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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Review: ‘Madame Web’ is another planned disappointment by Sony

‘Madame Web’ is the fourth addition to Sony’s mediocre Spider-Man adjacent films.
Dakota+Johnson+%28left%29+and+Sydney+Sweeney+%28right%29+in+Madame+Web.
Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures
Dakota Johnson (left) and Sydney Sweeney (right) in “Madame Web.”

“Madame Web,” the newest addition to Sony Pictures’ budding cinematic universe, hit theaters on Feb. 14, marking another disappointing, albeit expected, miss for the studio. 

Once Sony Pictures started sharing the character of Spider-Man with Marvel Studios for use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they wanted a cinematic universe of their own. The Sony Spider-Man Universe is their attempt at a somewhat shared cinematic universe of their own. 

The ‘somewhat’ is important there, as each of these films seems wildly disconnected and often attempt to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which gets met with minimal reciprocation by Marvel Studios. Madame Web, a new character joining the likes of Venom and Morbius in the Sony Spider-Man Universe, is another attempt at further developing these Spider-Man adjacent characters that fails to justify its own existence. 

Madame Web is often depicted as an elderly, blind and paralyzed wise-woman in the comics who dispassionately tells Spider-Man and other related characters of their fate. She has many psychic abilities, including seeing the future. She is often overlooked in the Spider-Man mythos, as she diverges from the typical themes of the famous wall-crawler and plays into the more mystical elements of the Marvel Universe.  

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Straying from her usual depiction, “Madame Web” serves as an origin story for the character, with Dakota Johnson playing a younger version of Madame Web.  She is joined in this film by three future Spider-Women who are being hunted by a future rival of theirs, Ezekiel Sims, who hopes to prevent his defeat long before it happens.  

The film is, unfortunately, another mediocre attempt by Sony to disconnect a character that is deeply rooted in the Spider-Man lore from Spider-Man himself. Beyond this, though, it is easy to see that there was very little effort or passion put into this film. From awkward and laughable line deliveries to scenes with extremely poor dubbing and editing, this film appears to have been incredibly rushed.  

Beyond that, the actual powers of the titular character can easily be compared to something like “Groundhog’s Day” or “Edge of Tomorrow,” but though it replicates the tricks that made those films so effective, the film ultimately needed to do more to execute this effect well.  

This is made abundantly clear in the film’s climax when the viewer is just watching Madame Web do things, and the audience is left to assume that she saw alternatives of the situation before.  

This is not nearly the worst part of the film, but when a character’s powers completely stop being shown visually in the climax, it makes it clear that the filmmakers just got tired of the character as well. 

Much of the fanbase knew “Madame Web” was going to be yet another bomb from Sony, as there was a lot of buzz surrounding the film even before release, already mocking it for all its shortcomings.  

Sony Pictures appears to be content with this perception, as Dakota Johnson has openly voiced her problems with the movie in promotional interviews for the film. Ultimately, it may not be a good film or even worth watching, but at least there is an audience out there to enjoy its shortcomings. 

“Madame Web” is available to watch on streaming now. 

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