Wearying of Marvel mania, I skipped the theatre, paying the hefty fee to view on Disney+; it has its redeeming moments but in the end, yawning, I could of passed on this familial saga; parents, “Alexei” (always perceptive David Harbour) and “Melina” (unblemished Rachel Weisz) after a twenty year hiatus connect with their super daughters “Natasha” (pinnacle role for Scarlett Johansson) and “Yelena” (Florence Pugh proves her mettle in a shrewd, perfectly poised performance); a quartet worthy of orchestration, eliminating vile “Dreykov” and freeing his hypnotic, KGB trained assassins, Black Widows. Stumbling on the way to fruition there are remarkable aerial sequences, aerobic battles, explosive, destructive scenes of dynamited prisons, space domiciles. Director Cate Shortland blends intimacy, precocity, wariness and strength into a brew, tantalizing for some, enervating for others.
TWO & ½ STARS!!
UNFORGOTTEN (PBS & Amazon Prime)
In its fourth season this intensely, intoxicating detective series (inaugurated in 2015) is a must for those who lust for the magic of a “whodunit”; now, in its latest season, partners “DCI Cassie Stuart” (indomitable Nicola Walker) and “DI Sunny Khan” (equally formidable Sanjeev Bhaskar) paired once again; long dead victims pop up under intriguing circumstances, challenging detectives to trace archival histories, oftentimes 20, 30, 50 years in the past. The genius rests in the writing and impeccable characterizations by Walker and Bhaskar; brilliant but flawed, we recognize their personal traumas, we empathize with their “off” and in the case of “Cassie” bad hair days. Commencing at Fahrenheit 30 degrees, each cold case escalates to over 100 degrees as it reaches its, surprising, stunning conclusion.