IT’S BEEN EIGHTY FOUR YEARS but Marvel has finally decided to give Black Widow her own movie. If only she could have been around to see it. Whoops, Endgame spoilers! **Whispers** “She’s dead!”

There’s something weird about watching a movie hoping a hero overcomes and has a happy ending when you’ve literally watched them die already in like, the most depressing of ways. But hey, look at us. We’re watching it.

The hero literally being dead not withstanding, the first half of Black Widow was fantastic and surprising because it actually felt more like a Jason Bourne story than it did a Marvel Easter egg basket, I mean film (I’m just playing, Greg. Put the keyboard down). The intro was dark and a little heartbreaking. The title cards featuring a slowed down version of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit which actually worked really well. The first appearance of Taskmaster was full on Boba Fett, Robocop, Scorpion, Terminator bad guy levels of fucking awesome. Note, I said the first appearance.

Scarlett Johansson is always badass as Black Widow and in my opinion one of the most underrated roles in the MCU. She crushes in every appearance she’s made since Iron Man 2 but I feel like we kind of take her for granted. Like an old truck that always gets the job done and never breaks down. Oh my God, I just compared Scarlett Johansson to an old truck. Florence Pugh was a welcome addition to the Marvel Universe. David Harbour has the acting ability to be demonstrative, sympathetic and hilarious simultaneously which he uses to full advantage in Black Widow. He not only accounts for some of the movies best emotional moments but is also the main source of comedic relief. Even though the script takes his character from some really complex places just to pile drive it for the sake of a few jokes. He makes it work because he’s a talented and charismatic actor.

It’s the second half of Black Widow that relies on Marvel’s old bag of tricks. All the serious shit that happened to our characters in the first half of the movie now hits with the force of a pillow fight. Ray Winstone plays a bad guy character stolen STRAIGHT THE FUCK OUT OF London Boulevard and then ran through a Disney filter. He then delivers a twenty minute monologue explaining some excruciatingly simple ass bad guy plans. Everyone complex before and possibly awful as human beings becomes good guys to spare our feelings. Taskmaster goes from bad ass to a malfunctioning, sympathetic toaster and Black Widow flies through a bunch of CGI explosions on a rope wrapping everything up in a quick, tight little bow. That took two hours and thirteen minutes (and could have taken a smooth hour and a half). But wait, there’s an after credits sequence. OOH WHEE!

Who knows, maybe the far more interesting first half of Black Widow was Marvel testing the waters of doing something different before pleasing the Disney investors in act two. Maybe now that the movie is doing well financially and critically (like all the rest) they will see that as a green light to try more things out of the MCU norm. Because this formula, while it works…feels like it has run its course. More of the first half of Black Widow, please.

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