In 2019, Spider-Man: Far From Home gave us a glimpse at the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-Avengers Endgame. More recently, various MCU stories have continued in Disney+ shows like WandaVision, The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, and Loki. Now, two years after the last MCU movie’s release, we’re finally getting a new big screen entry in the most impactful superhero movie franchise in existence. Unfortunately, it’s a prequel.
Obviously, that doesn’t come as a surprise. Black Widow died in Endgame, and we’ve known all along that this story would take place earlier. After a thrilling opening sequence set during Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) childhood, the film jumps to the period in between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, when half the Avengers, including Natasha, were fugitives on the run. On the lam, she hides out in a remote trailer watching James Bond movies on a laptop powered by a finicky generator. It’s an intimate scene, and it reveals more about Natasha as a character than all the past MCU films combined.
That’s part of the problem: Black Widow has its work cut out trying to explain Natasha’s backstory, reveal more about her as a character, fill in a brief gap in the MCU’s overarching story, and set up future events. The story itself is simple: Natasha gets a package from her once-sister, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), that makes her a target of a masked villain known as Taskmaster. The sisters reunite, then track down Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour) and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) to help them take down the man responsible for the child-indoctrinating Black Widow program once and for all.
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