Does Marvel’s Black Widow feel like a statement on the #MeToo movement? Annlyel explores the story of Natasha Romanoff‘s solo adventure
Is Black Widow setting the trend?
Superhero movies. They can be senseless films with good guys and girls fighting masked (or unmasked) villains to save the world. Or they can mean something and make an impact on our actual lives. Maybe they can even inspire us to be better. Wonder Woman, debuting smack dab in the middle of the #MeToo movement four years ago, was a movie featuring a powerful and beautiful heroine who taught us that love could save the world.
Captain Marvel two years later was Marvel’s attempt at giving a female superhero a powerful solo film. But it failed miserably with a boring origin story that made people despise the title character more than adore her. Thankfully, enough people went to see the high-flying wrecking machine of an Avenger to garner the film a billion dollars; crushing all of the doubters who believed a woman couldn’t drive people to the box office.
MEE TOO MOVEMENT
Now it’s 2021, four years after the #MeToo movement exploded and made A-list Hollywood moguls like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby finally pay for their sexual exploits with unconsenting women. And it’s almost as if the movement has vanished. Of course, powerful businessmen know that there’s a higher chance of getting in major trouble and losing everything if they mess with a woman these days. But yeah, the #MeToo movement feels like it has become a distant memory.
So imagine my surprise when I watched Black Widow and realized the film’s main premise was literally a fictionalized representation of this movement.
The primary villain isn’t Taskmaster, the masked antagonist who fights like our favorite Avengers and looks cool doing it. Instead, the main villain is believed to be dead General Dreykov, the man behind the atrocious Red Room program.
Played by Ray Winstone, Dreykov comes across as Marvel’s attempt at a Harvey Weinstein-Esque villain. One who dominates his female army by chemical processes and a pheromonal lock that keeps any Widow from killing him just by smelling his scent. It’s disgustingly creepy and it’s meant to be.
Yelena says something poignant early in the movie when telling Natasha about Dreykov and the Widows: “To him, we are just things. Weapons with no face that he can just throw away. Because there is always more.”
He refers to his Black Widows as “recycled trash” and even has the nerve to say that there are too many girls on the Earth. Yeah, he’s a real piece of work. He even turns his daughter into a killing machine that he controls like a robot. It’s terrifying. But this is a Marvel movie and there is a hero to stop someone like him.
In steps, our hero, Avenger Natasha Romanoff. Like Pat Benatar from that empowering “Love is a Battlefield” music video to save her fellow ladies, no matter the cost.
It’s not easy. It’s rather painful but Natasha won’t let these girls down. Through blood, sweat, and yes, some tears, Natasha actually does manage to save the Widows from their chemically induced imprisonment but most importantly she also manages to save Antonia’s life as well. Meanwhile, Dreykov is consumed by an epic explosion brought on by none other than Yelena Belova, the face of a new generation of Marvel heroes. It’s poetic.
And just like that, the man’s creepy influence over these women is over. After seeing the movie twice now I can honestly say it’s the most empowering superhero film I have ever seen.
Marvel Studios has finally found the balance between giving us a great movie with a touching, entertaining story; while also making a statement that will stay with people long after the movie concluded. It’s very hard to do but they found a way. Now onto The Marvels which, featuring the likes of Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, and Ms. Marvel all in one movie, it’s destined to be the greatest display of girl power the world has ever seen on the silver screen.
It’s a new era of Marvel and women are about to become more prevalent than ever in these stories.
Are you excited for The Marvels? Leave a comment below. We love hearing from you.
Black Widow is playing in selected cinemas and is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus Premier Access now.
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Hello everyone. My name is Annlyel James. I’m a young woman who loves movies of all genres (specifically ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel movies.) I am also a Senior Correspondent for The Future of the Force.