Natasha Romanoff deserved her own standalone spin-off ages ago, and Marvel Studios finally gives us one in 2021, a story that picks off right after ‘Avengers Civil War’ film (that came out in 2016). With Marvel guys bombarding fans with one creation after another, who even cares for a timeline that’s five years too late? Okay, a lot of us did, but director Cate Shortland’s film wasn’t worth the wait at all.

Scarlett Johansson as Romanoff looks more tired than Rachel Weisz who plays her mother in the movie. And viewers would be tired half-way through the runtime. Honestly, this film turned out to be such a boring disappointing mess, that it really feels a little pointless to write a review, because it’s only going to end up looking like long rant. For starters – the whole plot seemed about a soppy fake family reunion, than Black Widow trying to dismantle the ‘Red Room’, a sinister soviet-era program that turns orphan girls into deadly assassins. So we get to meet Natasha’s ‘sister’ Yelena (Florence Pugh), her ‘mother’ Melina (Rachel Weisz) and ‘father’ Alexei (David Harbour), all of whom are Russian agents for ‘Red Room’. Alexei is the soviet equivalent of Captain America, a ‘super soldier’, who was imprisoned in the 90s after successfully stealing S.H.I.E.L.D intel for the Russians.

“They are making movie mistakes that Bollywood made in the 1990s” my co-watcher exclaimed during a scene where Romanoff screams “get us out of here” to a helicopter that’s hovering quite far-away from her. And it’s really hilarious, because seconds later, when Romanoff does get on to the chopper with Alexei, the latter says something to Yelena who’s on the pilot seat, but she cannot hear him. But she could hear Romanoff over a lot of shooting and explosions, meters away on the ground? Sure.

The movie does start on a promising note, but keeps getting hare-brained, ridiculous and unnecessarily emotional. The second-half was a total snooze-fest. The usual easy humor viewers are used to seeing in Marvel movies is completely missing from this one. They try to make fun of their own tropes, but even those jokes fall flat. Even the soundtrack does not stand-out and it can make so much of a difference during combat scenes. Remember how the Led Zeppelin track ‘Immigrant’ made Thor’s awakening as the God of thunder so much more iconic during the climactic war scene of the Ragnarok film? No such moment in the Black Widow film.

Above all the little things that the makers overlooked, it’s really bad, lazy writing that sinks this ship, because the cast is completely top-notch. Florence Pugh is able to match up to Johansson’s screen presence and the two make a good fighting team. But well, like I’ve said in some earlier reviews, a good cast cannot save a bad script. A lot of potential is wasted, despite names like Eric Pearson, Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson onboard – they have worked on Ragnarok, Wanda-Vision.

It’s a 4/10 from me.

Where to watch: Disney Hotstar

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