Black Widow

Put Vin Diesel in this movie and call it Fast and Furious 10.

Black Widow

LikeĀ F9, Black Widow was a big box office hit on its opening weekend. It raked in over $80 million and Disney Studios should be clapping their hands in joyful celebration.

Ironically, it is an average film at best. It is filled with chase scenes involving cars, space ships and gun shots that hold your attention like F9, but you are again left shaking your head as our heroes repeatedly escape serious injury.

What saves the film is the relationship of two sisters beginning when they are children in Ohio in 1992. Separated when the adults raising them are discovered to be part of an international conspiracy, you next see them as adults where they are now enemies.

Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh play the sisters with a fervent love/hate relationship that saves this film from being little more than a repeat of past Avenger romps. Ms. Johansson, now the Black Widow, is on a mission to keep the evil Dreykov (Ray Winstone) from controlling the world. As she demonstrated in the fantastic JoJo Rabbit (2019), Ms. Johansson has acting skills on multiple levels.

Matching her in every scene is Florence Pugh, playing her would be sister Yelena. Ms. Pugh, who was devastating in the 2019 films Little Women and Fighting With My Family, is quietly alluring as she tries to escape from her experiences while under mind control and re-establish her relationship with the Black Widow. In particular, watch for the moments when Yelena mocks the Widow for her posturing when she lands on one knee after descending from high altitudes.

The film is also helped by the performances of Rachel Weisz and David Harbour. They play the girls would be parents who must decide if they are now for them or against them. While Ms. Weisz is convincing in any role, Harbour is hysterical as an overweight older man whose troubles include trying to get his fat gut into his old costume.

While I feel that this film will soon fade away after its quick start, it needs to be remembered as a movie that emphasized the strength of women. The Black Widow may have died in Avengers: Endgame (2019) but prior to that heart breaking end she packed a powerful punch when joined by female colleagues.