The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Review | ‘Madame Web’: $10 and 116 minutes I’ll never get back

Photo Courtesy of IMDb

Rating: 1/10 


Filmmaking is no easy feat, but it’s movies like “Madame Web” that let aspiring filmmakers know that if a movie like “Madame Web” can be made, anything is possible.

“Madame Web” is the newest addition to Sony’s long-running — and disappointing — Spider-Man Universe directed by S.J Clarkson.

The main story of “Madame Web” is an extremely loose adaptation of stories from the Spider-Man comic character of the same name. The film follows Cassie Webb (Dakota Johnson) who — with her powers to see into the future — is determined to save three girls from the evil Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) who is determined to kill the girls after getting haunting visions of them killing him.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

The movie has some of the worst writing ever seen — not only for a superhero movie but for any movie in recent years. However, that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the writers of “Madame Web” have a consistent track record of writing poorly received movies, including other comically atrocious films such as “Morbius,” “The Last Witch Hunter” and “Gods of Egypt.”

It’s hard to sit through the movie in its entirety since the writing is a disjointed mess that doesn’t attempt to have any sort of common sense.

There are several undeserving attempts at emotional moments, as the movie doesn’t even try to give the characters any sort of coherent background that would make people feel for them. 

The characters in “Madame Web” are as insufferable as they are bland and uninteresting. The main trio of girls act more as stereotypes rather than actual people.

For example, Mattie (Celeste O’Connor) is an average angsty and rebellious teen who likes to cause trouble. Anya (Isabella Merced) is the brains of the group, with many lines being dedicated to her solving math equations extremely quickly or saying overcomplicated lines with science jargon. 

Julia (Sydney Sweeney) is the timid one of the group, constantly being paranoid about what will happen next.

The lack of depth made these characters an absolute drag to sit through and watch, as their performances fell flat. However, it’s important to note that the majority of issues with the characters seemed rooted in the screenplay rather than the actresses’ performances.

The issues continue with the screenplay ruining aspects of the already flawed movie, as the villain of “Madame Web” stands tall and proud as quite possibly the worst villain in comic book movie history.

Despite having an interesting story and motive in the comic books, Sims is motivated by money and power. That’s all. Aside from that, he just wants to kill the three girls so he doesn’t die.

Editing is another weak point throughout “Madame Web,” as the film is disjointed and broken apart to the point where it feels like entire scenes are missing.

Many errors can be found in the movie without much difficulty. In some scenes where Sims is talking, his mouth is not moving at all, likely as a result of terrible automated dialogue replacement. The movie does this multiple times and occasionally will try to claim it’s a power, almost as if it’s done on purpose.

To add to the laziness of “Madame Web,” the film reuses a scene from 2004’s “Spider-Man 2” as an establishing shot. On the bright side, at least there’s some sort of close reference to the original web-slinger in this movie.

“Madame Web” contains no post-credit scenes, which brings up one major question: Why is Sony producing these low-quality movies if they aren’t going anywhere?

There’s only one reason that this movie would come out this way, and while it hasn’t been confirmed by Sony, it’s clear the company is willing to do anything to keep the movie license for the “Spider-Man” franchise.

Back in 1999, Marvel Comics was on the verge of bankruptcy, and as a result, they sold various film rights of different characters including the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man to different companies. 

Sony got the rights to the web-slinger for $7 million and has kept the license going ever since, even with the addition of Spider-Man in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Madame Web” is an affront to not only the movie industry but also to the comic book fans who possessed any hope that this movie would be good. Instead, they have a movie that will more than likely end up in a Dollar Tree — maybe if Sony is lucky enough, it’ll land in Walmart’s $5 bin. Even then, it still wouldn’t be worth the watch.


[email protected] 

More to Discover
ILLordle: Play now