This isn’t a bad movie, the opening sequence alone is worth the price of admission, but oh man I just feel like it would’ve landed so much better if it actually had released between Civil War and Infinity War, y’know? Cos since Natasha is dead in the MCU now it just feels so…begrudging. Like it feels more like a origin movie for Yelena as the Black Widow replacement than a showcase for Natasha, which is what it should have been.
BIG SPOILERS ahead:
I was really happy to see the after-credits scene, finally we see that someone bothered to give Natasha an actual grave even! …and yet the touching moment gets ruined when Julia Louis-Dreyfus shows up blowing her nose and making quips. See I hate it when the MCU does that, instantly throwing aside actual emotion and going straight for the jokes and this movie does it a lot. Also the only scene we ever got of someone mourning Natasha post-Endgame and it was just a teaser in disguise for the Hawkeye Show, blegh.
-So the thing referenced in The Avengers about Hawkeye and Natasha in Budapest, turns out that involved Natasha killing a child?! (Or so she thought, but still.) And then in Avengers she and Clint are all cute and quippy about the event which involved Natasha killing a child?! Okay I know that probably it’s just that no-one bothered to go back and check all the dialogue in the previous films but oh my god that makes Natasha sound like a total monster now.
-Melina is much, much too easily forgiven for a character who helped deprive people of their free will and is partly responsible for the Red Room in the first place. (The Mary Sue thinks so too, turns out.) Plus you know, there was that scene where she tortures an animal for at least a minute in front of horrified onlookers, which didn’t EXACTLY endear her to me.
-A lot of Natasha’s driving force in this film is regarding the guilt she feels about the aforementioned child being collateral damage, which is good, except… There is an insane amount of OTHER collateral damage in this film! Even assuming there were somehow no buildings around the very large area where the Red Room fell, what about the cars on the road during the tank chase scene, or the hundreds of people in the prison?! Oh, that’s another trope I hate, I hate it so much. In a movie about someone making up for an act of collateral damage the decision to show all that is… ?!?!?
I’m sorry! I liked a lot of this movie! But I always loved MCU Natasha and I just wish I felt more from her solo movie than, “oh… that’s it?”