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Black Widow Blu-ray Review

“Black Widow” was worth the wait.

On the run after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” Natasha Romanoff is laying low, but the peace is short-lived after her past comes back into play. Not only does she learn that her former boss General Dreykov is still alive (after thinking she killed him), but she also discovers that the Red Room program is still active. She learns all this from her “sister” Yelena who was part of her Russian undercover agent family from the past alongside Red Guardian and another Black Widow Melina. This family reluctantly bands together once again in order to stop the cruel Dreykov and the Red Room program.

For those saying “Black Widow” is a pointless movie because we already know the fate of Natasha Romanoff, I vehemently disagree. Yes, we can all agree the stand-alone “Black Widow” movie should have happened years ago, but this movie is a vital part of the MCU. Not only does it shed light on Natasha’s past, but new characters are introduced that will be part of the MCU going forward (as evidenced by the intriguing end credit sequence).

What really struck me the most about the Cate Shortland directed and Eric Pearson scripted “Black Widow” is just how dark this movie is. This does not feel like the average action-filled Marvel comic book movie. Sure, there are big action set pieces involving a helicopter rescue and an exploding aircraft, but at its core this is a much more nuanced and layered adult film that deals with family, mind-control, and past traumas. All of the central characters are damaged individuals who are trying to move forward and heal. Personally, I found this all to be very refreshing as it shows that the MCU is constantly evolving genre wise and not just sticking to the same old formula.

The only element that doesn’t quite work here is the Taskmaster character. I won’t spoil how that plays out, but it’s really botched and feels like a missed opportunity. So much more could have been done with the villain especially given the comic book history of the character.

Cast wise, Scarlett Johansson goes all in in what is presumably her last time in the role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. Perhaps the best performance though comes from Florence Pugh as Yelena. For years now Pugh has been turning in some of the best acting work period in films like “Lady Macbeth” and “Midsommar” and it’s a treat to see her in the MCU now. I can’t way to see where her character goes next. The same goes with David Harbour as Red Guardian. He’s clearly having a blast here and there’s much more to be mined from the character. Rachel Weisz (Melina) and Ray Winstone (Dreykov) also turn in memorable performances.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? Viewers can expect a super crisp hi-def transfer in which you will be able to spot so many little details in each and every frame. Note: This title is also available on 4K.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The pulse-pounding action certainly puts the speakers to work with this perfect 7.1 track.


Extras:
* Digital copy
* 9 deleted scenes. Nothing really noteworthy here. Mostly extended scenes.
* An amusing nearly 3 minute gag reel.
* “Go Big If You’re Going Home”- A nearly 9 minute featurette on Natasha’s story, the visuals, the action, the location shooting, and more.
* “Sisters Gonna Work it Out” looks at the character dynamic between Natasha and Yelena. Cast and crew interviews are included.

September 13, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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