In theaters now and streaming on Disney Plus (for a premium access fee), Black Widow is both a prequel and a solo adventure for Johansson’s assassin-turned-avenger. It isn’t as rife with links to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as other films in the franchise (well, at least until the post-credits scene, which does hint at the future of the MCU). But this slick spy thriller still has a few things to ponder. Zip up your utility vest, pull your best superhero pose and join in the search for answers. Warning: Spoilers everywhere!
How did the Widows escape?
At the end of the movie, Natasha and her surrogate family have crashed the Red Room, freed the Black Widows and are all set to start new lives. Hurray! Now all they have to do is get away. On foot. With a fleet of SUVs bearing down on them. We see Natasha hiding out again in the final scene, so what did the family and the Widows do? Cram onto that fancy hover plane? Hide behind some wreckage until the army of highly trained spec ops guys gave up and went home? What if two of the Widows tried to hide behind the same burning chunk of helicarrier? What if two of them started running in the same direction? Would that be hella awkward?
Natasha’s got no nose. How does she smell?
Natasha beats Dreykov by severing her own olfactory nerve and short-circuiting his pheromone-based brainwashing. So in Infinity War and Endgame, does Natasha have no sense of smell? And why does the success of the mission rely on her smashing her own nose? Do we smell… a metaphor?
Once safely holed up off the grid, Natasha settled in to watch a movie. Specifically, 1979 James Bond flick Moonraker, in which Roger Moore battled toothy henchman Jaws on a cable car and went to space. Natasha knows the film inside out, so she may’ve been inspired by the villain’s hidden space station and the scene in which Bond dived through the air to steal someone else’s parachute. Perhaps more pertinent to Black Widow’s themes, Moonraker included the nadir of sexism in the Bond series: Moore is surprised at meeting a scientist who is «A woman!«
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Who was Taskmaster?
Under Taskmaster’s task-mask is actor Olga Kurylenko, who provides a neat James Bond connection: She appeared as a Bolivian agent in 2008 Bond flick Quantum of Solace.
Will we see Taskmaster again?
I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed by the amount of screen time for Taskmaster. Though the copycat villain gave Natasha and friends a run for their money, they weren’t quite the threat they could’ve been. It was fun to see Taskmaster repeating Hawkeye‘s archery skills, Captain America‘s shield-tossing attacks and Black Panther‘s fingernail claws. And was that a Falcon-style kick flip or a Spidey-flip? Has Taskmaster been watching the Spider-Man movies?
Were David Harbour and Rachel Weisz digitally de-aged?
Marvel often uses computer trickery to make stars like Michael Douglas, Kurt Russell and Robert Downey Jr. look younger in flashbacks. For Black Widow it may’ve spent millions de-aging the two stars for the prologue, but who knows — Harbour only has to lose the beard to look half his age and Rachel Weisz clearly hasn’t aged a day in decades anyway.
How many bystanders died?
The car chase sequence pancaked a bunch of cars and pedestrians before launching a frickin’ car into a frickin’ train station. And nobody got hurt? Give me a break. (See also the astonishingly destructive chases through Edinburgh, Scotland, and Tbilisi, Georgia, in Fast and Furious 9.)
And that’s just Natasha’s most recent visit to Budapest — last time she was there she blew up an entire building to get one bad guy. A bunch of Hungarian people are clearly dead is what I’m saying.