The movie theatres have been doing their best to get our flighty, panicky butts back in seats lately. Wump and I obliged them, with the always wonderful assistance of Mr. Bloom and his Cinemaland Contacts, to go and check out the long-awaited Black Widow movie.
Well, I say “long-awaited” … it was delayed a bunch, and I guess some people have been waiting for it? Hell of a movie to leave hanging after Spider-Man: Far From Home and a Hell of a movie to be the first one viewers see when they finally come back to the theatres … I don’t know. I mean at least Covid didn’t hit between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, am I right?
At the same time, this cost plenty of money and made plenty of money, so the idea that the pandemic might usher in a new era of smaller movies … I suppose remains to be seen. Big budget blockbusters seem to be here to stay though, because looks like we still have money to throw at Disney.
Anyway, there’s a ton of analysis about the logistics of movies and money and all that, elsewhere. Scarlett Johansson suing for loss of revenue and so on. It’s all very complicated, but forgive me if my heart doesn’t exactly bleed for anyone making seven figures right now. It’s tough all over, lady. You did a great job and deserve to get paid, no argument from me. Thank you, and Disney, for the entertainment that allowed us to take our minds off our problems for a little while.
Yeah, I don’t honestly care. I just wanted to sit down with a great big overpriced soda and a soggy cheeseburger with my friends and my firstborn and watch a movie at last. Really didn’t care which one it was. Indeed, a lot of people opted to just watch this one on Disney+ anyway, and I can’t say I blame them. The world (and this movie) being what it is.
I will focus on the movie itself though, which was … ehh, it was fine. If you go to the cinema to have a good time, see some cool stunts and special effects and explosions, listen to a few sassy quips, see the heroes face off against some nice unambiguous bad guys and win, then this is it. You’ve arrived. You want a Marvel movie.
And that’s basically exactly what I wanted, so I’m pretty happy.
Yes, we all know Black Widow is dead. I mean, it’s possible to bring her back using some kind of Gamora-esque time travel trick (mind you, would the Time Variance Authority have something to say about that? Maybe that’s where Gamora vanished to at the end of Endgame), but I get the feeling they’re not going to. Her sister, uh, Also Black Widow, is going to take over. That’s cool, she was fun.
And Red Guardian and Melina Vostokoff have given me hope that one day the Hatboys might be able to cosplay the entire Widow family, or at least that Mrs. Hatboy might get a black catsuit. Look, a man can dream, alright?
All three of them already know how to look at me like this when I say something stupid. We’re basically there already.
So, between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War there was a period of time where Black Widow went off and had an adventure. At least the absence of the other Avengers is sort of explained. Her strange past, and the many allusions she and Hawkeye make to Budapest, are finally explained a little bit. And the spy school where the Black Widow was trained, and the fact that she was sterilised as part of it, are ruined and turned into a really uncomfortable joke, respectively. But whatever. Bad guy gets beaten up.
Fun fact, did you know Budapest was named when three separate towns – Buda, Óbuda, and Pest – were unified in the 19th Century? Imagine living in a town called Pest. I bet they were only included because otherwise the place would have been called Buda O’Buda, and that was even sillier. But I digress. A lot. On purpose, actually.
Me attempting to ride this blog post to the ground while it breaks apart around me.
So there was some cool stuff that maybe has implications for future movies. Certainly the inclusion of Elaine from Seinfeld means something, she’s probably going to be the next big (mortal) bad for cinema-goers to be like “why are these hyper-powerful demigods even worrying about this almost literal ant (no not you Antony)?” about. She already has at least one super-soldier as of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier so I suppose she could be a threat.
And the addition of a whole army of Black Widows on some side or other will give some sweating Disney scriptwriters an easy out or two whenever things look bleak. Not to mention Red Guardian needing to explain who the fuck he rassled with in the 1980s. Currently my favourite theory is that he met the version of Captain America who went back to Peggy and then lived to become an old man, but the multiverse makes everything possible.
I just … look. I don’t know. This was fine. Loki was better. Captain Marvel was better. I’m glad Black Widow got at least one stand-alone movie at last, but frankly I think both she and Also Black Widow deserve a whole franchise of James Bond-esque (mortal-ish) spy action movies all their own. I’d watch them.
And Wump is still firmly of the opinion that Hawkeye should have been the one to die on Vormir because (her words) “who cares that he has a family?”
She is … unburdened by extraneous sentiment.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the next Marvel movie, and hoping there’s explosions and sassy quips. I give Black Widow three and a half Pests and a “Welcome to Óbuda, You Can’t Choose Your Neigbours” sign out of a possible Budapest.