Madame Web | Third Space

Madame Web

Well, Morbius and The Marvels will look better now
Wed 14 Feb 2024



⭐️ (out of 5)

As a new compatriot of Spider-man swings (or crashes) into theatres, fans may wonder which side of the cinematic web this film will stick. As a lesser-known property within the Marvel Universe, Madame Web’s persona will need more development than most other comic book-inspired characters. It may cause some to wonder why she is being introduced now. As her story and that of her trio of Spider-people is unleashed, some fans may wonder if Sony will choose the creative and innovative path of Into the Spiderverse franchise or if Cassie Webb (Dakota Johnson) and company will travel down the funnel web into the infamous chasm where Morbius lurks?

For those of us being introduced to the prophetic character within Sony's Spider-Man Universe, her story begins in the jungles of Peru, where her mother searches for an elusive spider with medicinal powers. Yet, once she finds the arachnid, she is double-crossed by the head of security, Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim), who desires to unleash the superhuman powers found within the insect's venom. Even though Cassie’s mother dies, the child survives and is left to navigate the foster care system in the US, which leaves her jaded as an adult. Still, she does find solace in her work as a paramedic. Until an accident occurs and Cassie unexpectedly discovers powers she never knew she had to tell the future. In her journey to uncover the mystery of her own talents, she sees a vision involving three teenage girls on a train with her who are about to be attacked by Ekeziel Sims. After saving Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney), Mattie Franklin (Celeste O'Connor) and Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced) from the initial attack, the four women must determine how they are connected and how to stop Sims from killing them all.

Before the film begins to roll, this whole project feels like a poor attempt by Sony to hold onto their beloved cash cow (or spider) by any means possible. As the studio pushes this minor character out into the general populace with the hope that she will win over the hearts of a new audience epitomises the notion of wishful thinking. Yet, one could hope that this production house has learned from their experiences with Morbius and by observing their friends across the hall at Marvel studios with their female-centric run with The Marvels. Yet, within moments of the story's unfolding, the situation becomes painfully apparent that this is not the case and that things can get worse than the previously mentioned cinematic examples.

A laundry list of issues ranges from the disjointed storyline to the anaemic and irrelevant villain. Still, the biggest problems with this film come down to three key issues. The first was Dakota Johnson’s casting as Madam Web. Her style and presence fail to capture the imagination of her larger-than-life character, and her delivery makes Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel look like the most effervescent inclusion in the MCU. Second on the list would have to be the ridiculous spider trio of Sweeney, O’Conner, and Corazon, who are written so poorly that it is no wonder their parents have abandoned them. Yet, this girl's troop should have believable chemistry to help the viewer to come along with them on the subsequent season of their quest to be the next band of superheroes, but this never comes to be in this film. Then the final issue has to be the problem with most of their movies in answering the question of the Spider Universe, where is Spider-man? He brings this world together; without him, none of these other characters really matter.

Madame Web will do little to keep the haters of the superhero genre at bay; this film will fuel the fire for all who have come to dislike Marvel movies and what they represent. Yet, one thing this film does is lift Morbius and The Marvels out of the depths of despair and prove you can make a film that will be the example of the worst superhero film of the modern era.

Reel Dialogue: We all need a mentor

Amongst the debacle of a storyline and poor character development, a key theme is exposed: the need for someone to invest in your life. All four women in this film need mentoring, community and care. If there is something salvageable in Madame Web, it would be the importance of mentors in our lives.

Key individuals represent all that we aspire to be in our lives and those who are willing to invest in our future. Cassie Webb is far from an ideal role model. Still, she represents the very thing we all desire to have come into our life, an accessible hero. Someone to look up to, someone to emulate and maybe even someone we envy. This is one of the considerations that the gospel accounts in the Bible address by providing the one and only role model that will not fail.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. - Titus 2:3-5

For those looking for answers to facing your fears, the Third Space team is here for you. We would love to chat with you about mentorship and more.

More like this ...

Aaron Johnstone, Al Stewart | 19 Oct 2023
Is there non-toxic masculinity?
Stephen McAlpine | 1 Dec 2022
When words are weaponised against us
Andrew Laird | 19 Jun 2022
When injustice does prevails
Kara Martin | 31 Jan 2016
Find something more at work