Madame Web Wallpaper
February 15, 2024

Web head or Future Marvel? Find out in our Madame Web review!

For the uninitiated, Sony owns the rights to all Spiderman characters and properties, like Venom and Morbius (the first film ever to gross over $1 Morbillion in the box office). Whilst Peter Parker was lent to the MCU with a shaky deal, to say the least, Sony has forged its own path with its own interconnected movies, known as the Sony Spider-Man Universe.

Madame Web review key art

The SSU continues in this latest instalment which features a very predominant character in the spider comics. Madame Web has clairvoyant powers and assists all the spidermen and spider woman across the spider verse. This movie is her beginning and entry to the SSU which holds a lot of potential. So does Madame Web weave an intricate tale or does it come apart at the seams? Find out in our review!

Madame Web Review – Story

As with all average superhero movies, we open up on a flashback, this time to 1973 in the jungles of Peru. Constance Webb, while pregnant with Cassie (Madame Web), is searching for a rare spider long said to have healing powers. Her partner Ezekial Sims betrays her and steals the spider for himself but in the process accidentally shoots Constance and leaves her for dead.

The las arañas, spider-like people of the jungle, come to her aid and although they can’t save Constance, Cassie is born healthy. 25 years later she’s a paramedic with impressive control of her ambulance. Her partner, Ben Parker (needless cameo) is her friend and tries to bring her out of her shell, as being abandoned has left her abrasive and cynical.

Madame Web review Cassie Webb

No this isn’t a shot from Grey’s Anatomy.

After an accident leaves her dead for three minutes, she starts to see visions. That of the future and the first few sequences show her trying to change the future but can’t. This seems like a good direction to go in, almost giving The Butterfly Effect vibes, but the movie quickly moves on stating that she can indeed change the future.

Cassie must stop three young girls from getting brutally murdered by a black-clad spider suit-wearing villain, you guessed it, Ezekial is back. After stealing the spider from Peru, he is cursed with visions of his death which come at the hands of three spiderwoman. He uses some fancy NSA tech he steals to track down these girls before they get powers.

Madame Web review Ezekiel

His suit wasn’t explained in even the slightest way…

The rest of the movie is basically Cassie protecting these girls, Julia, Mattie and Anya who are all destined to become spiderwoman. As they are now teens, Cassie becomes their mother figure and in order to save them she must master her power. In an odd plot hole, she manages to go to Peru and back within the space of a few days even though the police are looking for her… Made little sense and was jarring for the sake of explanations of her powers.

Madame Web review main characters

Stop! I think I can see next week’s lotto numbers.

As we rush to the end of this haphazard story, Cassie uses her powers to see what’s coming and instead of fighting or attacking Ezekial, she dodges fireworks (No I’m not joking). Instead of this film showing the consequences of seeing the future or ways that it might have other negative impacts, it’s shown that Cassie’s power is clear-cut. Her clairvoyance just works because that’s safe and we all know Sony loves to play it safe.

Madame Web Review – Visuals

Madame Web mostly plays as some sort of thriller mixed with superheroes, and as such isn’t heavy on the CGI. What little fight sequences there are though are well done enough, with an especially manic scene in the subway. The best visual is one that may not come to pass and without spoiling anything, one of the last scenes of the movie would have gone down a lot better if it had actually happened.

Madame Web review spiderwoman

Although we only see glimpses of the Spiderwomen, their suits are impressive!

Madame Web Review – Music

With a mixture of superhero and darker tones Johan Söderqvist does a good job to capture the perfect match between these two opposite themes. You may know Johan from his work on Anatomy of a Scandal or Battlefield 1 and V. As this is set in 2003, some early 00s bangers are present, because why not, including a pretty good fight scene set to Britney Spears’ “Toxic”.

Madame Web Review – Acting

It’s hard to pick what went wrong with the production of Madame Web with the character of Ezekial Sims (Tahar Rahim) having noticeably bad dubbed lines. The lead, Dakota Johnson, seems a strange choice, whilst she may look the part and some of her cynical jokes were funny, her soft-spoken voice didn’t quite feel right. The script was also no use to any of these otherwise brilliant actors.

Madame Web review Sydney Sweeney

“You know I’m Sydney Sweeney and I’m relegated to side character!?”

The three young girls playing Julia (Sydney Sweeney), Anya (Isabela Merced) and Mattie (Celeste O’Connor) were decent enough and some teenage humour was a good measure. However, their different personalities felt very cliché, with Sweeney’s awkward nerd character feeling as awkward as it looked.

Madame Web review subway scene

That man is some sort of spider…person (yes thats a real line)

The cameos of Mary Parker (Emma Roberts) and Ben Parker (Adam Scott) seem only to serve the purpose of making sure the audience knows this is still a spider-man film. Ironically they both do better in their limited scenes than the rest of the cast. Not to mention the pointlessly added line about responsibility and powers given to Cassie from one of the las arañas in Peru.

Madame Web Review – Conclusion

With some truly underused ideas and a cast that tries way too hard with a first-draft script at best, Madame Web shows that maybe not all superheroes need an origin story. A movie about her helping the spider women become superheroes with some flashbacks might have been a better idea but who’s to say. Now, a sequel or spin-off looks less likely due to many disappointed reviews and we may never see these spiderwomen come to full fruition. Well, at least the limited CGI wasn’t terrible.

Madame Web review diner scene

Red is a good look on Madame Web.

So, why should you watch Madame Web?

  • A different take on the superhero genre
  • Interesting themes of predicting the future
  • Setting up for future Spider-Verse movies

But why shouldn’t you watch Madame Web?

  • Generic story and average script
  • Acting was not on point
  • Very limited action and fighting scenes

A preview screening was kindly provided by Sony Pictures Australia for the purpose of our Madame Web review. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out our review for The Marvels and join the Qualbert Discord to chat with us about all things superhero!

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