‘Madame Web’ First Reviews Say It’s Even Worse Than Expected
The reviews of Madame Web are here.
Spoiler alert: They’re not amazing.
Or at least they’re not amazingly good. If you’ve been following along with the news around this movie — like, say, the report that star Dakota Johnson left her longtime agency for new representation “just days after a baffling first trailer debuted” — you know that the buzz has not been great. (Stars of blockbusters opening in theaters typically do not give quotes about how “f—ing so hard” it is “to get anything made” in Hollywood because the people who run streaming services “don’t trust creative people.”)
Johnson plays the clairvoyant Spider-Man side character in the film, Sony’s latest attempt to turn their Spidey license into an entire cinematic Universe of Marvel movies. That trick might have worked for Venom, but critics seem a bit more skeptical about Madame Web. Their reviews so far are so overwhelmingly negative they make Morbius look like The Avengers.
The film doesn’t have a Rotten Tomatoes score yet, but I’m pretty confident saying uh, it’s gonna bury the needle on the rotten side. I did find one review that was reasonably positive. But I had to look pretty hard to find it.
Here’s a sample of the Madame Web reviews so far...
Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter:
When the film requires Johnson to bump up the energy, the Fifty Shades actress stumbles.
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast:
Director S.J. Clarkson stages it with all the grace of a runaway train, her snap zooms, whiplash cinematography, canted angles, and overly theatrical lighting turning this prologue embarrassingly comical.
Molly Freeman, ScreenRant:
Rife with overly expository dialogue and lines that sound awkward and unnatural even when delivered by the movie's biggest stars.
David Ehrlich, Indiewire:
A hilariously retrograde superhero movie that feels like it was made in 2003.
Luke Y. Thompson, Superhero Hype:
Like Morbius, Madame Web seems to have been scripted without the sort of knowing humor that elevates the MCU.
Lisa Laman, Collider:
The stilted line deliveries here are enough to make one wonder if the projectionist has accidentally played a Neil Breen movie by mistake.
Brian Lowry, CNN:
A movie that screams ‘streaming series,’ and even that might have been a wispy stretch.
Hannah Rose, Comic Book Resources:
A visually dazzling take on Madame Web's origin and clairvoyant powers.
Dirk Libbey, Cinema Blend:
Madame Web feels like a throwback to an earlier era of superhero movies but not in a good way.
Peter Debruge, Variety:
The script is confusing, the action stale and the visual effects cheap.
Madame Web opens in theaters on Valentine’s Day. Definitely take your date to see it — what could possibly be more romantic than a Spider-Man spinoff movie? I’ll answer my own question: Nothing! (Yes, I am married with children. Why do you ask?)