Madame Web a Weak Example of Women in the Spider-verse - Hope 103.2

Madame Web a Weak Example of Women in the Spider-verse

Madame Web banks on there being a sequel for it to complete the story of this release, but it might not get the luxury.

By Laura BennettFriday 16 Feb 2024The WatchlistMoviesReading Time: 2 minutes

If you’re not a die-hard Marvel fan, you might not have heard of Madame Web, but within the “Spider-verse” of the franchise exists this mystical heroine whose ability to see the future allows her to protect the destinies of the next generation of heroes.

Madame Web doesn’t follow the comic-book details to the letter but is the origin story of Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson), a paramedic whose near-death experience awakens dormant powers passed on to her from a spider that bit her mother during childbirth. Suddenly getting flashes of the future, she ends up protecting three young women who are at risk of being killed by a wealthy adversary.


Unlike other Sony/Marvel collaborations like Venom, or Tom Halland’s Spiderman, Madame Web feels oddly disjointed and lacks a chemistry between the cast that creates the kind of buy-in built in the other releases.

We know the basic plot points of how Madame Web came to be, but we don’t really understand enough about her to feel the significance of who she’s becoming and why it will matter. Her antagonist Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) seems very committed to his belief that she and her posse (Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor) will be the end of him, but his identity as a powerful nemesis is too hollow for it to carry any weight.

If you can set the delivery aside, there’s some redemption to be found in Madame Web’s elevation of our minds as a heroic strength and its attempt to show the importance of mentorship and belonging. What’s unfortunate, is that much like The Marvels, Madame Web makes it look like all-female leads can’t succeed on screen which proves untrue in other genres (think Oceans 8 or Bridesmaids).

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by

Madame Web banks on there being a sequel for it to complete the story of this release but judging by the awkward laughs of the crowd and puzzled hand waving at certain scenes, it might not get the luxury.

Madame Web is in cinemas now.

Listen to the full review on The Watchlist podcast in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Feature image: Promotional image supplied by Sony