MADAME WEB Review | Sony’s Worst Yet

Madame Web is yet another by-the-books Sony-produced Marvel film that feels like it belongs in the early 2000s. It would almost be as disappointing as it is bad, except that very few people ever believed the film would be good. At least those expectations were met. Let’s take a deeper dive into everything going on with Madame Web.

The film is not all doom and gloom. The cast is fairly solid, primarily held back by a terribly lackluster script. Dakota Johnson is a convincing Cassandra Webb, if a little young compared to her comic book counterpart. Madame Web focuses almost exclusively on her journey to become the titular character. Unfortunately, no one asked for a Madame Web origin story, which is only made worse when the film teases a Spider-Woman team up movie that is likely never to happen (and will be probably be bad if it ever does happen).

Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney), Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced), and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor) are all Spider-Women in the comics. The movie knows this very well, and even teases it early on with low budget CG sequences. But beyond these glimpses into the future, all three are just teenage girls with parental issues. The actresses do what they can with the dated references (the movie mostly takes place in 2003) and a script that makes these characters about as generic as they can possibly get.

Dakota Johnson, Madame Web, sony, spider-man, Sydney Sweeney

In typical Sony fashion, the antagonist is one of the worst parts of the film. Once again, Tahar Rahim does everything he can with a weak script, but his portrayal of Ezekiel Sims is that of a one-note villain. His motive is clear, but uninspired, and nothing about the character makes him likable in any way. There’s simply no reason to care about what he’s doing or why, which makes it difficult to get invested in the film as a whole.

At this point, when will Sony learn? The studio has been plagued by missteps for years, with the executive team seemingly too stubborn to make the right choices when it comes to Sony-produced Marvel properties. The problems with Madame Web began at inception, when someone thought it would be a good idea to take a blind, wheelchair bound, D-list Marvel character and give them their own movie.

That said, the film actually works as a setup for some future Spider-Woman movie. But that’s the problem, there’s no need for this movie to exist. Sony could have easily trimmed the film down to a 15 minute segment at the beginning of a proper Spider-Woman film. It still would’ve almost certainly been bad, given Sony’s track record, but at least it would’ve been more entertaining than Madame Web.

Kraven the Hunter is certain to have similar issues, as Sony seems unwilling to hire quality writers for these films, which is where many of the problems begin. The Madame Web writers are credited with working on Morbius, and Gods of Egypt, just to name a few. While the script started long before the release of Morbius, it should’ve been clear that this was not a script worthy of being produced. Say what you will about the current condition of Marvel Studios, but even the worst MCU film is infinitely better than Madame Web.

About Madame Web

Synopsis: Cassandra Webb develops the power to see the future. Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women bound for powerful destinies, if they can all survive a deadly present.

Director: S.J. Clarkson

Writers: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Claire Parker, S.J. Clarkson

Stars: Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor, Tahar Rahim

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1 Hour, 57 Minutes

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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