‘Madame Web’ Review: A Misstep in the Spider-Man Universe

Madame Web, the latest addition to the expanding Spider-Man universe, emerges as a curious artifact reminiscent of the early 2000s era of comic book adaptations (and not the good ones).

Unfortunately, it evokes memories not of the era’s standout successes but rather its forgettable endeavours (think Daredevil in 2003). The film, aiming to intrigue and expand upon the lore of its titular character, instead finds itself tangled in the cobwebs of missed opportunity and lacklustre execution.

Madame Web centres on the story of Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson), a woman endowed with psychic abilities, including precognition and telepathy. As she comes to terms with her powers, Cassandra and a group of young women, each with their unique connection to the broader Spider-Man universe, embark on a quest to thwart a looming threat that endangers their future.

Upon viewing, you cannot help but observe the disengagement of the lead actresses. This detachment among the protagonists significantly reduces from the film’s ability to captivate its audience, leaving much to be desired regarding emotional investment and character development.

Adam Scott emerges as a surprising highlight of the film in a supporting role. His presence outshines the main cast, to the point where you want to follow his story more. Scott’s ability to make a memorable impact in a limited capacity speaks volumes about the underutilisation of talent within the primary ensemble.

Equally perplexing is the utilisation of Tahar Rahim, whose talents are squandered in a role that borders on the absurd. Rahim, an actor of considerable depth and versatility, is relegated to a part that seems beneath his capabilities, resulting in a portrayal that inadvertently veers into the realm of comedy. This misstep undercuts the film’s dramatic intentions and represents a glaring misallocation of acting prowess.

Moreover, the narrative of Madame Web fails to deliver a meaningful or innovative contribution to Sony’s Spider-Man universe (sitting alongside the likes of 2018s Venom and 2022s Morbius). The story meanders without significantly enhancing the lore or offering fresh insights into its characters. For a franchise with deep potential for rich storytelling with complex characters, this film’s superficial exploration of its central figure represents a notable deficiency.

In conclusion, Madame Web is a disappointing chapter in the broader narrative of the Spider-Man universe. It serves as a reminder that not all entries in the comic book genre achieve the heights of their predecessors, underscoring the importance of coherent vision and passionate execution in bringing such stories to life.

Fun Fact:

According to Dakota Johnson in an interview with The Wrap, the screenplay underwent extensive rewrites to the point that it no longer resembled the film that she signed on for.

Note: This review was written with the help of AI.
Madame Web
Despite the potential for a compelling exploration of its enigmatic protagonist, Madame Web succumbs to a lack of enthusiasm from its leads, underutilisation of its supporting cast, and a narrative that adds little value to the overarching mythos.
Entertainment Value
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Loves producing content as much as consuming it. Deserted Island Movie Collection: The films of Quentin Tarantino. Best Movie Snack: Nachos.


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