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‘Madame Web’: labeled as latest disappointment

(Madame Web movie poster)

“Madame Web,” Sony Pictures’s newest addition to the Spider-Man universe, sparked skepticism and doubt among devoted Spider-Man fans. Unfortunately, their suspicions were justified as the film fell short of its expectations. Criticized for its lack of innovation, emotional depth, and overall impact, “Madame Web” has left fans questioning Sony’s capability to handle the beloved Spider-Man franchise. 

It is well-known that Sony bought the rights to Spider-Man, paying $10 million for the rights to the Spider-Man comic books and films in 1999. Initially, Spider-Man fans were not displeased with the change in management, as Sony was rather successful with movie productions. The most recent Spider-Man films—“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home”—still hold the reputation of being excellent films by both critics and fans. 

“I have watched a lot, or nearly all of the Spider-Man films that Sony Pictures has produced,” Joshua Han (9), Spider-Man fan, said. “I would say that they were all pretty good movies and I do not have much criticism of them because the dialogue, script, and emotional depth were all there in the movie. Especially since the recent Spider-Man movies all include Tom Holland, an A-list actor who definitely helped the movie succeed due to his acting skills.”

Despite Sony’s previous successes with the Spider-Man franchise, the viewers have expressed disappointment with how Sony has been handling lesser-known characters related to the Spider-Man Universe (SSU). “Morbius” and “Venom” serve as prime examples, with both films receiving underwhelming ratings. 

“I did not enjoy ‘Venom’ at all,” Glen Monaghan, movie enthusiast, said. “Not only was the plot lacking, but the writing, the dialogue, and the cinematography were all very disappointing. Since Sony movies have let me down, I will not be watching ‘Madame Web’ because I believe that this will be the same case as ‘Venom .’” 

“Madame Web” also falls under the category of lesser-known characters in the SSU, which added to the skepticism surrounding its potential success. With the storyline diverging from the mainstream Spider-Man narrative, viewers ultimately found themselves disappointed with the film’s storyline. 

S.J. Clarkson, the primary screenwriter and director behind “Madame Web,” has faced a considerable amount of criticism for her work. Known for her television-directing skills, Clarkson was under fire for her choice of pacing and script. While Clarkson’s efforts to make the film entertaining and visually pleasing were evident, viewers found the execution unsatisfactory––the actors involved were not safe from online critics either. Despite their established reputations in the film industry, the cast members––including renowned actresses Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, and Emma Roberts––have found themselves under fire for the performances. Viewers have pointed out several instances where the script and the delivery of the lines added to the film’s overall awkwardness. 

“I haven’t watched the movie, but I have seen and heard a lot of discourse online about it, which was all very negative,” Seungmin Jeong (10), social media user, said. “I do not believe there was a single positive comment about it. It was mostly people saying the movie did not​​ live up to the expectations.” 

A 12 percent rating from movie critics at Rotten Tomatoes and disappointing box office numbers, landed “Madame Web” to be among the lowest ticket sales ever for a superhero movie and the lowest rated of Sony’s spinoffs.

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About the Contributor
Christie Hwang
Christie Hwang, Copy Editor
Christie is a sophomore copy editor for Tiger Times. In her leisure time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, binge-watching courtroom dramas, cooking, and baking. She also takes delight in conversations, so feel free to approach her in the hallways!

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