Movie Review – Madame Web

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Sadly, Madame Web did not use her powers to forecast how her movie would be.


Madame Web Review: 2 thumbs-up and 6 thumbs-down
Snappy Movie Review | Madame Web

Madame Web Synopsis

In the 1970s, Constance Webb is shot by her partner after discovering a Peruvian spider whose venom can grant various superhuman abilities. The pregnant Webb dies but her child survives thanks to the intervention of the Las Arañas, a mythical superhuman tribe of the jungle. Jump forth 30 years, Cassie Webb lives a lonely existence as an NYC paramedic, deeply resentful towards her late mother for risking the jungle while pregnant with her. After a traumatic near-death episode at work, Cassie develops premonition powers. Her terrifying visions then compel her to save three teenage girls, all of whom are relentlessly pursued by a murderous, wall-crawling villain.

Snappy Review

Watching Madame Web reminded me of the much-lambasted Morbius. I’m sure it would be the case for you too, and not just because this is yet another stumbled project of the so-called Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.

S. J. Clarkson’s take on the girls’ team in the Spider Universe has a whole list of glaring shortcomings, beginning with lame dialogue that sounds like it was written by a disinterested translator. But above all that, the movie raises the question of: Why not just go all out to make this a horror flick, instead of some clumsy superhero-suspense hybrid?

I ask that because the better moments in Madame Web aren’t the fights or the girly banter, they are Cassie Webb’s gory premonitions and the frantic rush to do something before the visions manifest in reality. Handled better and without the burden of telling a standard superhero origin story with plasticky costumes, the whole show could have been an effective slasher thriller, or similar. Previously, I had the exact same feeling about Morbius. The horror elements in that flop were also way better than the superhero bits.

Further dragging down the movie is a certain ringing dullness too. This is a gripping story about women fleeing a brutal killer. That premise alone promises so many exploratory possibilities. But again, the insistence on telling yet another standard origins story breaks the tension and ends up with a colourless tale. Frankly, one that’s dreary too.

And nope, the beautiful Dakota Johnson couldn’t enliven things. Actually, I feel she didn’t even bother much. Some degree of real-life clairvoyance seems to be at work and Johnson mostly just drifts along, doing the necessary but never more.

Not Just Superhero Movie Fatigue. Spider Movie Fatigue Too

Spider-Man is one of the most popular and profitable pop culture properties ever. In response, an entire multiverse of supporting characters has been created around the original Peter Parker, no kiddin’.

For studios, this must feel as if there are boundless profit-making, I mean, storytelling possibilities everywhere. The same folks would probably look at the Batman movies and go, hey, most Batman movies make money. Doesn’t matter that some of our spider movies flop as long as most make money.

I feel the reality is otherwise. There have simply been too many Spidey and Spidey-related movies over the last ten years. Just how long would arachnid-derived powers continue to fascinate? The term “superhero movie fatigue” has been thrown around a lot in recent years. On top of that is now spider movie fatigue, in my opinion.



For Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, the biggest tragedy is also how they can’t even drop that one name that would make the audience cheer. That one name that draws people to Spidey movies in the first place. This was excruciatingly obvious in Madame Web. All that teasing and build-up and poor Peter couldn’t even once be mentioned in name.

Pardon the bluntness. I think Sony should just stick to their animated Spiderverse shows.


Watch the trailer here.


Check out my other snappy movie reviews.

Summary
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Madame Web
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