Florence Pugh Steals Spotlight In 'Black Widow'
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Florence Pugh Steals Spotlight In 'Black Widow'

Finally, the wait for this highly-anticipated Marvel movie is over

Scarlett Johansson (left) as Black Widow and Florence Pugh (right) as Natasha's sister Yelena Belova look past the camera in a movie still from "Black Widow." The sisters seem to have survived a calamity as there is lots of wreckage and metal bars in the background.
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Production for "Black Widow" kicked off in 2019, just under 10 years from the superhero's debut in 2010's "Iron Man 2." So it's about time Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, gets her own movie in 2021.

Not only is this the character's first stand-alone movie, but it's also the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4. It's also a highly-anticipated summer blockbuster since its original premiere date was cancelled due to COVID-19.

So all eyes are on "Black Widow," and luckily it lives up to the hype for Marvel action fans.

Marvel Studios' Black Widow | New Trailer www.youtube.com

Directed by Cate Shortland, "Black Widow" takes viewers around the world for Natasha's adventure immediately following the events of "Captain America: Civil War" and before "Avengers: Infinity War."

Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) broke the Sokovia Accords, betrayed Secretary Ross and the Avengers fell apart. As Black Widow runs from authorities, she discovers there are darker plans afoot that force her to confront past enemies and "family," including her sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), her father Alexei aka Red Guardian (David Harbor) and her mother Melina (Rachel Weisz).

The entire family is well-casted because the chemistry is off the charts, especially between Johansson and Pugh. All actors understand their characters perfectly, but there's something special about Pugh. She steals the spotlight multiple times by giving audiences comic relief while shifting gears for serious scenes. In one of the best scenes of the film, Yelena pours her heart out to her family during dinner. A pin could be heard if it hit the theater's floor.

This film's plot is also noteworthy. Audiences are spoiled with Natasha's dark backstory considering the films haven't focused on her life before the Avengers. In fact, there are darker visuals from graphic injuries, to conversations about forced hysterectomies. Surely, some of these themes will fly over kids' heads, but that's expected if the MCU matures with younger generations.

And because this is an MCU film, "Black Widow" delivers action-packed moments with multiple engaging fight scenes, chases and explosions. Depending on personal taste, this can be a good thing or bad thing.

In this case, it's a minor problem because the film is so loud that it devalues the rich storytelling. Creators could cut 15 minutes of action, and the film would still have plenty of excitement. And the numerous action scenes in one film are what make some MCU events forgettable for an average movie-goer.

But, again, this is a minor knock for a warm welcome back to the MCU.

Score: 8/10

"Black Widow" premieres on Disney+ with premier access and in theaters on Friday, July 9.

Stay past the credits for a special scene.

Follow the reporter on Twitter at @s_incorvaia.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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