Claire Packer’s review published on Letterboxd:
Returning to a beloved character in a spin-off can add more depth to their story - if done well.
Johansson has brought Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff to the big screen in style. She has (mostly) delivered strong performances that depicted Nat's keen fighting and spying skills alongside her wit and good humour.
There's plenty more of that in Black Widow. However, while it was a joy seeing Nat again, it was the supporting characters that stopped me from giving Black Widow a higher rating.
Taken on their individual merit, I thought David Harbour's Red Guardian and Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova were excellent. However - and it may be that I'm at fault for not reading the comics, but then that shouldn't be an obstacle to watching the film - I wasn't sure of the histories of their relationships: when was the last time that Nat saw Yelena? Was it as children?
Rachel Weisz's Melina Vostokoff added little to the story, in my opinion. I know *why* she was necessary for the plot, but she wasn't as charismatic (or memorable) as the Red Guardian.
The biggest disappointment was Ray Winstone's Dreykov. I felt Winstone was miscast, as he came across more like a small time Cockney crook than a Russian mastermind.
I would have liked to have seen more of the infamous Red Room that was shown on screen, and more of the Black Widows in training as well. For all the talk of how many there were under Dreykov's control, we only saw perhaps 15 or so.
Did Black Widow add much to Nat's story? No, not really, but it was fun seeing her take centre stage.