“Madame Web” directed by S.J Clarkson, was better than “Morbius” but still laughably bad, which made it a fun watch in its own right.

This film can only be described as taking what didn’t work with “Morbius” — an extremely confusing and generic plot — and giving it to an all-star cast whose character interactions barely salvage a confusing and disappointing plot. Despite the disappointment, however, I don’t agree with the extremely negative reviews it has received. The movie wasn’t bad; it was just average — it doesn’t add anything to the massive, pre-established catalog of superhero movies. 

Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson), an antisocial EMT who lives in the Big Apple, is dedicated to saving lives. After almost dying on a job with her partner Ben Parker (Adam Scott), she finds herself with strange abilities that give her glimpses into the future. Using these visions, Webb saves the lives of three teenage girls who are being hunted by Ezezkiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) because of the visions he has seen of them eventually killing him when they become Spider-Women. Webb and the girls must work together to uncover what lies in their pasts and futures before Sims kills them first. 

The overwhelmingly glaring issue with the film was its plot. Most of the characters’ decisions, which were only made to move the plot forward, made me laugh out of pure confusion, even in moments meant to be heartfelt. The villain, who started off as one of the more interesting ones in recent Marvel films, ended up being another forgettable villain in Marvel’s long lineup. 

The transitions between Webb seeing into the future and staying in the present worked, but more often than not the editing fell flat. It not only led to perplexing moments, but it was at times nauseating and weird to get adjusted to; they were quick flashes that felt oddly pieced together, just like the rest of the film. 

The dialogue felt like the writers had never heard of the phrase “show, don’t tell” — it was as though they didn’t trust the audience to grasp the plot. Many scenes felt forced or awkward; one of the more jarring examples is in its second act, during a scene meant to be heartfelt. Johnson’s lines and delivery were so bad and inappropriate for the moment that it was incredibly hard not to laugh. 

For all of its faults, the cast was by far the most enjoyable part of the movie. Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced, and Sydney Sweeney have great chemistry with Johnson, which made the film somewhat endearing. The standout moments were the interactions between the leads and supporting actor Scott which occasionally grounded the film. The trio played their parts perfectly, but it was disappointing that they didn’t get the chance to play superheroes for most of the movie.

After this film, Sony needs to stop with their “Spider-Man-less” superhero franchise, even if this film barely steps above “Morbius.” I do hope, however, that we see some of the cast reprise their roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. If you’re looking for the next date-night movie, you might want to stay out of the spider’s web.

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