The latest offering in Sony’s own Spider-Man movie universe (which also includes Venom and Morbius), the film centres around a reimagined version of the titular Marvel character, played in this version by the Fifty Shades Of Grey star.
Madame Web is due to hit cinemas on Wednesday, with reviews for the film having now been released. And as many of us might have predicted when a certain line from the trailer went viral… they are not good.
Here’s a selection of what critics have had to say about Madame Web…
“Madame Web isn’t as bad as its somewhat botched promotional campaign might suggest. It is, in fact, way worse.
“A genuine Chernobyl-level disaster that seems to get exponentially more radioactive as it goes along, this detour to one of the dustier corners of Marvel’s content farm is a dead-end from start to finish. It is the Cats: The Movie of superhero movies.
“Madame Web was never going to touch the relatively high-concept, Disney-made Avengers movies. The script is confusing, the action stale and the visual effects cheap [...] but guess what? Tickets still cost just as much as they would for a more canonical Marvel movie. So why settle for the knock-off?”
“Every year, studio executives dig up minor characters, dress them in a fog of hype and leave moviegoers to debate, defend or discard the finished product. Madame Web is one of these recently exhumed efforts.
“[The film is] an airless and stilted endeavor driven by a mechanical screenplay. Its lack of imagination would be astounding if it wasn’t so expected.”
“Madame Web might have sounded like an interesting experiment, and it sort of is, but the execution feels less like a fully realised film than an extended prologue for a movie to come. Even without a supernatural ability to clearly see the future, based on this outing that scenario seems unreasonably optimistic.”
“[Dakota] Johnson is one of the most naturally honest and gifted performers to ever play the lead role in one of these things, and while that allows her to elevate certain moments in this movie way beyond where they have any right to be, it also makes it impossible for her to hide in the moments that lay bare their own miserableness.”
USA Today (1.5 stars out of four)
“If you thought Morbius was bad, buckle up for Madame Web [...] burdened by bad dialogue, negligible character development, a lacklustre bad guy and assorted B-movie silliness, Madame stars Dakota Johnson as a New York City paramedic able to see the future.
“While gamely trying to venture outside of her drama comfort zone, she as well as others unfortunately get stuck in the film’s web of nonsense.”
RogerEbert.com (2.5 stars)
“[Madame Web] gets visually chaotic within its (literally) explosive conclusion, and much of the dialogue along the way consists of leaden exposition.
“Sometimes that can be used to comic effect, as Johnson’s Cassie Webb must repeatedly explain to people the bizarre things that are happening to her, her exasperation growing each time. But often the information dumps in the script [...] are unintentionally hilarious in their banality.”
“If only Sony believed in a version of Madame Web that gave Johnson the space to lean into her unique brand of smirking mischievousness! There might have been a movie that thrilled with wit and sparkled with energy. But as it is, Madame Web is burdened by too many threads and not enough fun.”
“[Madame Web] tries to balance the comedic tone of a modern superhero movie with what could be a more interesting psychological thriller if it invested more time on developing its hero and villain, rather than spreading itself thin trying to connect all these new versions of characters together.”
Meanwhile, critics also had their say on social media early on Tuesday morning, after a screening the previous night…
Madame Web arrives in UK cinemas on Wednesday 14 February.