Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Box Office

‘MADAME WEB’ Film Review: Falls Short of Expectations But Glimmers with Hope for the Future of Superhero Cinema

Bringing what promised to be an exciting new spin on the superhero genre! Madame Web tells the standalone origin story of Marvel’s mysterious heroine Cassandra Webb, a paramedic whose life is turned upside down when she develops psychic abilities, including visions of the future. Thrust into a world of suspense and intrigue, Cassandra realizes she can use her powers to alter fate itself. But when revelations about her own dark past emerge, she finds herself racing against time to forge connections with three gifted young women – bonds that could determine all of their destinies, if they can stay alive long enough to fulfill them. 

While not exactly the bleak superhero movie the trailers suggested, Madame Web does, at least for this reviewer, disprove most of the the barrage of negative reviews. This refreshingly earnest take on the genre is a welcome antidote to the recent glut of antihero stories and though it fell short of my expectations, it still managed to provide a glimmer of hope that superheroes can still offer thoughtfull thrills without resorting to oppressive grittiness. Viewers fatigued by the cookie-cutter Marvel formula may in fact find themselves won over by this flawed-but-heartfelt film. Madame Web might not look like it will go down in history as one of the genre’s great films right now, but its lofty aspirations and refined tone provide a harbinger of better superhero movies on the horizon and I’d go as far as saying we might well look back at this movie in 10 to 20 years with far more gratitude than it’s getting at the moment.

While the ensemble cast is made up of a host of talented actors, even their best attempts simply cannot rise above the frustratingly sloppy writing that bogs Madame Web down. Dakota Johnson does her very best to try to inject charm and wit into her role as Cassie, but her efforts are thwarted by the asinine, formulaic script. We all know just how talented Johnson is when working in a role that plays to her strengths Wounds and Suspiria jump to mind. Disappointingly, her flashes of brilliance in this film are few and far between, drowned out by the relentless onslaught of insipid and canned narrative. Regardless of the stellar ensemble cast, the pedestrian premise undermines their abilities, culminating in a head-scratchingly underwhelming feature.

Don’t get me started on the rest of the cast that I felt sorry for as they were unceremoniously dropped into an uphill battle the better part of halfway through – no backstory, no character development, nothing. Just poof here they are, expect us to care about them now. As a result, it’s just impossible to muster even an ounce of interest in these supposed co-stars, regardless of how much effort they might have tried to announce their presence. 

Madame Web is an ambitious and unconventional attempt by Sony to evoke the spirit of early 2000s superhero movies. While the film’s creative choices may seem puzzling when viewed through a modern lens, they make sense when considered as an homage to that era’s comic book films. Though reviews have been mixed, there is merit in trying something different. With Kraven the Hunter on the horizon and potential for these characters to gain a cult following, perhaps we should applaud Sony’s efforts to expand the Spider-Man universe by looking to the past. If nothing else, Madame Web shows a willingness to take risks and forge its own path. While not fully realizing its lofty goals, the film may pave the way for more inventive comic book movies down the road. We can remain optimistic that its boldness will inspire more creativity in this crowded genre.


Where to watch MADAME WEB

You May Also Like

Box Office

It took seven years and a lot of begging but Ryan Reynold‘s Deadpool 2 end credit dreams are finally caming true. Get ready for the most...

Box Office

Magnet Releasing has debuted the official trailer for Nicholas Tomnay‘s (The Perfect Host) taut culinary shocker, What You Wish For which generated significant buzz...

Box Office

Dark Sky Films and MPI Media Group have announced that Raymond Wood‘s (1st Summoning) wild and gory shocker, Faceless After Dark will be releasing...

Box Office

Paper Street Pictures has debuted the official trailer for award-winning filmmaker & production designer Ariel Vida‘s (Vide Noir) suspense shocker Trim Season, following its...