Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 07/09/2021
Production Company: Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures

Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone and Rachel Weisz.

Director: Cate Shortland. Producers: Zakaria Alaoui, Mitchell Bell, Per Henry Borch, Brian Chapek and Kevin Feige. Executive Producers: Scarlett Johansson, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Louis D' Esposito and Nigel Gostelow. Screenwriters: Jac Schaeffer, Ned Benson, Eric Pearson, Stan Lee, Don Hec and Don Rico. Cinematographer: Gabriel Beristain.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Finally, the wait is over. “Black Widow,” the highly anticipated Marvel superhero movie lands in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. The arrival of “Black Widow” has felt like an eternity because it was supposed to debut last summer but was shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now there’s reason for Marvel/Disney studios to celebrate. “Black Widow,” directed by Cate Shortland (“Berlin Syndrome”) from a screenplay by Eric Pearson (“Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Thor: Ragnarök”), is a fun and exciting romp and MCU origin story that shines a well-deserved spotlight on Scarlett Johansson aka, the elite spy /assassin, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.

While there is a lot to unpack in “Black Widow,” the movie-- which runs a tight 134 minutes--ties things together nicely.

“Black Widow” begins with a flashback. It’s here we see young Natasha (Ever Anderson, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” and the upcoming “Peter Pan & Wendy”) and her sister Yelena (Violet McGraw, “Separation”). They’re with their mom Melina (Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”) and father Alexei (David Harbour, TV’s “Stranger Things”) in Ohio. They seem like a typical family but looks are deceiving.

Melina and Alexei are Russian spies and are about to have their cover blown by American operatives. So, they hightail it out and head for Cuba. The girls are placed in a Russian prison/Red Room headed by the evil General Dreykov (Ray Winston, “King of Thieves”) who trains them and other women as elite spies in his Army of Black Widows. Grown now, Natasha (Johansson) Yelena (Florence Pugh, “Little Women”) become two of his fiercest warriors.

Although Natasha and Yelena are separated during their training, over time they are reunited and realize that General Drekyov still poses a major threat. So, their mission now is to find their parents and get even with Drekyov and his hostage taking crew and help free the other Black Widows.

The special effects in “Black Widow” are indeed special and Johansson and Pugh hold their own with many of the fast and furious fighting sequences. Yet, even when they aren’t going all beast mode, “Black Widow” still hits its stride because they have such great chemistry and liven up the film with their humorous sibling rivalry.

Overall, “Black Widow” is a thoroughly satisfying entry into the MCU and quite the showcase for Johansson/Black Widow who was introduced in Iron Man 2 in 2010. Better late than never.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "BLACK WIDOW"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Book Of Numbers Title: Book Of Numbers
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 81
Production Company: AVCO Embassy Pictures
Director: Raymond St. Jacques
Director of Photography: Gayne Rescher
Screenwriter: Raymond St. Jacques
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: As a kid growing up in San Bernardino, California, I remember this cute, curly-headed, green eyed young guy coming over my family’s house with his handyman/electrician father to do some repair work. Little did I know the shy teen would become an iconic TV star.

Yeah, Philip Michael Thomas who played Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs alongside Don Johnson in the...
Prior to starring in the 1980s hit TV show “Miami Vice,” Philip Michael Thomas made his Broadway debut in which of the following theatrical productions?
“Hair” and “Aquarius”
“Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Fiddler On The Roof”
“Pippin” and “The Wiz”
“No Place To Be Somebody” and “The Selling of the President."