Victor’s review published on Letterboxd:
The movie mirrored 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)' and I'll explain towards the end of this review.
Thing is, I thought the backstory was going to be like 'Naked Weapon (2002)' and current events written like the movie 'Salt (2010)'. Those are the expectations that I had because that's the story concept of Natasha Romanoff that I have had in my mind for a long time. However, this was not the case as the backstory was rolled into some highly edited glitchy montage that probably took at least seven months to put together. It looked good though.
The first two acts of the film were quite decent, a generic Marvel Studios movie. I do feel like when Romanoff first met Taskmaster on that bridge, that fight could've been dragged a bit longer and they needed to make it more intense. That would have been the selling point if it was mirroring some elements of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), then remember how intense that first fight Steve Rogers had with Winter Soldier? They should have done that, but the scoring was just a little off and not giving what I wanted.
Taskmaster was a disappointment from the reveal, to some fighting scenes feeling too chopped. The jump cuts were not smooth and I'm already used to MCU jump cuts during fight scenes, but Taskmaster had less screentime, and barely contributed to the story even though the existence of the alias was somehow linked to Romanoff. The old man was a trashy villain, it's like they were making him like Ross in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Alexei and Melina had less screentime.
Red Guardian fighting Taskmaster could have been taken out of the movie if they didn't want to make that fight seem long, real, and hard-hitting. Melina was also in that Red Room peak just to blow its roof? It feels like the writers didn't know how to write more of her. Also, was Ross in the movie just to have enforcements just closing in on Natasha?
When Natasha smashed her face to sever the nerves, that's when things started getting more interesting. The movie peaked and remained strong and super good until the end. The fight scene where Black Widow faces off the army of other Black Widows was probably my favorite fight scene in the entire movie. The action sequence of the whole peak falling and Natasha trying to escape it was properly laid out. I loved the idea of a family this movie was presenting.
The acting was super well done everyone. Despite the generic script in the first two acts, the cast brought their A-Game. I am giving this film a 5/5 because that last act made me even forget about how generic the first two acts were.