Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher

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Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
Avg confid bwandpunish.jpg
Japaneseアベンジャーズ コンフィデンシャル: ブラック・ウィドウ & パニッシャー
HepburnAbenjāzu Konfidensharu: Burakku Widō & Panisshā
Directed byKenichi Shimizu[1]
Produced byTaro Morishima
Screenplay byMitsutaka Hirota[1]
Story byMarjorie Liu[1]
Based on

StarringMiyuki Sawashiro
Tesshō Genda
Hideaki Tezuka
Hiroki Tōchi
Masashi Sugawara
Music byTetsuya Takahashi
CinematographyKenji Fujita
Production
company
Distributed bySony Pictures Home Entertainment[2]
Release date
  • March 25, 2014 (2014-03-25) (North America)
  • September 3, 2014 (2014-09-03) (Japan)
Running time
83 minutes[3]
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office$1.1 million[4]

Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (アベンジャーズ コンフィデンシャル: ブラック・ウィドウ & パニッシャー, Abenjāzu Konfidensharu: Burakku Widō & Panisshā) is a 2014 direct-to-video superhero anime film by Madhouse. The film is produced by SH DTV AC BW&P Partners, another partnering of Marvel Entertainment with Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan and Madhouse, following up on the Marvel Anime series. The film was released in North America on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on March 25, 2014.[2][3]

Plot[edit]

Punisher busts black market weapons dealer Cain who is in possession of stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology. He knocks Cain unconscious and takes him hostage, inadvertently interfering with agent Black Widow's secret mission to uncover a much larger terror plot under investigation by S.H.I.E.L.D.[5] Black Widow attempts to subdue Punisher and Cain escapes during the altercation. S.H.I.E.L.D. take Punisher into custody. Having lost their sole lead, Director Nick Fury offers Punisher his freedom in exchange for going on mission with Black Widow to locate Cain and stop the global terrorist group known as LEVIATHAN, who plan to auction the stolen technology to the highest bidder.[1]

They track Cain to a Leviathan base in Slovenia and discover a lab filled with hundreds of pods containing spies who have been turned into super-powered soldiers by Orion. Punisher captures Cain but he activates a special function on his cellphone that emits a blinding flash of light directly into Punisher's face and causes him to lose time. When Punisher comes to, Cain has escaped. Black Widow crosses paths with former lover and ex-fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Elihas Starr, who was presumed dead but has been working for Leviathan. He reveals himself as the creator of the super-soldier serum and that he did it to become worthy of being with her, hoping she will join him. Widow declines and they fight while Punisher detonates explosives around the base. Punisher extracts Widow and Elihas disappears. Punisher reveals Cain's stolen cellphone but they are unable to retrieve any information due to its heavy encryption. S.H.I.E.L.D. super-genius Amadeus decrypts the phone but unknowingly activates the flash function. When they come to, an emergency countdown signalling an impending explosion has been activated. Punisher suddenly attacks Widow and kills several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Unable to stop the countdown, Amadeus incinerates the cellphone, destroying it completely, and Punisher snaps out of the trance he was under. Widow tells Fury about Elihas' brainwashing technology, suspecting it was controlling Punisher, and advocates against his imprisonment. Fury reveals some prior knowledge of the Leviathan technology based on possibly compromised past S.H.I.E.L.D. projects about mind control that had never been fully implemented, informing Widow that she and Punisher were specifically assigned the mission because S.H.I.E.L.D. had contingencies in place in the event that one or both of them were turned. The same risk could not be taken with the Avengers due to the powerful nature of the tech. Fury also knows that Elihas stole classified data from S.H.I.E.L.D. including samples of the Avengers blood to use for his project. He orders Widow to complete the mission on her own.

Angered by the fact Fury would sacrifice the both of them, Black Widow defies Fury's orders and takes Punisher with her. They head to Hong Kong to meet Ren, an information handler with ties to the criminal underworld, who gives them the auction’s time and location: in Mandripoor that very night. The auction begins and Elihas is alerted to Black Widow and Punisher's presence on the compound. They are instantly overrun by the super soldiers. Hulk and Amadeus join the fight and Elihas activates the mind control technology but Punisher shields Black Widow and Hulk is protected thanks to a nano-device coating over his eyes, created by Amadeus that blocks the broadcast signals. Punisher and Widow use it on themselves before being attacked by more soldiers. Widow goes after Elihas and they fight on a catwalk above where the batch of new soldiers are being kept for the auction. A powerful kick from Elihas sends Widow over the side of the catwalk's railing but she manages to hold on. Realising he still loves her, Elihas pulls her to safety and they kiss. The pair team up to retrieve an emergency kill-switch from Orion that Elihas created as a safety precaution against the super-soldiers. Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, War Machine and Captain Marvel arrive and breach the auction hall. Together with Punisher, Hulk and Amadeus they battle the Leviathan troops. Widow and Elihas confront Orion who attacks them, but they are able to gain control of the switch and activate it, disabling all the active bio-soldiers. Punisher finds Elihas and moves to shoot him, distracting Widow who is still fighting Orion. Orion fires a fatal blast at her but Elihas jumps in the way and is hit instead. Punisher kills Orion and Elihas dies in Widow's arms.

In the aftermath, Fury orders Black Widow to arrest Punisher, who faces life in prison for killing Orion, and ensure he remains locked up this time. She instead releases Punisher once Fury leaves, saying "It's because you do things your way, and I do things my way…", throwing his cuffs into the ocean. Later, in Miami, Punisher tracks down Cain and kills him.

Cast[edit]

Role Japanese voice actor English dubbing actor
Natasha Romanoff /
Black Widow
Miyuki Sawashiro Jennifer Carpenter
Frank Castle / Punisher Tesshō Genda Brian Bloom
Elihas Starr / Egghead Hiroki Tōchi Grant George
Orion Masashi Sugawara JB Blanc
Cain Ryūzaburō Ōtomo Kyle Hebert
Tony Stark / Iron Man Keiji Fujiwara Matthew Mercer
Amadeus Cho Daisuke Namikawa Eric Bauza
Maria Hill Junko Minagawa Kari Wahlgren
Clint Barton / Hawkeye Shūhei Sakaguchi Matthew Mercer
Bruce Banner / Hulk Yuichi Karasuma Fred Tatasciore
Ren Hisashi Izumi
Nick Fury Hideaki Tezuka John Eric Bentley

In addition, Thor, War Machine, Captain Marvel, Grim Reaper, Graviton, Griffin, Taskmaster, Count Nefaria, and Baron Helmut Zemo also appear in uncredited roles.

Crew[edit]

Featurettes[edit]

The discs has two featurettes: "Espionage and Punishment" and "The Vigilante Vs. The Spy", while the Blu-ray has an additional bonus, the Conceptual Art Gallery. "Espionage and Punishment " shows the adaptation of the characters to anime and a "making of" the film including early concept art and storyboards. "The Vigilante Vs. The Spy" profiles Frank Castle (The Punisher) and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow).[3][6]

Reception[edit]

IGN awarded it a score of 8 out of 10, saying "Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher is a complex and effective animated offering from Marvel."[7] Den of Geek awarded it a more negative score of 2 out of 5, criticising the dialogue and characterisation but praising the fight scenes.[8]

The film earned $723,507 from domestic DVD sales and $635,698 from domestic Blu-ray sales, bringing its total domestic home video sales to $1,359,205.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d McMillan, Graeme (January 21, 2014). "'Avengers Confidential' Offers Black Widow Some Time in the Spotlight". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Busis, Hillary (January 21, 2014). "'Marvel's Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher': See the trailer here! EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Gallagher, Brian (January 22, 2014). "Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher Trailer!". MovieWeb. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  4. ^ "Avengers Confidential Black Widow & Punisher Video Sales". the-numbers.com. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  5. ^ "Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  6. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (January 22, 2014). "Black Widow and The Punisher Team For Animated Feature Film". IGN. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  7. ^ Wheatley, Cliff (March 14, 2014). "AVENGERS CONFIDENTIAL: BLACK WIDOW AND PUNISHER REVIEW". IGN. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  8. ^ Jasper, Gavin (March 26, 2014). "Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, Review". Den of Geek. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  9. ^ "Avengers Confidential Black Widow & Punisher (2014) The Numbers listing". The Numbers. Retrieved October 1, 2017.

External links[edit]