Marvel Studios’ first feature film since 2019 — the Scarlett Johansson-starrer Black Widow — is finally out; everywhere except India, that is. The superhero film, which serves as Johansson’s final farewell from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, debuted in theatres and on Disney+ (for an additional fee) in the US and several other countries on July 9.
But pirates have already got their hands on the film, owing to its availability on a digital platform. Bootlegged copies of Black Widow, in Full HD and 4K, first emerged on pirate sites on Friday.
While the Hindustan Times review of the film is under embargo until it finally gets an India release date, reactions to the film have been available online for weeks. As per the norm for Marvel’s theatrical releases — with the exception of Avengers: Endgame — the press was allowed to share reactions to the film several days ahead of its release.
Black Widow currently sits at a ‘fresh’ 81% score on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, based on over 250 reviews. The ‘critics’ consensus’ reads: “Black Widow’s deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that’s rounded out by a stellar supporting cast.”
Here are some excerpts:
Jake Coyle — Associated Press: “It’s absorbing in its own right. Less occupied with driving a universe of movies forward, the almost-standalone film instead digs into slightly darker, deeper realms of the typically bright and shiny Marvel world.”
Robbie Collin — Daily Telegraph: “You remember why this recipe has worked for so long. But after a break, its shortcomings are that bit more conspicuous.”
Eric Kohn — IndieWire: “At its best… Black Widow is a welcome break from the overwrought transmedia machine that dictates Disney’s biggest franchise bets, and almost invites you to forget what’s at stake.”
Peter Bradshaw — Guardian: “For fans of Black Widow and everyone else, this episode is great fun and Harbour could well ascend to spinoff greatness of his own.”
And here are some negative reactions:
Justin Chang — Los Angeles Times: “Like the young Natasha herself, Black Widow feels as though it’s been programmed into submission – and scarcely allowed to live and breathe before it’s suddenly over.”
Anne Hornaday — Washington Post: “Black Widow simultaneously feels like too much and too little.”
Mick LaSalle — San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s the cynicism that’s depressing. After all, Black Widow is not an attempt at a good movie that failed. That would’ve been respectable. Rather, it’s an attempt to make a piece of garbage commerce that succeeded completely.”
Directed by Cate Shortland and featuring a cast that also includes Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Ray Winstone, and O-T Fagbenle, the film currently doesn’t have a theatrical release date for India. It is expected to arrive on Disney+ Hotstar in October, according to Gadgets360.