The Sony Universe of Spider-Man adjacent movies continue with Madame Web, yet another baffling and nonsensical adventure of absolutely nothing. While the movie is absolutely not as terrible as most are making it seem, it’s still a story that goes nowhere, until it’s seemingly even more disappointing end game. The lesser-known Marvel Comics character in her own movie, along with some much more interesting characters we don’t actually get to spend time with. Read on for my Madame Web review. 

Please note that the following Madame Web review will have some spoilers. 

Madame Web As A Character Does Not Work

Madame Web is a Spider-Man character made popular by the 90s animated Spider-Man series. The comic character is one of the hero’s lesser-known villains, but apparently was the right choice for Sony to make another Spider-Man villain into a kind of anti-hero. The story of Madame Web tries to make the character into an actual hero, but it does so in very strange and odd ways. The movie is about Cassandra Web (Dakota Johnson), a Paramedic in New York who begins to experience visions of the future after a brush with death. 

Firstly, Madame Web does this lazy storytelling technique of having the protagonist say their feelings out loud, to particularly no one. In this case, there is a cat that Cassie speaks to, but other times, it’s just to no one in particular. Then all the massive exposition dumps seemingly come out of nowhere. We’re just randomly in the Amazon, when Cassie’s mom, Constance Web (Kerry Bishe) just starts talking about the healing abilities of the rare spiders that she is here researching. And so on. It’s just a pronounced and uninspired way to provide information to the audience that feels forced. And speaking of forcing things—

The Movie Tries Hard To Avoid The Spider-Man Thing, But Also, Doesn’t!

Despite being a movie about a Spider-Man character that cannot ever mention Spider-Man, Madame Web gets dangerously close. And I can’t understand why. There’s a whole side story about Peter Parker himself. Cassie’s partner on the job is Ben Parker (Adam Scott), a young uncle of Peter Parker. Throughout the movie, Ben is seen taking care of his sister-in-law, Mary Parker, as she is pregnant with a son. Part of the third act climax is also about how Mary and Ben are caught up in this adventure of Cassie’s. 

While there are no lasting effects of this storyline on anything else that happens in the movie, it’s a wonder why it’s even in the movie in the first place. Why are they teasing the birth of Peter Parker, Spider-Man himself, when the movie also avoids any references or connections to the character? And speaking of no Spider-Man—

The Other Characters Are Much More Interesting In Madame Web Review

Madame Web also teams up with Cassie with three young women who are other Spiderverse characters from the Comics. The three women, played by Isabel Merced, Sydney Sweeney, and Celeste O’Connor, are characters who will eventually get powers and become various spider-woman characters from the comics. These three characters and the chemistry between their actresses make them so much more interesting than the main lead. More interesting than anything Johnson does in the movie. 

And while I don’t want to spoil anything in this Madame Web review, let’s just say that the girl’s history and their story don’t get much importance in the movie. Which is one of the more disappointing elements of Madame Web. A movie that had the framework and potential to be pretty great, but gets lost in its convoluted mess. There are hilarious moments, and some pretty funny back-and-forth between the 3 girls, the ultimate climax feels more like a setup than any kind of resolution to the story audiences just saw. All in all, a disappointing entry into more Spider-Man movies without Spider-Man, that continues to make us wonder, ‘why?!’

Madame Web is now in theatres. 

Let me know what you think of Madame Web, and follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid for more latest movie reviews. 

Grade: D

Madame Web

Madame Web

Madame Web is a clairvoyant whose psychic abilities allow her to see within the Spider-Verse itself.

Release Date:
February 14, 2024

Director:

S.J. Clarkson

Cast:

Dakota Johnson
,
Sydney Sweeney
,
Emma Roberts


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