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  • Robert Farago

Madam Web - The Worst Movie Ever Made?

So it is claimed

The plot of Madam Web can be summed-up in ten words (not including hyphenation): she can see the future and ends-up in a wheelchair.

The critical reaction can be summed in five: the worst movie ever made.

Is it? While Madam Web is certain to join Rotten Tomatoes’ 100 Worst Movies of All Time, it’s hardly in the same class as Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Burial Plot

The critics’ main complaint: Madam Web has more plot holes than a prairie dog field.

If you want to understand just how much of an understatement that statement is, Pitch Meeting’s seven-minute takedown is well worth your time. Barely an inconvenience!


Even after spitting coffee out my nose, I’m left with questions about MW’s place in the increasingly bizarre MCU (Marvel Comic Universe).

How do Madam Web’s Amazonian arachnids jibe with Oscorp labs’ 15 super-spiders, or the Spiderman comic book’s irradiated spider?

Peter Parker didn’t get the gift of prophesy, and Cassandra didn’t get gravity-defying stickiness and acrobatics. But Madam Web’s villain and all the Amazonian spider people bitten by the same arachnid species as Cassandra, did.

Come to think of it (thank you Adderall), why didn’t Peter Parker die from radiation poisoning? With great radiation comes great death.

In short, Madam Web stretches credulity to the breaking point – and beyond! In its defense, show me a Marvel movie that doesn’t ask the audience to exile their left brain in an alternate timeline and/or dimension.

Call Me a Contrarian

Once you’re OK with your logical mind taking a powder, Madam Web has its pleasures.

For one thing, I enjoyed the opening scenes, where Cassandra lives up to her namesake by failing to prevent a death she foresees in a vision. It’s so 800 BC!

In Greek mythology, Apollo tries to seduce comely Cassandra, Princess of Troy, by endowing her with the gift of prophecy. When Cassie refuses to bump uglies with Apollo, he curses her: no one will ever believe her prophecies.

Over-educated people use the expression “Cassandra complex” to describe those whose prescient warnings go unheeded. Like commentators warning us about the dangers of thinking global warming is dangerous.

Where was I?

Dub Star

The critics turn their kvetch generator up to eleven when dissing the bad guy’s dubbed dialogue.

It’s true: his lips fail to keep pace with the laughable nonsense visited upon his character. And yet these cinephiles love them some Japanese Godzilla movies. Go figure.

The naysayers also take maximum umbrage at Madam Web’s product placement.

Specifically, Cassandra does the Dew in the EMT break room and fiddles with a Pepsi can at a party (an attempt to make people want her to open it?). A huge Pepsi sign eventually kills the bad guy (an attempt to threaten the audience into drinking Pepsi?).

Maybe Sony signed the multi-million dollar deal after an exec foresaw Madam Web’s box-office receipts. If so, give that man a raise. As he/she/they expect.

Sex Appeal

If there is a compelling – OK any reason to see this universally-reviled Spiderman-adjacent movie, it’s above left.

I reckon Madam Web’s lead actress could eat crackers in bed without the slightest risk of removal. Ms. Johnson, not the cracker crumbs. Those would need to go.

Though not blessed with Kathleen Turner’s legendary whiskey-and-cigarettes voice, Ms. Johnson’s soft, soothing and expressive tone could charm the nerds from the trees (if not into the cinema to see this movie).

Admittedly, Ms. Johnson looks a bit rough in some scenes; her lip filler in the final moments of the movie reminds me of blow-up plastic furniture. At that point Cassandra Web’s been blinded by errant fireworks and confined to a wheelchair, so what does she care?

Neither should any red-blooded heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, omnisexual or queer human being. Not to mention plastic furniture salespeople.

A Good Bad Movie?

Madam Web dodges the TWMITW title by dint what’s not in the movie.

While its central characters all identify as women (as far as we know), Madam Web isn’t infected by the political correctness afflicting this post’s previous paragraph and Ms. Marvel.

Would I recommend Madam Webb to fans of terrible movies? No. It’s stupid, but not Shaknado-level stupid.

To be fair, Sharknado reached its nadir in its sixth outing: Sharknado: The 4th Awakens. Madam Webb is an origin story. The way forwards – backwards? – to cinematic infamy is clear.

Ms. Johnson starred in no less than three Fifty Shades movies. None of which was an Oscar contender. Here’s hoping Madam Web’s Wrath of God reviews don’t stop Marvel from commissioning a truly, magnificently, wonderfully awful sequel.


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