“Madame Web” Movie Review

Past, present, and future. We as human beings live in a state of constant motion, moving forward in our lives with no true detail of what lies ahead of us, but what if someone could change that? Someone with the ability to look deep into the patterns and connections we all share, and change the present for a brighter future?

That very same construct can be found in Sony’s newest movie, which takes another original spin on a character from Marvel Comics with powers much like our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
“Madame Web,” now in theaters, follows the struggle of young paramedic Cassie Webb (Dakota Johnson) as she discovers the ability of precognition and attempts to save the lives of three young girls who are being hunted by a madman with spider powers named Ezekiel (Tahar Rahim). Cassie is joined by the girls Mattie, Anya, and Julia (Celeste O’Connor, Isabel Merced and Sydney Sweeney, respectively). These three teenage girls don’t have much luck in the family department, much like the 30-year-old adult who keeps them together. They go through hell and back to understand the root of the problem. Each of these characters are a film debut for actual Spider-Man characters that were first introduced in the comics, and there are subtle hints that only a true fan would be able to detect.

This film does have a lively cast and one that has its fair share of acting experience, especially Sweeney, best known for her roles in “Euphoria” and “The White Lotus,” but it was very interesting to see Johnson play the title role in this film. Growing up, I mostly knew Johnson from her work in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” so it’s nice that I can watch a movie she is in with my mom and not get creeped out because of illicit content and scenery (although most films do have the same amount of leather being worn). French actor Rahim, straight from his role as Paul Barras in “Napoleon,” was an interesting cast, as his character is one that was introduced in recent issues of “The Amazing Spider-Man” when the friendly web-slinging hero was becoming more aware of the multiverse and the so-called “web” that connects all spider people together.

The one thing that makes it difficult to follow in this film is the distinct setting in which this movie takes place, and I say this as a Spider-Man fan that has seen most of the movies and TV shows growing up.
In light of the crossover in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” many theories have been made on the internet keeping track of all the different universes there are with Spider-Man, excluding all of the ones introduced in the animated multiverse movie starring Miles Morales. With the live-action Spider-Man films, you can confirm that Tobey Maguire films count as one, then Andrew Garfield, followed by Tom Holland in the MCU, and finally, a Sony Spider-Man universe that includes both Venom films and Morbius. However, it seems that this film is taking place in a whole different universe, distinct and separate from the other four, but not without shaping some of the story plots that fans were able to notice.

Cassie’s coworker, for example, is named Ben Parker (Adam Scott), and he has a sister-in-law (Emma Roberts) who is pregnant with a little boy who is born at the end. This, alongside the fact that the film takes place in 2003, makes it seem like Sony is planning a new origin for the famous wall-crawler to enter the spotlight again. But before that happens, it seems New York has three new heroes on the horizon, led by their clairvoyant foster mother, the weaver of life and destiny, Madame Cassandra Web.