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- Disney Plus Premier Access lets subscribers stream “Black Widow” at home while it’s in theaters.
- Premier Access costs $30, but the movie will be available to all members without a fee in October.
- As a big Marvel fan, I got my money’s worth, but casual viewers are better off waiting.
Following multiple delays from its original May 2020 release date, Marvel’s “Black Widow” is finally available. Viewers currently have two options to watch the movie: in theaters or at home with Disney Plus Premier Access.
For $30 on top of your Disney Plus subscription, you can unlock “Black Widow” to stream from the comfort of your couch while it’s still playing in theaters. That said, subscribers who are willing to wait, can watch the movie without an extra fee starting October 6.
I bought the movie with Premier Access on release day and it made for a fun movie night-in over the weekend. Though I’m a huge movie buff, I’m still a bit iffy about going to theaters during the pandemic, and I actually prefer the privacy of streaming new films on my big-screen TV.
That said, as entertaining as the movie is, many Disney Plus subscribers will be better off waiting until the wide release to save some cash. Still on the fence? Here’s a full rundown of what we thought of the movie and the overall value of Premier Access.
‘Black Widow’ is an entertaining blockbuster with heart
After seven appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets her own solo film. It was a long time coming and, as a piece of popcorn entertainment, the movie doesn’t disappoint, even if it does feel a bit disconnected from the larger MCU storyline.
Directed by Cate Shortland, “Black Widow” is an action-packed adventure that primarily takes place between two previously released Marvel movies, “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018). Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, is on the run from the US government. While in hiding, she reconnects with her former spy family to take down a nefarious Russian general and his deadly, mind-controlled assassin army.
It’s this “spy family” that really gives the movie its heart and helps keep audiences invested in the story. Florence Pugh is especially engaging as Natasha’s surrogate sister, Yelena, and David Harbour nearly steals the show as Red Guardian, a past-his-prime Russian super soldier. Their dysfunctional family dynamics lead to plenty of laughs and help ground all the larger-than-life super heroics in some genuine emotion.
Of course, those super heroics are a big part of what people pay to see, and the action here is fun, exciting, and well choreographed. Some over-the-top CGI sneaks in every now and then, but the movie’s set pieces take a page from the “Bourne” franchise with visceral fights and chases – but, you know, dialed way up to 11.
Sadly, Natasha herself does get lost a little in all the explosions and new character introductions. Johansson is strong in the role, but considering this is Black Widow’s first and possibly only solo movie, the story lacks real weight on her overall arc. This is compounded by the fact that the film’s story takes place before “Avengers: Endgame” which, as MCU fans know, makes it hard for the movie to really do anything new with the character’s journey.
At the end of the day, this is a fun standalone adventure that shines a spotlight on a character that should have already been highlighted years ago. It’s also an engaging showcase for Florence Pugh’s take on the Black Widow title, set to live on in the MCU for many more appearances. Outside of that new character’s intro, it isn’t essential viewing for the overarching Marvel plotline, but “Black Widow” is a popcorn adventure worth the price of admission.
Should you buy ‘Black Widow’ now or wait?
From a pure entertainment standpoint, “Black Widow” is easily worth $30 for most fans of Marvel movies. But, knowing the film will be available to all Disney Plus members without an extra fee in three months makes a full recommendation tricky.
If you’re the type of fan who’s on the fence about going back to theaters but would have otherwise bought a ticket to see “Black Widow” on opening weekend, then Premier Access is for you.
For $30 on top of your Disney Plus subscription, you’re essentially buying a virtual ticket to see the movie from the comfort of your couch as soon as possible. As an added bonus, you can watch it as many times as you like as long as you remain a Disney Plus member. In this context, the $30 asking price isn’t unreasonable, since that’s around the same cost of two adult movie tickets.
It also doesn’t hurt if you’ve got a solid home entertainment setup to really show the movie off. Seeing “Black Widow” on opening weekend in Dolby Vision on a 65-inch 4K TV with surround sound really helped me feel like I got my money’s worth, and I didn’t even miss the movie theater experience at all.
However, if you’re not someone who waits with bated breath for each new Marvel release, then you’re better off holding out for three months until the Premier Access window has expired and “Black Widow” opens up to all Disney Plus members.
The bottom line
“Black Widow” is a fun and surprisingly sweet entry in the MCU, but it feels more like a standalone side mission than an integral part of the overarching Marvel storyline. It’s still great popcorn entertainment, however, and as a fan of Marvel flicks, I’m happy with my Premier Access purchase.
That said, anyone worried about massive spoilers or missing out on the next big Marvel twist can rest easy about seeing the movie right away. This is a good film, but it’s not an absolute must-see. Casual fans and those on a budget are better off waiting until October 6 to catch the movie when it becomes available to all Disney Plus members.