Last Saturday, the family and I braved covid19 (South Korea's only at around 11% fully vaccinated, we should be getting our first shots next month) to go see Black Widow on the big screen. We took in a matinee, and about a third of the seats were blocked off for social distancing, and there were maybe only 50 or 60 guests total in the theater which seats around 200. So it was a good gamble on our part.
Mandatory swear word notice*: There's a lot more swearing in this movie than the typical Marvel movie so far. Especially from Yelena. My 6-year-old was giggling every time she said shit, and she said it a lot! No F-bombs that I remember, though.
So, about the movie. Well, I'll try to keep this spoiler free, since it hasn't been out for a week yet.
The movie was pretty good. I was entertained. So was my wife and older son. The 6-year old was bored by a lot of the talking parts, but was focused on screen during all the action sequences. That said, it wasn't the strongest effort Marvel Studios has put out. And that's sad, since Scarlet Johanssen deserved a strong solo movie as her Marvel swan song, IMO. I mean, it's Marvel Studios, so everything is technically well done. Solid story. Good casting. Excellent CGI and action choreography. Good acting. I felt for these characters.
But despite that, something was lacking. I think it all stems from the fact that most movies in the MCU, and now the TV shows, all seem to be building towards something. This movie seemed like it was just looking back. Now, it IS building toward things. The post credits scene definitely shows what they are building towards. But it wasn't obvious until the post-credits scene.
Another thing may have been that this was both a spy thriller type superhero movie, and also a family building type movie. That meant the tension in the spy segments wasn't as tight as it could have been. The family building theme got more attention. The family dynamic between Natasha, Yelena, Melina and Alexei was a lot of fun. But because of that, we didn't get really well done spy drama like in Captain America: Winter Soldier.
It's definitely worth a watch, especially if you've enjoyed previous MCU films. But is it a must see to follow the MCU metaplot? Probably not. It is interesting that this is the first film to come out since Marvel Studios started making Disney+ shows. When the credits started to roll, I asked my 13-year old if he thought the post credit would plug Eternals or Shang Chi? Neither one seems very thematically appropriate. And ... sorry, small spoiler here ... it didn't plug either. It was a plug for an upcoming Disney+ show.
*Having a blog with the word "curse" in the title gets a lot of Google searches for "curse words in movie X" directed here.