Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (2014):
Black Widow: Don’t kill them, Frank!
Punisher: I have no choice!
This movie could’ve been so cool, if it were an actual Punisher anime! Instead, it’s an excuse for Black Widow to have a romantic fling with the villain. It starts off kind of cool, where Punisher shoots up a whole room of weapons dealers. But, then, he’s reduced to a tagalong. I’m not kidding. That’s what Nick Fury basically says. You see, because the villain has mind control powers, he needed to have two agents around. And who ends up mind-controlled? Yeah…Punisher.
To the film’s credit, it does show that Black Widow can go toe-to-toe with Punisher. (Frank Castle). Their fights last about a minute each time…the second time he’s mind-controlled. You see, Punisher is on the heels of a weapons dealer named Kane. Who turns out to be the pawn of a lovesick SHIELD (Elias) Agent who steals SHIELD supersoldier tech to impress Black Widow. He is also the pawn of a Russian terrorist organization. Because that would impress her….invade New York.
Eventually, the Russians use Elias’s mind control to invade New York with supersoldiers. Much of the movie consists of Black Widow being lovesick with Elias. She can take down Punisher, yes, but is apparently weak in the knees over a random SHIELD scientist who she should’ve just taken down. At least Amadeus Cho is there, a child genius SHIELD Agent who creates a mind shield after Black Widow promises to kiss him. She’s Punisher with flirting abilities. Win-win!
And now that Russian supersoldiers are invading New York while Black Widow is being romantic and angsty, The Avengers show up to defend the city! This is one instance in the movie where I did like it better than the movies. Because it’s animation, they have the budget to have all the Avengers show up and do their jobs. Hulk, Iron Man, even Captain Marvel. After all, it is Avengers: Confidential. Gotta have Avengers show up.
In sum, I liked the movie. I liked that they were able to show that Black Widow can kick butt after she was kinda sidelined in The Avengers movie. Unfortunately, this leaves very little time to build up Punisher’s kick butt credibility. I mean, normally he has weapons that fire nukes! But, here he’s regulated to a Hawkeye-type role (I‘m calling it being “Hawkeyed”, from now on!) providing connections to the Russian terrorists, and then being mind controlled. It’s always mind control.
Mind control aside, I do think It’s a good action film, and they build up Punisher nicely in the beginning. I just wish more superhero movies actually used all their superheroes. Punisher really could’ve been anyone. Anyway, nice to see all The Avengers together in anime form. But, who the heck is Elias? Oh, well. At least Punisher gets some revenge in the end! Go see it! 3/5 stars from me! Worth a watch.