FILM REVIEW | Black Widow

After making her first appearance all the way back in 2010's Iron Man 2, Natasha Romanoff finally has her first solo outing.

Black Widow follows the former Russian operative turned Avenger immediately following the events of Captain America: Civil War (before the events of Infinity War and Endgame).

Natasha (Scarlett Johansson in her eighth - and presumably last - big screen appearance as Black Widow) is on the run after violating the Sokovia Accords, and finds herself hiding out in remote Norway.

But when she finds herself under attack by forces unrelated to SHIELD, she is soon headed in the direction of a familiar, but long-unseen, face - her 'sister' Yelena.

Oscar-nominee Florence Pugh (Little Women) steps into the role of Natasha's sort-of sister - the pair forced together as young children to help their Russian operative 'parents' pass as a proper family in America in the 90s - and is immediately memorable and fantastic in the role. Pugh and Johansson have great chemistry and their scenes together are highlights in the film.

Dynamic duo: Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh star as highly trained killers in Marvel's latest adventure, Black Widow, rated M, streaming on Disney+ with Premier Access now. Picture: Disney+

Dynamic duo: Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh star as highly trained killers in Marvel's latest adventure, Black Widow, rated M, streaming on Disney+ with Premier Access now. Picture: Disney+

Natasha learns from Yelena that the shady organisation they were both raised in - the Red Room - is not a thing of the past, as she believed, but still operating in the shadows, chemically altering the minds of young women to do their leader's bidding.

To bring the organisation down, the reunited sisters must bring the whole 'family' back together - dad Alexei (Stranger Things' David Harbour, brilliant as ever) and mum Melina (Rachel Weisz, The Mummy).

The globe-trotting adventure is more than a little bit Mission Impossible, with exciting chases on European streets, shadow organisations, procurers of goods and more. It's perhaps not as quippy as most other Marvel fare, but that doesn't reduce the enjoyment. Black Widow's biggest success is the troubled family dynamic of its leads, something rarely explored in the MCU.

As much as the whole thing is highly enjoyable, Black Widow also can't escape the fact that - as with most prequels - we all know that no matter what happens in the course of the film, Natasha's fate is already known.

Catch it only Disney+ while cinemas are closed.

Rating: 7/10