Madame Web review: how bad is it?

Dakota Johnson in Madame Web

Madame Web is a Marvel origin story. It was trashed horribly when it came out in theaters. In my experience any Marvel film with a woman in the lead gets trashed horribly before it’s released by the Marvel bros who can’t stand women in leading roles. It also has a woman director, S.J. Clarkson, which further energizes the Marvel bros to post trash reviews.

Madame Web couldn’t possibly be as bad as the first reviews made it out to be. My experience with Marvel and women led and women directed movies made me believe it was just sour grapes from a few vocal Marvel bros. I definitely needed to watch it and judge for myself.

Here’s the news. It really is pretty bad.

The basic mess of a plot was how Madame Web came to have her powers and how the baby spider girls who would later develop powers came under her tutelage. The baby spider girls connect to the Spiderman origin story in some undefined way. So Madame Web is a prequel to Spiderman.

Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson) was a EMT. She worked with Ben Parker (Adam Scott). He and his wife were expecting a baby. Cassandra got injured on the job. When she came to, she was experiencing strange episodes of seeing the future.

It was because of her mother’s work in the Peruvian Amazon looking for a spider with venom that could save lives.

Okay. So. Cassandra is on the subway and she sees a dude dressed in a spider costume (Tahar Rahim) jump on the train and murder three teen age girls. But it was a vision of the future.

Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O'Connor in Madame Web
Put these four together in something worthy of them, please.

She quickly herded the girls off the subway and saved them from the spider guy. They were Julia (Sydney Sweeney), Anya (Isabela Merced), and Mattie (Celeste O’Connor). The dude on the train had stolen the spider venom from Cassandra’s mother and had superpowers of his own. Among them the ability to see the future time when three spider girls would kill him.

So he figured killing the girls now before they got powers was the best plan. Of course, Cassandra and the girls teamed up to squash his plans.

It sounds almost sensible the way I’ve typed it here, but it was badly written and executed. It didn’t approach sensible, even for a superhero action thriller, a genre that isn’t required to make sense.

For once, you can believe the Marvel bros.

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