Madame Web (2024) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

If you feel worn out and weary of another superhero movie, give Madame Web a shot.

Almost as long as there have been comic books, there have been movies made about comic book characters.  However, over fifteen years ago Marvel studios upped the ante with the release of Iron Man, setting off several phases and numerous movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU.  Over time, these films have dwindled in popularity, due in part to their ridiculous plots, as well as over-saturation.  From Asgardian Gods to Wakandian Kings and everything in between, it seems we have seen it all...or so we thought.  This month Sony Pictures released their fourth movie in the Spider-Man Universe, about a lesser-known character, called Madame Web.

Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson; Bad Times at the El Royale) never knew her mother or father. All she had was her mother's research trying to locate an elusive spider that supposedly has healing powers.  Years later, working as a paramedic, she suddenly finds herself in situations where she thinks she is experiencing Deja Vu.  However, she soon discovers her visions are premonitions of things to come and that she can change the outcomes if she acts fast enough.  Meeting three young women, whose deaths she sees before they occur, Cassandra learns their lives are intertwined and has to do with her deceased mother's research, sending her to South America to try and find some answers. 

Madame Web first appeared in No. 210 of the Amazing Spider-Man Comic series published in November 1980.  She is clairvoyant and a precognitive mutant who can see events before they happen.  She is typically a supporting character in the comic books, assisting Spider-Man with missing persons cases.  She is a woman with myasthenia graves and is connected to a life support system resembling a spiderweb.  In the comics, she is generally seen as an elderly woman while in the film she is probably considered to be in her mid-thirties. 

Since director S.J. Clarkson (The Defenders) chose to cast a younger actor in the role of Cassandra Web, Johnson was a strong choice. (Had she decided to choose a more mature lead, Dame Helen Mirren might have been an excellent option).  Johnson manages to portray Web as strong and confident on the outside while hiding wounds and scars inside.  Web's disciples are played by Sydney Sweeney (Anyone But You), Isabela Merced (Transformers: The Last Night [as Isabela Moner]) and Celeste O'Connor (Freaky).  All three actors are up-and-coming talents in Hollywood and the combination of them with Johnson is electric. They all have great chemistry and come across as a cohesive team.

The script is decent with a few cheesy lines here or there but nothing that would make the viewer groan in disgust.  The special effects are done very well, which is a nice change from some of the other recent superhero movies.  Ezekiel Sims' (Tahar Rahim; The Mauritanian) crawling on the ceiling in a spider-like costume seems plausible in this case as the CGI work is very well done.

If you feel worn out and weary of another superhero movie, give Madame Web a shot.  While not the best of all the comic book adaptations done in the last 15 years, it is a more solid option than more recent fare like Thor: Love and Thunder and may restore a little bit of your faith in the genre as a whole. The cast is terrific, the plot is not bad, the screenplay is decent and the effects are good enough to make the movie worth watching.  

While we won't know why Madame Web is a step up from the other Marvel movies of late, one could speculate it is because the film was produced by Sony.  If that is the case maybe they want to try and give Sony a go at a few of the other upcoming films in the MCU since Madame Web got some things correct.

Grade: B


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 117 minutes
Distributed By: Sony Pictures

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For more information about Madame Web visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Madame Web images are courtesy of Sony Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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