Movie Reviews
Madame Web

Madame Web Review: A Woven Tale of Potential and Missteps

In the ever-expanding universe of superhero films, Sony’s attempt to further enrich its Spider-Man Universe (SSU) brings us Madame Web, a film that dances on the edge of innovation but struggles to find its footing. Directed by S. J. Clarkson and penned by Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Claire Parker, and Clarkson, the film seeks to explore lesser-known corners of the Marvel comics. Starring Dakota Johnson as the titular character, alongside an ensemble cast featuring Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced, and others, Madame Web ventures into the supernatural, psychic elements of the superhero genre. The film unfolds the story of Cassandra Cassie Webb, who is on a mission to protect three young women from a deadly adversary, all the while grappling with the skeletons in her own closet.

Madame Web embarks on an ambitious narrative path, aiming to blend elements of mystery, action, and supernatural prowess. Cassie Webb, played with a blend of intensity and vulnerability by Dakota Johnson, is depicted as a figure burdened by her past and the overwhelming nature of her abilities. The premise is compelling, offering a rich narrative tapestry for exploration. However, the film often falters in maintaining narrative coherence. The ambitious scope sometimes leads to cluttered storytelling, where the significant character development for the trio of young women, portrayed with vigor by Sweeney, O’Connor, and Merced, feels truncated. This lack of depth occasionally leaves viewers wanting more, struggling to fully invest in their fates or comprehend their destinies’ scope.

Dakota Johnson brings a grounded, raw edge to Cassie, encapsulating the weariness of a life haunted by visions of the future. Johnson’s portrayal is one of the film’s stronger points, offering a glimpse into what could have been a deeply engaging character study. Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, and Isabela Merced each bring their own charm and intensity to their roles. Although, the script affords them limited space to truly evolve. Tahar Rahim, as the antagonist Ezekiel Sims, delivers a performance that is both menacing and nuanced. But again, the script does not fully flesh out his motivations, leaving his villainy feeling somewhat superficial.

The film excels in its visual presentation. Clarkson’s direction, coupled with the work of the cinematography team, crafts some truly mesmerizing sequences. They make full use of the film’s supernatural and psychic elements. Action sequences are choreographed with an eye for both the fantastical and the brutal realities of combat. However, despite these visual triumphs, the film occasionally stumbles in pacing. Action scenes, though beautifully rendered, can feel disjointed from the overall narrative. They act as spectacles rather than integral moments of character or story progression.

Madame Web attempts to tackle themes of destiny, legacy, and redemption, weaving these throughout its supernatural narrative. With magical aspects and hints at a broader, interconnected world, the picture does well to expand Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. However, the philosophical underpinnings of destiny vs free will are often reduced to brief dialogue exchanges.

Madame Web is a film of unfulfilled potential. It shines for highlighting lesser-known Marvel characters and exploring superhero lore’s mystical components. The performances are commendable, and the visual effects and action sequences offer plenty of spectacle. However, the film is marred by its narrative inconsistencies, lack of character development, and occasional pacing issues. It leaves a bittersweet feeling; there’s a great film somewhere within Madame Web, struggling to break free.


In the pantheon of superhero films, Madame Web is neither a standout masterpiece nor a forgettable misstep. It occupies a middle ground, offering enough to entertain but faltering in its execution. Fans of the genre and the SSU may find enough to appreciate, especially in its performances and visual spectacle. However, those seeking a deeper, more cohesive exploration of its themes and characters might find themselves underwhelmed.

Ultimately, Madame Web serves as a reminder of both the potential and the pitfalls of expanding a universe. It hints at a broader, more mystical world within the SSU, offering a tantalizing glimpse of what could be.

Madame Web Review: A Woven Tale of Potential and Missteps
  • Acting - 6.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6/10
  • Watchability - 7.5/10
  • Rewatchability - 6/10
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