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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


REVIEW: ‘Madame Web’ finds a place in Spider-hero universe

Xavier Urias
“Madame Web” presents a unique take on the Spider-Verse. Characters such as Julia Cornwall, Mattie Franklin and Anya Corazon make their live-action debut.

“Madame Web” met my expectations and was a unique way to introduce a lesser known and uncommon character within the Spider-Verse. While not being as titular of a comic character as Spider-Man, Madame Web is still an important member within the Spider family. 

With the ability to see different versions of the future, Cassandra “Cassie” Webb helps to save the lives of Julia Cornwall, Mattie Franklin and Anya Corazon from Ezekiel Sims

The storyline of “Madame Web” is set in 2003, with the aesthetics of the early 2000s shown through music choices, an abundance of taxi-cabs instead of Lyft or Ubers and newspapers being more common than a cell phone, all making for nice touches. The soundtrack used certain pop hits of that time that really set the vibe of a scene like Toxic by Britney Spears or Dreams by The Cranberries.

The film seems to be a standalone project as it only matches up with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. It’s also possible that “Madame Web” is set in it’s own universe, much like “Venom,” Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man or Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man.

“Madame Web” is also set at a point that Peter Parker as Spider-Man has yet to exist, which is a pretty experimental concept to explore. Sony made that leap, and honestly, I enjoyed it, especially because Ben Parker and Mary Parker were added to the supporting cast.

I loved Dakota Johnson’s portrayal of Cassie, but I wonder how the story would’ve changed if it was an elderly woman. Madame Web is usually an elderly woman who is blind and paralyzed, connected to a life support system that looks like a web. The story would have most likely been different, but the Spider-Verse is vast, so maybe in the future, there will be an older version.

In addition to Cassie, I loved how Julia, Mattie and Anya were portrayed and how all of them had different personality traits that showed off the bat. Julia is very shy and unsure of herself, Mattie is headstrong and untrusting, and Anya is smart and snarky. Their personalities are very distinct in depictions of the characters younger selves, but from the few glimpses of them as heroes in the future there is a confidence that they find.  These characters all slowly bonded throughout the film, especially the three teens coming to trust Cassie as a protector from Ezekiel

Some of the films CGI felt very much like, well, CGI. It’s like when the viewer sees it, it looks fake and it shows. However, a lot of the fight and chase scenes didn’t feel CGI at all. At times, when Ezekiel was onscreen, a lot of his dialogue didn’t match his lips, which threw me off. However, the usage of CGI when talking about the futures of Julia, Mattie and Anya was impeccable.

Although this film has been receiving lots of negative reviews, I personally enjoyed it. When it comes down to it, the Spider-Verse is an intricate film multiverse with several stories, good or bad. Sony pushes the envelope and is constantly testing what works and what doesn’t. If more studios did that with series or certain multi-film stories, something good could come of it. 

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