A movie on a superhero is one thing, but a character that died in the most epic event in the genre is less appealing. The death of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) makes her solo flick feel unnecessary as it takes place after Civil War. A missed opportunity for sure, yet within seconds of starting up the first look at her first adventure away from the Avengers, I am entirely on board for whatever happens.
Natasha/Black Widow is reminiscing in a mirror. Flashbacks from her time with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) along with shooting up bad guys on a ship from The Winter Soldier pop on the screen. Nostalgia for her arc and how she developed is starting to pull on my heartstrings already.
A wide shot over Budapest, a city that has been mentioned many times before, especially between this original Avenger and her fellow Earth defender Hawkeye. I am so hyped to finally visit this city in the MCU as it keeps getting referenced without any trips to said place.
A part of this reflection of who she was and has become flashes her walking to look through a window of the ballet dancing and training we have seen before with a new perspective, an insider looking from the outside. This has implications of beautiful development from all sides of who she is, which loses much of the emotional impact due to her suicide to give her friends the soul stone.
The exposition for the story comes up with a conversation between the agent and an unknown voice. She explains the lives she has lived and the confrontation of her past she must make. This sounds like how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have scattered; she needs some soul searching, and going home is the place to do it.
Within the middle of this conversation, we do see a military convoy and General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt). The relationship between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Natasha could get some extra background, or at least her relationship with Ross will get some growth. I hope we get to see the classified files in her ledger that have been blacked out from the world, this is supported as a later scene shows our star with the General in a dark room.
Then we meet Yelena Belova (Florence Pue), the sister of the ass-kicking protagonist. The two face off in quick cuts you would generally get in a trailer with glimpses of some pretty stellar choreography that works with the fighting style these two characters have been trained with. Soon enough, the siblings join forces, no surprises there.
A variety of shots appear in different locations with some action sequences with generic goons. Natasha explains to her sister why she is there, for unfinished business that is completely unknown yet. I bet all of the giant nerds like myself can theorize for hours about what they are planning.
In one of the many quick shots, a look at Taskmaster (whose actor has not been revealed yet) but his chrome and blue suit look incredible. The skull with the blacked-out visor looks menacing as hell. I have zero ideas on how he plays into the story, but I would love to read your theories. Either way, I am excited to see this fascinating character who can mirror other’s abilities to then defeat his foes. He is using a bow and arrow, anyone getting Hawkeye vibes?
A reunion of sorts comes between the sisters, Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour), and an assassin/spy Malena (Rachel Weisz) who all sit at a table for a brief comedic beat. It is uncertain how they all relate. Still, I am excited for the mysterious Malena, who has had some science experiment done on her along with Harbour’s Eastern European version of Captain America (Chris Evans).
A quick glimpse at Red Guardian facing against Taskmaster is shown. I cannot wait to see the Stranger Things star battle it out with this intriguing villain. I am praying that Marvel keeps up with the current track record of having satisfying antagonists who go against loveable heroes.
The trailer ends with an avalanche, destruction, and baddies shooting at the star of the show. It would not be Marvel without major action set pieces, and having this happen in the snow is a nice change of scenery compared to previous installments.
One detail that is shown throughout that I love is the many costume changes for Black Widow. She gets her classic setup from Civil War, a new leather motorcycle outfit that is sexy as hell, and her winter gear to face cold weather and skull mask-wearing criminals.
I have no experience with any film by director Cate Shortland (Lore), but having a female leading everything is fitting for this beloved heroine. She does have experience with European film, so she should be able to prevent any funky accents or people slipping back into their American tone.
I have not seen anything from the writers, Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle) and Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby). Not to doubt their abilities, but it makes me cautious of the story development as the weakest of the MCU tends to run into that issue for me along with the antagonists. In Marvel’s defense, the studio must have some faith as both of these people penning this solo flick will be working on WandaVision, one of the series that will premier on Disney+ to grow the universe on the small screen.
My one worry comes from this not adding anything to the universe. The ship has sailed on this story, but I have faith in Marvel to make this worth the wait and ease my concerns. A waste of MCU development or not, I am certain this will be a fun final ride with one of my favorite heroes with some new faces.
Let me know your thoughts on the first look at Black Widow. The film releases May 1, 2020.
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Header image via Marvel Studios/Disney