3/4

Black Widow [2021] ★★★

After countless delays, Marvel’s highly anticipated “Black Widow” finally hits cinemas this week. Was it worth the wait? I’d say yes, even if it doesn’t reinvent the wheel. As far as standalone movies go, “Black Widow” delivers blockbuster entertainment, the kind we’ve missed seeing on the big screen. It helps to have Scarlett Johansson on top of her game. It also helps to have an incredible array of colorful supporting characters, including Florence Pugh as Yelena, and David Harbour as the Red Guardian. As you might have guessed, the story takes place way before the events of the last two Avengers movies. Natasha Romanoff has to confront her past and reunite with her “family” in order to destroy “The Red Room”, a Soviet program designed to train and control women into becoming assassins. It’s straightforward stuff, for sure, but director Cate Shortland delivers the goods by staging plenty of exciting action sequences that will most definitely satisfy fans of the franchise. In true blockbuster fashion, “Black Widow” globe trots from one location to the next, throwing everything on the screen as we move along. It can be too much at times, but overall, I think the film delivers on its promise. It might not move the franchise in completely unexpected ways, but it’s rock solid summer entertainment, and sometimes that’s good enough.

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