When rumors first hit that Scarlett Johansson would play Black Widow in Iron Man 2, I was less than impressed. I admit it -- I even went so far as to suggest that the casting Powers That Be must have been ingesting stupid pills. It wasn't that I disliked Johansson, but I thought that her talents were better served in other areas, most notably as dissatisfied young women looking for something greater from life (Ghost World, Lost in Translation, Vicky Cristina Barcelona). The Spirit had done really poorly, Iron Man 2 was already embroiled in Rhodes rage, and adding Johansson seemed like the wrong way to go. [Warning: The rest of the post will briefly discuss her performance, so steer clear if you haven't caught the film yet.]

Fast-forward a year and a few months, and surprise: Scarlett Johansson was my favorite part of the movie. There were a few awkward moments -- ScarJo didn't seem all too comfortable in skin-tight business dresses and stiletto heels -- but get her in uniform and unleash her on security professionals and her Black Widow was amazing. Her understated personality and sex appeal worked well for Natasha Romanoff, seeming not like ultimate disinterest but instead, ultimate control unleashed only when necessary, whether it be in the ring with Jon Favreau or fighting her way to Ivan Vanko. I was, in fact, so taken with her that I momentarily forgot that the final Vanko showdown would have to happen with Iron Man. When she set off to Vanko's turf and fought her way through security, I was dying to see her take him down. Alas, the star of the show got that honor.

Now I'm curious to know: Did Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow woo you like it did me?