Tonight we went back to the Majestic Bay cinema for the first time since the pandemic started (looking at receipts, the last film we saw was the final Star Wars episode). I’d booked tickets to see Black Widow, the latest Marvel superhero film, and it was quite a departure from the last few that I’ve seen.
Avengers Assemble, for example, felt like two hours of gurning references to things that will make the fans happy, rather than a plot. By comparison, Black Widow starts with the eponymous heroine’s backstory and establishes that in five minutes, followed by gloomy Nirvana cover, and then, without wasting time on origin stories, we have two hours of action and mystery.
The start was particularly downbeat (or maybe with children I now get more upset at stuff aimed at showing threats to families) but the rest of the film is enjoyable, much, I think, because it wasn’t making constant references to the rest of the Marvel universe. For a change, we have a film that is self contained rather than nodding like mad to all the other bits of the never ending series of movies.
There’s some good fight scenes (I do feel they had wasted the potential for Red Guardian vs Taskmaster) and incredible special effects sequences (fighting in mid air while falling from the sky without a parachute was quite special) and although there’s lots of jokes and banter, it doesn’t distract from the mood.
And then it’s done, and of course Black Widow was killed off a year or two before (or three years in the future, as the film is set in 2016) so that’s the ultimate in closure. No sequel, no spin off for a man with KARL and MARX tattooed on his knuckles?
Oh, and did anyone really think getting Ray Winstone to attempt a Russian accent was a good idea? It hardly seems to qualify as an idea at all. Maybe I dreamed it, a ghost of a memory in a cloud of popcorn fumes…