. "Black Widow" is only one half of the spy thriller; the second is set aside for a drama about a dysfunctional family and a crippled childhood. Guess which of these parts triggers the most emotional response. Hint: not action-packed. Although the fighting episodes are made very sensibly. There is more hand-to-hand combat in Black Widow than in any other MCU movie, and the stunt work in individual scenes is truly admirable. Well, when you can see it because along with the gloom, the picture inherited from "Confrontation" an annoyingly shaking camera. Still, Marvel will not surprise anyone with special effects for $ 200 million.
Florence Pugh from "Solstice" reveals itself brightest in this fieldHer Elena Belova hides the pain behind sarcasm and bravado, but she breaks down, it is worth pushing a little on the mental wound. This is a complex, multifaceted image, and it is a pleasure to follow the actress in it. Obviously, the film was started, among other things, to introduce Elena as the new Black Widow, and the creators coped with this task - Pew will certainly become one of the main stars of the next phases of the MCU.
David Harbor and Rachel Weisz, too, predictably steal every scene with their participation. The Red Guardian (he is in the original and "Red Armyman" and "Red Guardian") is the most authentic Russian man in American cinema: even now, do "Peculiarities of National Superheroism" with him. Yes, some of Alexei's phrases seem to be taken from old anecdotes about the KGB, but his passion for bikes, tattoos, beard, and emotionality so naturally add up to the image of "daddy" that you don't even want to find fault. Weiss is also amazing how good she is in the image of the slightly sociopathic scientist Melina. In one scene, she can be truly creepy, in another, touchingly unhappy, and in the third, charmingly comic. However, what else to expect from an actress of this caliber?
But Scarlett Johansson, with all the diversity of her talent, looks like a pale shadow against such a background. It is becoming more obvious than ever that Natasha Romanoff has charisma in her performance, excuse me, like a stool. The tragic past of the heroine does not make her more interesting in the present, although this, it would seem, is the whole point. The same Elena Belova shows by her example how trauma determines a person's worldview, how it affects a sense of humor, and so on. And for a red-haired spy, it all comes down to a frown in several variations. And it's not Johansson's fault at all - it's just that Natasha is written more primitive than Xena from the 90s series. Feelings of guilt and highly abstract righteous anger create the illusion of character and the illusion of motivation, but what works creakily in John Wick, misfires in Black Widow. Looks like the secret is really in Keanu's personal charm.
The film also uses up the talent of Ray Winston ineptly. The Briton could play a great villain but instead is forced to be a walking caricature. Already only the lazy one did not notice that Drakov is more like not a retired general, but a typical music or film producer. Overweight, greasy, boorish, cynical, confident in his impunity. His phrase that little girls are the most inexhaustible resource on Earth as if written specifically to make the viewer shudder with disgust. But that's all. The Black Widow's archenemy is just a nasty old man in glasses and a suit. Symbolism is symbolism, but isn't that demeaning?
And in general, "Black Widow" - in a sense, one continuous humiliation of the title character. After so many years and her own death, Natasha finally received a solo album, and he is not even about her. Almost nothing in the film is really commendable, does not apply directly to the Widow herself. He does a much better job of introducing Elena and the Red Guard than revealing Natasha Romanoff, although there seems to be no other chance. Overall, "Black Widow" turned out to be an unforgivable average for the return of the MCU after a two-year hiatus. There is nothing to scold her for (after all, Marvel's quality standards are still quite high), but she does not pull the title of the main summer blockbuster - even in the absence of noticeable competitors. No matter how fiercely Kevin Feige fought for the place of "Widow" on the big screen, on stream services she looks like her own. As if this is not a theatrical release at all, but a two-hour special of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The most famous Russian spy in pop culture, damn it, deserves more.

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