It had been about fifteen months since movie theaters had shut down because of the pandemic on March 15, 2020. There were even rumors that the AMC movie chain would be filing Chapter 11 and going out of business. Thus, I was anxious to return to the theater experience I had missed for over a year. Meanwhile, a sort of post-pandemic blockbuster release was all set for July 9th and I was raring to go. Black Widow features two of my favorite actors, Scarlett Johansson and Rachel Weisz and the release became the highest grossing pandemic film that weekend coveting a total of $345 million worldwide.
Ever since seeing Age of Ultron back in 2015 with some friends, I was never a fan of the Marvel comics universe of films. I remember, my friends and I walking out of the AMC Kips Bay in Manhattan asking ourselves, "So, what was that movie all about." These productions tend to have a lot of action but very little story and thought-provoking commentary. And after all, great films are about great story-telling. But Black Widow was different. Thank goodness, it didn't begin with the stereotypical action-packed opening scene. Instead, a young Natasha Romanoff and her sister Yelena are whisked away with their parents by plane escaping some sort of capture. We learn later that mom and dad are not their real parents nor are they real sisters but a imposter family of Russian agents on mission. Having completed their mission, the young girls are taken away and put into training to become black widows with Johansson as the grown-up Natasha and Florence Pugh as grown-up Yelena. This film has a story that is at least understandable and engaging. I think one of the best lines is when Yelena reflects on her young life in her phony family and says "But it was real to me!" Pugh's performance was impressive; Johansson's was not bad, confusing at times because I didn't know how to interpret her often beguiling smile/smirk. The fight scene between the two of them was incredible.
Overall, Black Widow is a good film for its genre and worth seeing. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing it again. I have to thank my friend Brian for letting me tag along with him and his sister for the AMC Prime experience at the Wayne theater opening weekend and for his explanations of the Marvel universe and sequence of films. My son, Jonathan, also filled me in and had me watch Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War at home on Disney Plus. Not exactly, my favorite types of films to watch, not very profound nor thought-provoking. But then I realized, "Hey, it's just entertainment." And the kind we need for a semi-post-pandemic world.
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Milton's observations on life, faith and the contemporary.