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The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

‘Madame Web’ lives up to horrible expectations

Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes
Madame Web came out on February 14, 2024. It received a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Madame Web was not as bad as critics made it out to seem; it was worse. The film, directed by S.J. Clarkson and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, can only be described as a hot mess. 

The movie follows protaginst Cassie, played by Dakota Johnson, as a paramedic in early 2000’s New York. She mysteriously develops the power to unexpectedly see bits of the future. This leads her on a journey to help protect three teenagers she meets on the subway from attacker Ezekial. He developed powers from a spider in the amazon and is trying to eliminate the girls because of repeated visions he has had of them. He is also connected to Cassie’s deceased mother.  

As I entered the almost empty showing of Madame Web with my friends, I kept an open mind. I had heard about how the movie was flopping and seen the 13 percent it had received on Rotten Tomatoes. But strangely that made me root for the movie more. It was a female superhero with an amazing cast including fan favorites like Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, and Emma Roberts. I dismissed the criticism as misogyny because historically female led superheroes receive much harsher reviews. But I soon realized how very wrong I was. 

The movie doesn’t start off bad. It opens with an interesting flashback of the protagonist’s mom successfully hooking viewers in. The premise of the movie seems interesting and my friends and I look over at each other as if to say “this isn’t that bad”. But it quickly goes downhill. The writing is atrocious and comes off as choppy, dry, and cringey at times. The special effects, that are used quite frequently throughout the film, looked like they could have been done by an elementary school kid with an iPad. The camera work was shaky at times and I didn’t find any of the characters to be likable or relatable, even though it seems as though the writers tried hard to make it come across that way. 

But the worst part of the movie was the plot. The only explanation for how terrible the plot is that they changed the plot or had writers quit half-way through production. It felt as if the movie was going in too many different directions. But even with all the plot lines not one was adequately developed. It destroyed the Spider-Man franchise’s most iconic line by putting a twist on it: When you take on the responsibility, great power will come. This theme was poorly executed towards the end of the movie by having the protagonist say completely out of character and cringe worthy lines as an attempt to make her seem wise. This was a major change as her character in the rest of the movie was dry and sarcastic. 

As the movie ended I stared at the screen in shock. It felt as if they had forgotten to write an ending. One of the main visions of the movie that was teased throughout the film never came to fruition, and I was left with many questions. My friends and I waited until after the credits and were shocked to find that there wasn’t an end credits scene, something Marvel is notorious for incorporating. 

I did enjoy the movie but for all the wrong reasons. I spent most of the film laughing with my friends in disbelief at what was happening and at the awful writing. But I will admit that there were appealing aspects like the costumes. My personal favorite was a t-shirt one character spent half the movie in with the words “I eat math for breakfast” etched on it. The soundtrack and references to the 2000’s were one of the few things done well. 

All in all the whole movie came across as low effort. The film had good potential and an amazing cast but ultimately fell flat. It is disheartening to see another minimum effort Marvel movie obviously trying to set up for future movies to maximize profits. But in this case it backfired. I would recommend this movie only if you want a good laugh or a movie to rip apart with friends. I would rate it a 2/10.

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About the Contributor
Dhriti Pai
Dhriti Pai, Section Editor
Dhriti Pai is a junior heading into her second year on TRL. She is super excited for her first year as News Editor. In school, she enjoys being a part of debate, mock trial and GSA. Outside the classroom, you can find Pai running at Celebration with friends, listening to Taylor Swift or eating Chipotle. She is often traveling with her family, but above all, she loves to spend time with her dog, Mochi, who just turned one this past summer. Dhriti can’t wait to see what her next year on TRL has to offer.  

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    GPFeb 28, 2024 at 6:07 pm

    Such a wonderfully written review. Great job on articulating the cons of the movie.