It’s so good to see a new Marvel movie. It’s easy to get an action fix, but Marvel films just hit different.
Here’s what I liked:
- Florence Pugh is amazing. She needs to be in Marvel movies for the next decade. As Yelena, she brings a unique character to the MCU: An emotionally connected badass. And Pugh’s acting is tremendous–the nuances of her expressions are so impressive.
- The family dynamic, particularly the sisterly interplay between Scarlett Johansson and Pugh, really connects. This is best represented by Yelena making fun of Natasha’s “posing” and Natasha admitting that Yelena’s vest is pretty rad (so many pockets!)
- The falling-from-the sky set piece at the end is inventive. I gasped a couple times.
- It’s funny! Not quippy funny or funny-in-between-action funny. It’s actually funny.
And here are the few small things that didn’t work for me:
- It’s a little long. It doesn’t drag, per se, but it could have been a tight two hours.
- Olga Kurylenko’s character (I won’t spoil who she plays) is superfluous.
- While this is an excellent entry in the MCU, its arrival doesn’t make up for Johansson not getting a standalone “Black Widow” movie earlier in the run. There could have been a “Widow” trilogy.
- There are no cameos from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. The opportunity was right there and it didn’t happen.