Content is king (or queen?). Apparently…
So in efforts to produce content for this blog, I needed to come up with some ideas as to what I can do. Especially since life isn’t overly adventurous at the moment due to the ongoing steady escape from COVID guidelines and the accompanying anxiety that hinders the more social interactions.
But I got at least one idea! And this is it: short movie reviews! Well, I say short but I’ve been known to ramble a little bit, so they may get lengthy sometimes!
Firstly, we need to lay down a few ground rules here. Or rather, ground guidelines. These will help ensure that I don’t just ramble on for 18 pages, ignore all other responsibilities, forget to turn the oven off, burn down the house, get screwed over by the insurance company and ultimately watch my life descend into chaos…
– Each post will be dedicated to one movie/show, unless I’ve seen multiple significant movies in a similar timeframe.
– The choices will be relatively new, whether that’s a new release or just new to me because I’ve never watched it before (like the Godfather trilogy… Yeah… Sorry… I’ll get there eventually…)
– Each review will be approx. 3-5 paragraphs, containing an attempt at objective opinion but undoubtedly tainted by personal bias, as is the nature of humans (and critics).
– Each review will have an ‘Apex’ moment that I consider to be the high point of the viewing.
– Each review will have a ‘…seriously?’ moment that I have chosen to be the most unnecessary part of the experience that makes me wonder why they bothered to include it… Like, seriously? Did they really need to do that to that person to make that thing happen?
– Spoilers will be tagged where possible, forgive me if I divulge too much outside of a tag though!
– Each review will have an arbitrary score out of 9. This is how many of my lives I would be willing to sacrifice to see the movie. Dramatic? A little, yes, but the score is about as relevant as points on an episode of WLIIA anyway.
I think that’s enough rul- I mean, guidelines. So, let’s get into the first review…
Movie | 2021 | PG-13 | 2h14m | Cinema
Director: Cate Shortland
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz
This movie was a long time coming and fell victim to the COVID curse of delays, so it would be really easy to argue that Black Widow missed its window to be an important movie within the MCU, especially considering the character’s fate in Avengers: Endgame kinda spoils the ‘ending’. It stands to reason then, that we should isolate BW from the canon a little and rate it on its own merits. And unlike other MCU movies, there is a lack of superheroes in the more ‘super’ sense of the word, so naturally this suggests a more grounded affair than previous outings and is displayed more in the form of a female-fronted action flick. Imagine Jason Bourne mixed with Fast & Furious 8, adding splashes of the MARVEL humour and a much tighter wardrobe.
The plot is the usual affair: bad things are happening, so good people who think they are bad but aren’t really, need to do some debatably bad things to stop the bad people and prove they are actually good to the other good people who misguidedly think they might be bad. Rest assured, the film itself is nowhere near as complicated as that sentence and should be easy to follow by even the most casual of viewers. This simplicity isn’t bad though, the formula has worked for this many years, they may as well stick with it; Afterall, superhero Hollywood is performing well at box offices and capturing our attention accordingly.
BW introduces us to some new characters in the form of Natasha’s sleeper-cell-agent family, with a standout performance from Florence Pugh as the adopted sister, Yelena Belova. There is a great balance of family values & ‘love comes in many forms’ tropes throughout and Pugh adds so much charm to the franchise that I’m confident she can carry it into the future.
Scarlett Johansson’s swan song in the MCU may not be a necessary addition for the franchise but it is certainly an enjoyable one. Value has been added to the character and new players have been successfully introduced to continue her legacy of ‘that badass chick that carries the Avengers’. Plus, as a standalone action flick, it’s got great choreography, epic set pieces and big explosions; so, win-win(-win) right?
Though not an original concept, I thought the opening credits sequence was amazing. The spy movie like graphics & editing, combined with a surprisingly good rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit just worked perfectly to set the tone for the rest of the movie.
In a world of superpowered beings, aliens and robots, the bar for this is set quite high. That said, Natasha Romanoff is by all accounts, human and therefore should not be able to just get up and walk away from a 1000ft fall surrounded by explosions.
A great, albeit unnecessary addition to the MCU canon, with the character getting some well-deserved spotlight and the baton being successfully passed on.
So that’s it for my first review! I’ll admit, originally this was going to be a collection of reviews each month but with the amount of media I consume on a weekly basis, it’s hard to pick that which is worth reviewing. This way, I can post more frequently on a more ‘as and when’ basis.
So, until my next one… (probably The Suicide Squad. Spoiler: It was awesome!)
Thanks for reading…
Stay safe, stay Greater Than Hate!