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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

One tangled web

New spidey-verse hero origin story
Sony+releases+%E2%80%9CMadame+Web%E2%80%9D+on+Feb.+14++and+it+is+not+received+well.
Sony
Sony releases “Madame Web” on Feb. 14 and it is not received well.

“Madame Web” was very different from other superhero movies that I’ve seen. It’s an addition to the SSU (Sony’s Spiderman Universe) movies featuring comic characters like “Venom,” “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” “Morbius,” “Kraven the Hunter” and the “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” trilogy, etc. I personally enjoyed the “Into the Spider-Verse,” “Across the Spider-Verse” and “Venom” movies so I was perfectly happy when “Madame Web” came out. Although, the movie was overwhelmingly mediocre.

The character Madame Web or Cassandra Webb played by Dakota Johnson was wildly different from the comic character. I feel that this was an unfortunate choice. In the comics, Madame Web is an old blind woman. She was born in New Orleans without her sight and with a neurological disorder. Eventually, she realized that she had psychic abilities and eventually started to help Peter Parker. The movie stars a much younger Cassandra Webb who is a Fire Department Paramedic. She has a very calloused demeanor and seems to have a hard time showing empathy. When saving Julia Carpenter’s (Sydney Sweeney) stepmother’s life, Cassie (Cassandra Webb) was very awkward in receiving the gratitude. Throughout the beginning of the movie, she shows constant distaste for family and children. This is probably due to her spending her childhood in foster care.

Webb’s paramedic partner was Ben Parker (Adam Scott). Also, Cassie went to Mary Parker’s (Emma Roberts) baby shower for Peter Parker. This honestly felt like fan service, but it was cool to see nonetheless. 

One thing that I did like about the movie was the way they did the “seeing into the future” ability. The scene would happen normally and then something would snap or Cassie would blink and the same thing would happen over again. When it first started happening she was just as confused as I was as a viewer. This repetitively happened throughout the movie, and she eventually managed to use it to her advantage.

Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) was not a villain that I could connect with. He’s a believable villain, but he’s also the basic rich greedy psychopath that goes with a lot of superhero movies. I also couldn’t really take him seriously because he looked like some kind of off-brand Spider-Man. Anyways, Ezekiel was introduced at the beginning of the movie helping Cassie’s mother, Constance Webb (Kerry Bishé), search Peru for a spider that could give humans supernatural abilities. Constance wanted to use it to help heal or cure Cassie’s muscular disorder. A disorder that she found out about while Cassie was still in the womb. Ezekiel, who was supposed to be her bodyguard, ended up shooting her and taking the spider for himself. A bunch of weird spider people then came and helped Constance deliver her baby with the help of the spider’s venom, and Constance didn’t make it. Cassie somehow made it back into the United States and went into foster care.

Later in the movie, it shows that Ezekiel has a vision of three spider women who kill him in the future. As any good villain would do, he finds the three–Julia Carpenter, Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor)–and tries to kill them. In the present time of the movie, these three women are teenagers. As expected, Cassie runs into them and saves them, they all grow closer throughout the movie with silly interactions, they do a lot of running from Ezekiel, and end up defeating him in the end with the help of Cassie’s ability to see into the future. 

To circle back, it is kind of sad how different Cassandra Webb was from the comics. I thought it would be really cool to see Madame Web as how she is in the comics, connected to the multiverse through her web-like ability, but instead, we got a young Madame Web who got her powers from some weird spider people in Peru and became blind by a firework. I just think it’s unfortunate that the writers and producers of “Madame Web” changed her character so drastically. The story will not be continued either because Dakota Johnson no longer wants to play the role of Madame Web after the movie gained so many horrible reviews.

Overall, the movie wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the best either. I was attentive the whole time, but there were some odd dialogue choices and weird plot holes. I wish that the writers had taken advantage of the story of Madame Web that the comics provided. It was a missed opportunity on their part.

 

2.5/5 stars

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About the Contributor
Ariana Griffin, Staff Reporter
As a senior, this is Ana's second year on the CATalyst staff. She was previously the Online Editor-in-Chief for the CATalyst website and worked with the radio as part of the High School Radio Project. Ana looks forward to writing compelling stories and interviewing new people. Outside of journalism, Ana enjoys drawing, writing, reading and video games. She looks forward to getting to know the rest of the staff and working together with them to produce new and interesting content.

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