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Madame Web (2024) Review

The Sony Picture Universe of Marvel Characters, elegantly abbreviated as SPUMC, has been suffering tremendously as it attempts to pad the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately for Madame Web, the attempt to parallel the success of Spider-Man through alternative means has teed itself up to forever live in infamy by spinning a story nobody asked for.

Sony's decision to greenlight Madame Web in the state that it was is astounding. The fact that the entire filming process was complete, edited, and somewhat promoted proves that studios are willing to create content for the sake of using Marvel's sake -- even in vain. What exactly was the motivation here, besides spitting on the Spider-Man legacy? Was it worth pouring a life-changing amount of money into Morbius For Women? The entire concept of Madame Web is inconceivable, but the execution is shockingly poor. Then again, who exactly is Madame Web for? It's pre-Peter Parker and yet miscalculates the birthday of Tom Holland's webslinger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Look, superhero movies aren't for everyone, and that's understandable. But would it kill Sony's creative team to fact-check the timeline they assumedly wanted to align with?

Screenwriting has become an incredibly fluid art form, yet those credited on Madame Web's screenwriting team may want to remove this specific title from their portfolio altogether. Every scene feels like an absolute chore to get through, and there's nothing particularly interesting about how the screenplay is written. The most meme'd line from the trailer, "He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died," isn't even in the movie itself. Line deliveries are lifeless and flat -- no member of this cast could be bothered to sincerely engage with the script, and their apathy is more than present. It's as if lead actress Dakota Johnson had a completely different idea in mind when her agent booked her for a "Marvel" movie. She works through Madame Web as if she's in a daze, and is already thinking about how she can redeem her career after agreeing to take such a dismal role. Madame Web is Marvel-adjacent and serves as another ill-fated attempt at repackaging characters that haven't been locked under Disney's domain. That being said, Marvel's ongoing quest to remain relevant outside of its more-anticipated properties didn't exactly stick the landing.

It's sincerely puzzling as to why Sony insisted that Madame Web was even made. It holds no stake in Sony Pictures' regretfully-growing Marvel sub-universe, nor does it bear any deeper significance for Marvel's mainline movies. It exists for the sake of existing and in the most pitiful way. Everything about Madame Web effectively works against its favor; an incohesive plot, questionable dialogue, an apathetic cast, and cringe-inducing CGI elevate a predictably bad movie into an even more abysmal one. If there's one thing about Madame Web, it's that it's the perfect movie to pirate through an incredibly shady second-hand torrent site. Save your money, and skip this one completely. 1/10.

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