Madame Web Review

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At the beginning of Madame Web, the newest superhero movie that is based on a Spider-Man spin-off comic book series, Cassie Web played by Dakota Johnson denies getting thank-you present from an offspring of a woman whose life she has just saved. Primarily, it implies that she doesn’t relate well with children and secondly, she will eventually have to protect some kids. Other moments in this flick are similar to most movies where it’s easy to predict what will happen next without having to tell them.

But if you were psychic, you might have used your power softly to discourage the cast from participating in this film which is over-written and at the same time underwritten. Most of these actors are very talented but there is only so much they can do with this stuff. Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) – who has been a fiery presence in previous roles — however, he is given unsympathetic grumpy villain duties here; Adam Scott (who we last saw in his unimprovable turn as Ben Lumsden in Severance) plays a strange incarnation of Spidey’s Uncle Ben; Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced and Celeste O’Connor appear as Spider-Women and they hardly serve any purpose.

Madame Web has fewer digital mulch than many other recent superhero films have experienced. This is because the story gets confined within smaller dimensions of its own making resulting in some funky time-loop paradoxes known better for small-screen sci-fi. However, when dialogue called for wit and zinginess, there was instead a bunch of will-this-do one-liners (“Hope the spiders were worth it, Mom!”) along with exhausted backstories that are found when characters lack depth enough to be filled out fully.

There are traces of classical storytelling left behind like remnants of an ancient civilization buried beneath post-apocalyptic wasteland trash. For Cassie’s arc entitled The Fateful Legacy of a Birthright Not Her Own, the Freudian motif is quite clear yet the villain trying to wipe out the next generation because he foresees that they will bring about his doom is a more provocative and intimate rationale — at least on paper — than just another bad guy wanting to destroy the universe. And instead of Chekhov’s gun, we get ‘Chekhov’s CPR’, as it were. However, there is a growing sense that in relation to SPUMC (Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters) sometimes known by its other name franchise has less of an air of Marvel and more of being shrug-like.

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