Thursday, February 15, 2024

Madame Web

It's rare to find a movie that is seemingly as self-aware of being awful as Sony's Madame Web. I can't confirm that cast and crew deliberately set out to make a bad B-movie but that's really the only way that this film's existence makes any sense. Its mind-blowing faults in every aspect of filmmaking presents an unapologetic dumpster fire to keep you guessing what bad decision, in front or behind the camera, will be made next.

Gathering up various Spider-Man related characters and chucking them all together in a plot that would make Ed Wood blush, Madame Web casts Dakota Johnson as New York paramedic Cassandra Webb whose recent near-death experience activated powers she was gifted with when her pregnant mother was saved by some Spider-people in the Peruvian jungle long enough for Cassie to be born. Um, okay? With her powers activated, Cassie begins to experience moments of déjà vu and eventually discovers she can change events to work out in her favor.

Also included in the plot are a trio of teens (Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O'Connor), none of whom have spider-powers, and the murderer (Tahar Rahim) of Cassie's mother who is hunting them down cursed with the knowledge that eventually the girls will becomes spider-heroes and kill him. The plot, such as it is, finds a reluctant Cassie helping the girls and learning about her past and powers in order to see the "web" of their intertangled destinies and prevent their deaths at the hand of the shitty Spider-villain that others can sometimes see but can sometimes not see making Cassie's actions look even more erratic than they actually are (which is saying something). Oh, and Cassie's co-worker is Ben Parker (Adam Scott) because why the hell not?

Nothing about the film works, although the lack of logic and common sense along with the questionable talent on-screen does provide Madame Web with something approaching charm without actually being charming. The film isn't so bad it's good; it's so bad it's almost impossible to mentally process what is happening on the screen as it shoehorns spider webs in various forms to bluntly hammer home its theme. Sometimes you can laugh at the shortcomings of a screenplay it took four people to write and sometimes you will just stare blankly at the screen unable to properly comprehend how anyone thought showing this to anybody was a good idea.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Madame Web
  • IMDb: link

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