Black Widow (2021 film)
Black Widow is a 2021 American superhero film based on Marvel Comics featuring the character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Cate Shortland from a screenplay by Eric Pearson, and stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow alongside Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, Olga Kurylenko, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz. Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), the film sees Romanoff on the run and forced to confront her past.
Plot[edit | edit source]
In 1995, super soldier Alexei Shostakov and Black Widow Melina Vostokoff work as Russian undercover agents, posing as a family in Ohio with Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova as their daughters. They steal S.H.I.E.L.D. intel and escape to Cuba where their boss, General Dreykov, has Romanoff and Belova taken to the Red Room for training. In the following decades, Shostakov is imprisoned in Russia while Romanoff and Belova become successful, dangerous assassins. Romanoff eventually defects to S.H.I.E.L.D. after helping Clint Barton bomb Dreykov's Budapest office, which apparently kills Dreykov and his young daughter Antonia.
In 2016, Romanoff is a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords. She escapes from U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross and flees to a safehouse in Norway supplied by Rick Mason. Meanwhile, Belova kills a rogue former Black Widow but comes in contact with a synthetic gas that neutralizes the Red Room's chemical mind-control agent. Belova sends antidote vials to Romanoff, hoping she and the Avengers can free the other Widows, and goes into hiding. When Romanoff is unknowingly driving with the vials in her car, Red Room agent Taskmaster attacks her. Romanoff escapes from Taskmaster and realizes that the vials came from Budapest. There she finds Belova, who reveals that Dreykov is alive and the Red Room is still active. Black Widows and Taskmaster attack them, but Romanoff and Belova evade them and meet with Mason, who supplies them with a helicopter.
Romanoff and Belova break Shostakov out of prison to learn Dreykov's location, and he directs them to Vostokoff, who lives on a farm outside Saint Petersburg. There she is refining the chemical mind control process used on the Widows. Vostokoff alerts Dreykov and his agents arrive to take them, but Romanoff convinces Vostokoff to help them and the pair use face mask technology to switch places. At the Red Room, an aerial facility, Vostokoff frees Shostakov and Belova from their restraints. Dreykov sees through Romanoff's disguise and reveals that Taskmaster is Antonia, who suffered damage severe enough that Dreykov had to put technology in her head to save her, in turn creating the perfect soldier, capable of mimicking the actions of anyone she sees. Romanoff is unable to attack Dreykov due to a pheromone lock installed in every Widow, but negates that by breaking her own nose and severing a nerve in her nasal passage. Shostakov battles Taskmaster while Vostokoff takes out one of the facility's engines. They then lock Taskmaster in a cell.
Dreykov escapes as other Black Widows attack Romanoff, but Belova exposes them to the antidote. Romanoff copies the locations of other Widows worldwide from Dreykov's computer as the facility begins to explode and fall. She retrieves two surviving antidote vials and frees Taskmaster from the locked cell. Vostokoff and Shostakov escape via a plane while Belova takes out Dreykov's aircraft, killing him. In freefall, Romanoff gives Belova a parachute before battling Taskmaster. After landing, Romanoff uses one antidote vial on Taskmaster and gives the other to Belova along with the locations of the other mind-controlled Widows so she can find and free them. Belova, Vostokoff, and Shostakov say goodbye to Romanoff and leave with Antonia and the freed Widows. Two weeks later, Mason supplies Romanoff with a Quinjet to use in freeing the imprisoned Avengers.
In a post-credits scene set after Romanoff's death, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine blames her death on Barton and assigns him as Belova's next target.