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It Wasn’t Morbius…But Is the Devil You Know Worse Than the One You Don’t? – A Madame Web Review


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‘MADAME WEB’. Photo: Sony Pictures.

What do you get when a multimedia company like Sony wants to put out movies that bank off the success and name of another company that they are loosely associated with but puts in little to no effort while hiring the screenplay writers whose most successful movie is Dracula Untold? You get something worse than Dracula Untold in the form of Madame Web.

Director S.J. Clarkson is not unfamiliar with the superhero genre, she has directed two episodes in season one of Jessica Jones and those episodes are quite good overall. Though her experience and expertise from that project could not help salvage this film. The issues with this film purely comes down to the writing and the way it cascaded onto the rest of the movie.

Read Also: Girl Power Shines Bright In ‘The Marvels’

According to the star of the film, Dakota Johnson, the film went through “drastic changes after she signed on” and after seeing the finished product it seems as though that might have affected her overall performance since Johnson feels as though she checked out of her performance throughout the film. This simply made the film even less desirable to sit through. Though there’s credit to be given to Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, and Isabella Merced for doing their best to entice audiences with their performances and limited screen time.

(left to right) Celeste O’Connor as Mattie Franklin, Dakota Johnson as Cassie Web/Madame Web, Isabella Merced as Anya Corazon, and Sydney Sweeney as Julia Cornwall in ‘MADAME WEB’. Photo: Sony Pictures.

Acting as opposition to our main and supporting actresses, the villain of Ezekiel Sims as portrayed by Tahar Rahim, who sadly is not much of a villain. The bulk of his dialogue and performance is the constant reiteration of the same lines established in the first 15 minutes of the film. We see him always going on about how he needs to stop those who will kill him, how he paid for the best technology and how much it sucks to come from nothing. It is a classic case of telling the audience too much till the point where it feels as though audiences are beaten over the head with the information.

Tahar Rahim as Ezekiel Sims in ‘MADAME WEB’. Photo: Sony Pictures.

The most enticing aspects of this movie might be its connection to Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and if that is the primary desire for watching this film just know that it will add further confusion to how these Sony Marvel movies might interconnect with any other Spider-Man franchise. While the film is primarily set in 2003, thus implying the Peter Parker is Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man, it utilizes the logo of Tobey Maguire’s universe’s version of the Daily Bugle for their news paper and when the end of the movie comes along, it somehow adds to the confusion by utilizing the Spider-Man theme from the Insomniac universe’s Spider-Man. So if the objective of watching Madame Web is to gain clarity on what universe these Sony Marvel movies are set then just know that you will walk out of it more confused than ever before.

Aside from the checked out performances, lackluster writing, and even less enticing antagonist, credit is due to the way the film decided to handle Madame Web‘s ability of future sight. The way the abilities were shown and edited around was quite creative and the film did know when to bring it back in so that it would not get too annoying.

Overall this movie is not better nor necessarily worse than Morbius and that is the best thing I can say about it. It’s bad in its own unique way that truly does make one cautious for the upcoming Kraven the Hunter film and Venom 3 since they are all under the Sony in association with Marvel banner. If you really want a film that focuses on the dynamic of superhero women with leads who are all very charismatic that put effort into their performances for around the same runtime then just go watch The Marvels on Disney+. You will suffer much less, have no desire to floss your brain, and are at least treated to some actual joy while watching something.

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