I’ve already seen Black Widow and I came away with mixed feelings.
As I noted in my review, despite a lot of very fun action scenes and some great fights, the movie is just too long and too inconsequential to keep audiences’ attention. Cutting some of the fat off would have made it much better, but at 2 hours and 14 minutes it’s just too long for its own good.
I’ve also discussed how the film is being framed as a feminist “girl power” flick, with one critic saying it puts “men in their place” which I find more than a little preposterous. It’s certainly a movie with some badass female protagonists, but they’re not badass because they make men uncomfortable. They’re badass because they’re stone cold killers who know how to fight and can take on super-villains without any super-powers of their own.
In any case, one of the villains they encounter is Taskmaster—a mercenary super-soldier from the Marvel comic books whose power is the ability to mimic the powers and abilities of others. He can copy fighting styles, he tosses around a shield that’s an awful lot like Captain America’s (though it’s not comprised of the same exact mixture of Vibranium and Adamantium) and this makes him a formidable foe—in the comics and the movie.
I am making a prediction before Black Widow hits theaters and Disney+ Premiere on July 9th that Taskmaster is going to be one of the film’s more controversial figures. I’m not saying why—you won’t get any spoilers out of me—but I’m willing to bet that once the film is out we’ll have have a bombardment of think pieces and YouTube videos and social media and forum posts all about Taskmaster and why the character is [insert opinion here]. Will you love Disney’s version of Taskmaster or hate Disney’s version of Taskmaster? We’ll soon find out.
I really like Fortnite’s version of Taskmaster!
So my guess—based on years of interacting with fans and think-piece writers online—is that some people will hate this version of Taskmaster, some people will simply be disappointed, others will love and sing this version’s praises and far too many people will make political hay out of the whole thing. Meanwhile, most Black Widow viewers have likely never heard of the character and won’t care about any of the controversy surrounding the character.
This is all just my predictions, however. I could be totally wrong. I’ve made a video with some further musings on the subject, so check that out below and be sure to subscribe to my fledgling YouTube channel. Thanks!