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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

‘Madame Web’ swings and strikes out

Actors José María Yazpik (from left), Dakota Johnson and filmmaker S. J. Clarkson pose on the red carpet premiere of “Madame Web” in Mexico City. “Madame Web” is the most recent Marvel movie to come out. (Marco Ugarte | AP Photo)

“Morbius” has a new contender for worst superhero movie following the release of “Madame Web.”

Released on Valentine’s Day, “Madame Web,” directed by S.J. Clarkson, is the fourth and newest movie to come from Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. 

The film focuses on Cassandra “Cassie” Webb (Dakota Johnson), a New York City paramedic who gains clairvoyant powers after a near-death experience on the job. 

Webb boards a train and suddenly has a vision of three girls – Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced), Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor) – dying on the train by a strange man, later revealed to be Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim). 

Like Webb, Sims has clairvoyant powers, as well as enhanced physical abilities, which lead to him having visions of the three girls killing him in the future. To stop this, he hunts the girls down to kill them, but Webb makes it her mission to protect the girls from Sims.

“Madame Web” takes place in 2003, and the movie will do all that it can to remind you of that fact. 

From a giant billboard of Beyoncé’s “Dangerously in Love,” a mention of Martha Stewart’s indictments and lots of American Idol, get ready to be bombarded with these Y2K era references. 

Sims is evil; if you were to ask me why, I wouldn’t have an answer because this movie didn’t care to answer that question. 

He steals a rare spider, gets spider-like powers and thirty years later is trying to kill three girls. There is no other information on how he’s rich or any of his motivations. He’s the bad guy because the film needed him to be that.

The performances in this movie are just fine. The actors went to the set and said their lines. There wasn’t anything else they really gave beyond that, and that’s fine by me. Even if there was an outstanding performance in this, it would be overshadowed by everything else wrong with this movie.

The CGI was just laughable. 

During Webb’s near-death experience, she’s unconscious and floating around in her mind as she starts to get her powers. This scene is almost entirely CGI, including Webb, so one would think it would be important that this scene is well-made. It was not, and Webb ended up looking more like a character from “The Polar Express” than an actual living human.

Even the sound design in this film is poor. Near the end, there’s a final fight scene between the four girls and Sims on a rooftop. The girls have to yell to talk to one another, and it sounds like they are yelling indoors. This takes place outside on the rooftop of a building that’s about to explode. 

When basic things, like the sound, can’t be done right, it goes to show how little effort was put into this film.

I would only watch “Madame Web” if you want to laugh at something bad. Even if that’s your only reason to see it, there are better bad movies out there for much cheaper too.

So just wait for the next movie to come out in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. Hopefully, “Kraven the Hunter” will be better than this.

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