Madame Web Review | Fatigued Superhero Genre Gets Another Lousy Film

The newest entry to the superhero genre, Madame Web, starring Dakota Johnson, feels like a ChatGPT-generated script with a very lazy prompt that takes the least effort to give details. With all the generic beats in a superhero movie coming one after the other with no real excitement around it, Madame Web is not even trying to be entertaining.

So, if you are not a comic book nerd like me, let me just give you a brief idea about the movie. So Marvel had these Spider-Women concepts, which they published in the ’80s. There are three Spider-Women characters. All of them have this mentor-like figure named Madame Web, and what we see in this movie is the origin story of Madame Web, aka Cassandra Web/Cassy Web.

The reason I said the script felt like a ChatGPT-generated one is that it is so cliched on a scene order level that if I were to do a live commentary while I was watching the film, I would be able to predict almost every second of that movie without much effort, and people won’t even feel amused as they might have also predicted the same thing. As I write this review, I am trying to find one scene or even a moment that sort of stayed with me for its craft, and there is shockingly no such instance in this entire film.

Dakota Johnson is trying to give her typical coolness to the character of Cassey as she is more of an unemotional person who doesn’t understand attachment. It’s like a sleepwalkable performance that very rarely demands her to understand the character’s psyche. Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O’Connor, as the Spider-women prospects, are largely running in the whole movie from one place to another, and the only bit of acting they had to do was being these entitled brats who would deliberately do the foolish thing. Tahar Rahim, as Ezekiel Sims, gets to play one of the poorly written antagonists whose dialogues with his assistant are unintentionally funny at certain points in the movie.

S. J. Clarkson, in her feature film directorial debut, is struggling with a lackluster script that just follows the pattern without any sort of effort to reinvent the idea. The introduction scene of the leading lady has her driving an ambulance while taking a patient to a hospital. The desperation to make it look “fun” on screen is evident as the hurdles thrown at her have been forcefully staged. The way the makers have tried to present the superpower of the leading lady that enables her to see the future is pretty confusing in the beginning stages. And when she eventually uses it with control, there is no charm to how it has been executed. And looking at the set pieces in the film, you might feel like questioning the production budget of this superhero movie.

The sheer level of nothingness in this movie based on a Marvel character is so much that I am finding myself struggling to write something about the film, the same way S. J. Clarkson, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, and Claire Parker did. Madame Web is a flat and half-hearted creation that just goes on and on without creating any cinematic high.

Final Thoughts

Madame Web is a flat and half-hearted creation that just goes on and on without creating any cinematic high.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.