Madame Web: Movie Review

Madame Web Movie Review: Web of Defeat

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At this point, who hasn't heard about "Madame Web"? The film faced heavy criticism upon its release earlier this year, but nothing could prepare us for its sheer incompetence. It's the kind of film you have to see firsthand to understand its level of infamy. Unfortunately, "Madame Web" has few redeeming qualities and doesn't even fall into the category of "so bad it's good" - it's just plain bad.

Cassandra "Cassie" Webb (Dakota Johnson) is a paramedic in Manhattan who lost her mother during childbirth. During one of her calls, Cassie has a near-death experience and begins to exhibit clairvoyant abilities. As her visions become stronger, Cassie is forced to delve into her past, including the life her mother led, while forging relationships with three young women destined for powerful futures.

The film's faults are numerous, but let's start with the portrayal of Cassie Webb. Dakota Johnson's performance is underwhelming; her character's deadpan humor and awkward social skills make Cassie difficult to like. It’s unclear whether Johnson was aware of the film's shortcomings and opted not to invest in her role, but her portrayal is lackluster at best. The other protagonists in the film are under-utilized. The three young ladies that Cassie protects do not have powers and never get their powers in this film.

Another thing that really irked us was the script and writing. It was riddled with cringeworthy moments and unnatural dialogue. Lines such as "When you take responsibility, you will gain powerful abilities” (or even the characters of Ben Parker and Mary Parker) come across as forced and cheap attempts to evoke nostalgia and credibility by referencing Spider-Man. These attempts fall flat and only highlight the film's weaknesses further. The film is plagued with plot holes and features an antagonist who fails to be a compelling and interesting threat to the protagonists. While Tahar Rahim's performance shows effort, his character is stifled by poor writing, making it difficult for him to shine.

As a long-time skeptic of Sony's Spider-Man Universe (SSU), "Madame Web" exemplifies why films in this franchise often disappoint. The film suffers from a lack of compelling storytelling, a generic approach to style and writing, and an overall failure to engage the audience.

Rating: 1 reel

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