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The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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April 21, 2024

“Madame Web”: Is this the worst movie ever made?

The plot lacks substance and genuine effort, and it seems as if the first draft of the script wasn’t revised at all. 

For fans of Sony’s Spider-Man cinematic universe, it would seem impossible to stoop below the standard of “Morbius” — a notorious box office bomb. Yet, two years later, Sony proved fans wrong with the release of “Madame Web.” 

Sony’s latest entry follows paramedic Cassandra “Cassie” Web (Dakota Johnson) after a near-death experience, after which she unlocks the previously dormant ability to see the future. Using her newfound superpower, Cassie saves the lives of three teenage girls, Julia Carpenter (Sydney Sweeney), Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor), from the Peruvian villain Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim). 

However, after having their lives saved, the three teenage girls present themselves as insufferable, eye-twitching elements of the movie. Instead of developing into an engaging and unique superhero, Web takes on the role of a babysitter to a trio of unlikeable teens, which makes for a ridiculous and unengaging story. The plot lacks substance and genuine effort, and it seems as if the first draft of the script wasn’t revised at all. 

Writers Matt Sazaman and Burk Sharpless have a history of failed movies, and they can add “Madame Web” to their repertoire. Known for “Dracula Untold,” “Gods of Egypt” and the infamous “Morbius,” the writers have once again failed to create a captivating plot that leaves both critics and ordinary viewers with a positive experience.

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It’s important to note that “Madame Web” isn’t a part of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Instead, Sony developed it separately as part of their own Spider-Man universe, as Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man and neighboring characters. Therefore, “Madame Web” takes place in the same extended universe as “Venom” and “Morbius.” 

Considering the amazing costumes on display in the original “Madame Web” comics, audiences would rightfully hope for these designs in the film to reflect the unique female Spider characters. Unfortunately, the movie manages to fall short on this as well; the characters wear over-the-surface outfits that add nothing to their personality, and it’s an overall waste of an opportunity to pay respects to the original costumes.

Worse, the script is a tangled web that can’t be unraveled. The plot jumps from point to point without an explanation, and director S.J. Clarkson fails to properly introduce characters, expecting audiences to know things not shown. Cassie doesn’t even fit into the superhero category; it’s as if a normal civilian was suddenly able to see the future and then aimlessly roams around New York City without acting on their power.

Additionally, efforts to address Madame Web’s superhero backstory somehow fall short of mediocrity. At one point, Cassie goes to Peru to find out where her powers came from since she knew her mother had died there, but by the end of her boring trip, any interesting lore surrounding her powers is somehow still ambiguous.

Despite its 116-minute run time, “Madame Web” lacks any substance or sense, with the poor writing barely even attempting to give the characters a quick explanation for their actions. Instead, the writers throw in random backgrounding for the characters, performing shallow attempts to enhance their stories.  

The film is a shameless attempt to keep the Spider-Man money flowing. Dakota Johnson’s acting is the only thing making this movie bearable, and the fact that she could contain her laughter while reading the script is the most impressive part of the entire movie. Despite her efforts, nothing can save the painful watch that is “Madame Web.” If only Cassie existed in real life to predict the waste of time and money her movie would become.  

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About the Contributor
Zhara Thomas
Zhara Thomas, Feature Writer
Grade 11 Why did you join The B&W? I joined the Black and White so I could use my love of writing to reach out to other people. What is your favorite song? Nights by Frank Ocean

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