From ’90s flashback to post-credits scene, Scarlett Johansson’s MCU mission impossible thrills, thanks to Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour.
This could be superspy Black Widow’s toughest assignment yet. Two years ago, the Marvel Cinematic Universe crescendoed in an interstellar Endgame bursting with a galaxy of superhero stars. After a lengthy COVID-enforced hiatus, how can a spy flick with barely any superpowers measure up? It’s an MCU mission impossible requiring the right agents for the assignment. And by surrounding Scarlett Johansson with a pitch-perfect cast of new faces, Black Widow reveals what Marvel does best.
Black Widow is out now in the UK and hits US theaters today, Friday July 9. It’s also available to stream on Disney Plus today for a $30 Premier Access fee. If you don’t want to pay, it’ll be free to all subscribers Oct. 6.
Disney’s streaming service eased fans back into the MCU with winningly weird TV shows WandaVision and Loki. That means Black Widow’s slick but straightforward action could feel even more out of date. Thankfully, this sure-footed, entertaining comic book adventure takes the Bond/Bourne formula and sprinkles it with Marvel magic.
Black Widow (the film) is the first solo outing for Natasha Romanova (Johansson), an assassin-turned-Avenger and an ice-cold Russian killer. So why does her movie open with young Natasha enjoying an idyllic childhood in the sun-dappled suburbs of 1990s Ohio? When Marvel’s super-cops SHIELD close in, Natasha’s nuclear family is revealed to be less all-American and more like The Americans.
Cut to Natasha on the run from US authorities again, except now she’s grown up into Scarlett Johansson, and she’s in trouble for going rogue in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Throwing her phone in a fjord, she’s soon safely off the grid and tucked up in a bolthole watching James Bond movies on a tiny TV. But trouble still comes a-calling, and this time Natasha faces her own traumatic past as she settles old scores.