Madame Web (English) Review {2.0/5} & Review Rating

Director: S J Clarkson

MADAME WEB is the story of a young woman who turns saviour for three teenage girls. In 1973, Constance Webb (Kerry Bishé) heads to the Peruvian Amazon in the eighth month of her pregnancy to research spiders that have healing properties. After a lot of effort, she finds the spider. However, Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim), her guard, snatches away the spider from her to get powers. He also shoots Constance before fleeing. Suddenly, members of the Las Arañas tribe arrive and they try to save Constance. In the process, she delivers a baby girl and then dies. 30 years later, Constance’s daughter, Cassie Webb (Dakota Johnson) is working as a paramedic in New York City. One day, she realizes that she can see the future. Meanwhile, Ezekiel is also in New York and he gets visions of being killed by three masked women. He steals surveillance technology from a National Security Agency official and uses it to find them. He realizes that the women he saw in his dreams are actually teenage girls – Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney), Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor). They are not related to each other and in a strange coincidence, they happen to be at the same place. Meanwhile, Cassie also sees the future wherein Ezekiel is trying to kill the girls. She bumps into the trio and escapes with them before Ezekiel can lay his hands on them. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Story Review:
Kerem Sanga, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless’s story is clichéd. Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Claire Parker and S J Clarkson’s screenplay is engaging but is silly and will leave the audience puzzled as there are too many bewildering and confusing moments. The dialogues are ordinary and there are barely one or two memorable lines. A film like this ought to have had some funny and witty dialogues.

S J Clarkson’s direction is not upto the mark. It offers nothing novel and the film comes at a time when the audience is fatigued of superhero movies. The director does try to creatively depict scenes where Cassie sees the future and then goes back in time. But it doesn’t make you go ‘Wow’ as intended. The energy in the climax scene is also off and is no way nail-biting, that it should have been.

On the positive side, the scene where Cassie tries to form a bond with the girls is entertaining. The revelation about the mother in the second half is unpredictable.

Dakota Johnson genuinely tries to rise above the substandard script and gives a fine performance. Sydney Sweeney, too, puts her best forward. Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor lend able support. Tahar Rahim is over the top and is let down by the writing. Also, why on earth was he given a Spider-Man suit? Kerry Bishé, José María Yazpik (Santiago; Las Arañas tribe member) and Adam Scott (Ben Parker) leave a mark. Emma Roberts (Mary Parker) and Mike Epps (O’Neil) are okay. Zosia Mamet (Amaria; Ezekiel’s assistant) is expressionless.

Music and Technical:
Johan Söderqvist’s music has the typical superhero feel. Mauro Fiore’s cinematography doesn’t give any reason for complaint. Ethan Tobman’s production design is rich while Ngila Dickson’s costumes are stylish. VFX is not appealing. Action is appropriate. Leigh Folsom Boyd’s editing is fair.

MADAME WEB doesn’t work due to the faulty script and execution. At the box office, it’ll have a tough time due to the negativity and poor reviews.