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  • Erica Patton

Yes, “Madame Web” Was That Bad

By: Erica Patton



The Marvel multiverse is back with its newest release “Madame Web,” which came out on Feb. 14. Moviegoers are left feeling extremely underwhelmed, unimpressed and uninspired as this mess of a movie hits the theaters with its very predictable plot, among other things. In fact, “Madame Web” has a very loose connection to the multiverse and plays a very insignificant role in the Marvel movies with its mundane characters and very obvious Pepsi product placements. It seems as if these superhero movies are losing their touch and doing no justice to the Marvel reputation of excellent movies. The film has been garnering extraordinary amounts of traction on social media, but not in a good way. 




Movie Poster for “Madame Web” by  IMP Awards



Directed by S. J. Clarkson, this film follows Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Webb (Dakota Johnson), a quirky, witty and awkward millennial paramedic who discovers she is a clairvoyant with psychic abilities after an almost near-death experience on the job. When Cassie starts getting visions about a man named Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) who is planning to kill three innocent young girls, she sets out on a mission to try to save them from this forsaken future and learn about the significance of her psychic gift. 


Like Cassie, the three supporting female protagonists Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney), Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor) will soon become a band of underwhelming Spider Women. They play the three teenagers who are in danger of being killed by Sims and are unaware of their spider-like powers that were barely shown in the film. Regarding the plot, Cassie proceeds to “abduct” the girls to keep them protected from their awaited fate. Eventually, the girls managed to put their differences aside and form a bond even with the added plot line of Cassie leaving for Peru mid-film to find out more about her own powers. 



Credit: Patch



Once Cassie gets to Peru, she learns the story of her late mother Constance Webb, who went on a mission in the jungle during the 70s’ to learn about a rare species of spider with healing properties. With the help of these weird spider people, Constance gave birth to Cassie. It was then that Constance was bitten by the magical spider and passed down the clairvoyant abilities to Cassie. 


The plot of the film seemed very lost in translation and lacked profoundness considering that many Marvel-related movies have nailed the art of creating a decent story. The pacing of the film was way too fast and decreased the value of the story trying to be captured. The first 15-30 minutes of a film are a vital time for the director to get the audience invested to actually continue with the film, but the first 15 minutes had me reevaluating if I should have agreed to watch this film at all. This film tried way too hard to encapsulate too many storylines in less than 2 hours. 


Besides the film’s sloppy plot, I was even more disappointed with the acting itself. Though Sony had the budget to include reputable actors like Dakota Johnson and Mike Epps, many of the scenes included acting that felt like satire. The “emotional” scenes were incredibly weak and intense scenes lacked depth and were sincerely laughable. I found that many times I was laughing at the serious moments and not the jokes. 


In relation to the cinematography, the camera angles resembled a weird, casual style like the television series “The Office,” and had poor-quality CGI. This was extremely disappointing considering that Hollywood has come a long way with the development of CGI in recent films like “Avatar: The Way of Water.” 


I was also extremely unimpressed with the villain who lacked complexity or a motive to even be a villain. Like I said before, Sony and Marvel are no strangers to creating a hard-hitting, developed villain. However, they missed the mark with their lazy configuration of an off-brand Venom who had a poor reason to create mayhem. 


What added to my disappointment was when I realized the trailer for the film was a money-grabbing scam. People were tricked into thinking that we were going to see the Spider Women in their suits and in action. To explain further, most of the trailer features Sydney Sweeney in her spider suit but she only stars in about 30 seconds of the film. I’m not even mad that this centered around the story of Madame Web and her Spider-Women squad, but portraying the film as an action-packed adventure of the girls with their powers was a lie to the actual film. 


Overall, this film was bad, like terrible. But, I do think that if you want something to laugh at and make fun of with your friends, this movie might be the next best comedy. If you are a big fan of Marvel and the many multiverse heroes within it, I would keep your expectations extremely low. Since this film lacks many qualities of a decent film, I think it is safe to say that I would not recommend it to anyone. The best part of this film was when the credits rolled out to the incredible song “Dreams” by The Cranberries and I was finally free from the webbed shackles of this cinematic disaster. 


“Madame Web” is unfortunately out in many theaters around St. Louis, so go watch at your own risk. Or even better, don’t at all. 






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