REVIEW: ‘Black Widow’ Cast And Action Shine In Solid, Grounded Addition To The MCU

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  • 434 days after its original release date, Black Widow will hit theaters on July 9.
  • The cast and the action sequences are the strength of the Cate Shortland-directed film.
  • More Marvel Cinematic Universe news here.

Black Widow — the first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four — is like a Disney+ series in that both the audience and the actor are given a chance to explore the character in a deeper way. After over a decade in the role of Natasha Romanoff after first making her debut in 2010’s Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson puts in excellent dramatic work as the without-a-family Natasha, further underlining just how legitimate her love for the Avengers was.

Not having to plan for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe also allows for the film to move at its own speed and worry about its own beats. Black Widow is self-contained, and as a result, tightly paced. That pace bears itself out in awesome, generally gritty action scenes with major Jason Bourne/James Bond/The Americans vibes.

As for the cast, the film’s strongest element: Florence Pugh is a superstar — positioning her as the future Black Widow in the MCU represents yet another casting home run for the franchise — David Harbour is a scene-stealer, and Rachel Weisz is Rachel Weisz. All told, the cast is simply *excellent* and is what elevates Black Widow to something more than just a mindless action film.

Will Black Widow crack your Top 5 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies of all time? Probably not. But is it a worthy addition to the franchise and a touching, propulsive farewell to a beloved character? Absolutely.

After over 14-plus months of delays, Black Widow — directed by Cate Shortland and starring Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Olivier Richters — hit theaters and Disney+ Premier Access (for $29.99) on Friday, July 29.

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