Black Widow, an atypical Marvel on a crusade against “ultimate patriarchal evil”

NEWSPAPER – Shared on the qualities of a thriller closer to a Impossible mission that of a Avengers, the Anglo-Saxon press appreciated the feminist background of the film by director Cate Shortland.

A “Fun adventure, sometimes touching, in the four corners of the world”, “A very appreciable solo episode” it was “time to” to discover for some, or a test “Nicely choreographed, but a little too mechanical”, “Both too much and too little” for the others. The first reviews blow hot and cold about Black widow, the Marvel film dedicated to Russian spy and Avengers member Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), due in France for July 7. All agree, on the other hand, in welcoming the release of a long-awaited production, as well as the vindictive feminism that runs through a whole part of the film.

“Black Widow is an exhilarating cure for the sexism of previous Marvel movies”, title Slate which notes with satisfaction the progress made since the first appearance of the character of Scarlett Johansson in 2010. “In a fun Marvel Cinematic Universe trend reversal, it’s women who lead the dance, both in terms of brain and castagne”, ignites the critic. “Remarkable” (Vanity Fair ) and “Superb” (Los Angeles Times ), Florence Pugh, the film’s revelation in her role as Black Widow’s adopted little sister, brilliantly shares the film’s poster alongside Scarlett Johansson. This shocking duo seek to take down the monstrous Dreykov (Ray Winstone), an elusive kidnapper of young girls, whom he transforms into an army of under-dominated slayers. An antagonist qualified by the Hollywood Reporter as the “Ultimate patriarchal evil”. “The film goes beyond the mere appearance of female representation and becomes a narrative marked from A to Z by the fearlessness, sagacity and badass character of two young women determined to free legions of victims of inhuman exploitation ”, continues the specialist journal.

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is joined in her quest for revenge by her adopted sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), a shock duo hailed by critics. Jay Maidment / Marvel Studios

However, the subject of violence against women is tackled with awkwardness considers for its part the Telegraph , which curls up a lack “Daring” and of “vocabulary” explicit.Black widow is clearly not Red sparrow, slice the British daily. Despite all its threatening rhetoric, Dreykov’s private army is not much different from the gun-carrier teams found in any other blockbuster. “ According to Los Angeles Times, director Cate Shortland, who has already proven herself in this register, seems to have been restrained by the studio: “As is the case with so many ingenious filmmakers who have gone through the workings of Marvel, his talents are reduced to the bare minimum, in the service of an industrial vision that seems grandiose and radical but which, in the end, homogenizes everything she touches ”.

“It shouldn’t have been a Marvel movie”

Despite everything, the rather singular nature of the feature film astonished and shared the critics. Black widow is perhaps the film that bears the least resemblance to other Avengers episodes, observes the BBC. After all this time, this change of formula is welcome ”. What to expect, then, if not a classic Marvel? To the series of Bourne, for the Hollywood Reporter. To a 007-style adventure, for the New York Post . Or to a Impossible mission for the BBC, the Telegraph and the Guardian , which also evokes a touch of Terminator 2. So many models that overshadow Black widow, forced to play on two counts at the same time. “What’s a shame about this movie is that it shouldn’t have been a Marvel movie, analysis Vanity Fair . Relieved of his obligations to the universe of superheroes, Black widow would still be a very effective spy film ”.

The film obeys the laws of current cinema, in which the heroes launch jaded jokes in the middle of the routine skid of an SUV in a subway station.

Ann Hornaday, for The Washington Post

Less fanciful than a Avengers or a Captain marvel , the film assumes less spectacular action sequences. “The editing of the fight scenes is perhaps a little too fast, which often blurs the choreography”, estimates for example the Hollywood Reporter. A finding even more supported on the side of the Washington post , who regrets the string of effects “As predictable as a metronome” of a film that “Obeys the laws of current cinema, in which the heroes launch jaded jokes in the middle of the routine skidding of an SUV in a metro station”.

At the opposite, Variety greet a test at “Your resolute, serious and unadorned tone”, very “Down to earth, for a superhero film”. “The director, the Australian Cate Shortland (The Somersault), works in close-up, unvarnished, and produces an anxiety-provoking and disorderly atmosphere, closer to Russian neorealism than to the Russo brothers ”, estimates the American magazine, in reference to the saturated palette of the last Avengers. Despite the director’s paw, the film ultimately remains just one more blockbuster, suggests the Los Angeles Times. “Shortland brings unusual intensity and power to explosive, and often aerial, action scenes. But as the film progressed, Black widow does not seem to tell its own story so much as it does superficially fill in the gaps between other narratives ”, regrets the Californian daily.

Apart from the tracks launched for the Marvel series, the film dwells in particular on the tortured past of the character of Scarlett Johansson and the psychological ramifications of her fake family. A whole melodrama that the Guardian. Contrary to other press titles, the daily detected in the relationship between Black Widow and her adoptive father a… Electra complex. “His grotesque old father is very large, very prone to temper tantrums and likes to break things. Perhaps this gives us a Freudian clue of Black Widow’s affection for Bruce Banner, the Hulk’s alter ego ?, advises the critic. This glimpse of his tormented psyche alone is worth the ticket for the entrance. “ A proposal that we will leave in the hands, and the couches, of psychoanalysts.


About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *