Warning: This article contains spoilers for Madame Web.

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Summary

  • Madame Web
    received negative reviews and has become the lowest-rated project in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
  • Madame Web’s
    script has been heavily criticized for delivering some of the most awkward and strange lines in comic book movie history.
  • Madame Web
    features several moments and quotes that lack emotional depth and feel forced, diminishing the impact of important scenes.

Sony’s Madame Web has received a lot of criticism since its release on February 14, 2024, due in part to some of the film’s weirdest and most confusing lines. Set in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, adjacent to Marvel Studios’ MCU, Madame Web took audiences back to 2003, pre-dating any previous project in Sony’s live-action franchise, that focuses on Spider-Man-related villains and characters from Marvel Comics. Madame Web saw Dakota Johnson’s Cassandra “Cassie” Webb save three future Spider-Women from Ezekiel Sims’ rampage, helped along the way by her precognitive visions derived from rare spider venom that connected her to the vast “spider-world”.

Madame Web has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics and audiences alike, earning only $6 million at the box office on its opening night, and achieving a score of 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. This makes Madame Web the lowest-rated project in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, with specific criticisms aimed at the movie’s narrative, performances, visual effects, action sequences and script. Madame Web’s script in particular has stuck out as delivering some of the most awkward, stunted and strange lines in comic book movie history, with many quotes being seen as some of the worst lines of dialog in any superhero franchise.

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10 “Hope The Spiders Were Worth It, Mom”

Said By Cassie Webb When Looking Through Her Mom’s Research

One of the key plot threads throughout Madame Web is Cassie’s mother’s research into rare spiders in the Amazon rainforest. Unbeknownst to Cassie, her mother was searching for a cure for Cassie’s myasthenia gravis, but Cassie always thought that her mother was careless during her pregnancy in continuing her research. Cassie stated, “hope the spiders were worth it, mom,” while searching through her mother’s notebooks before learning the truth, but this quote doesn’t really have much meaning. It’s unclear what Cassie was referring to, and this line is spoken with very little emotion, so it’s hard to take it seriously.

In Marvel Comics, Cassandra Webb is born blind and had myasthenia gravis, though she helps Spider-People across the multiverse from her spider-web.

9 “You Saved My Stepmother, Then You Were Super Awkward About It”

Said By Julia Cornwall While Realizing She Has Met Cassie Webb Before

Julia Cornwall at hospital in Madame Web

During Madame Web, Cassie comes into contact with three girls who had all been seen killing Ezekiel Sims in his visions. One of these was Sydney Sweeney’s Julia Cornwall, whose stepmother Cassie, a paramedic, had previously saved. When Julia, Isabela Merced’s Anya Corazon and Celeste O’Connor’s Mattie Franklin are working out how they all know Cassie, Julia notes that Cassie “saved [her] stepmother,” but was then “super awkward about it.” Cassie’s awkward nature is a running joke throughout Madame Web, but this seems like an unusual thing to point out while also revealing that Cassie literally saved Julia’s stepmother’s life.

8 “Check His Abdomen”

Said By Cassie Webb To Ben Parker While Helping Injured People

Soon after Cassie begins to experience her premonitions, she returns to work as a paramedic alongside Adam Scott’s Ben Parker, Peter Parker’s famous Uncle Ben. While on one call, Ben rushes to take an injured man into an ambulance, but Cassie, who is quite far away, urges him to check the man’s abdomen. Ben then notes that the man also has internal injuries, but it’s unclear how Cassie knew to check the man’s abdomen. Cassie hadn’t had a vision of this particular man, so this moment felt very awkward and unearned, though perhaps Cassie was simply incredible at her job.

7 “Either I Peed Myself, Or My Water Broke”

Said By Mary Parker As She Is Going Into Labor

Mary Parker at her baby shower in Madame Web

One of the most exciting additions to Madame Web’s storyline was the exploration of Peter Parker’s family, as Ben Parker worked alongside Cassie, and Emma Roberts debuted as Mary Parker, who was pregnant with the future Spider-Man. Unfortunately, Roberts’ portrayal of Mary Parker was disappointing, particularly during scenes involving her going into labor, as this didn’t seem realistic whatsoever. This was especially true when Mary declared that she’d either peed herself, or her water had broken. Surely a heavily pregnant woman going into premature labor would have known the difference, and Ben’s uninterested reaction only made this moment even worse.

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6 “How Would You Know If You Could Climb A Wall, If You’ve Never Tried?”

Said By Cassie Webb When Learning About Peru’s Spider-People

Cassie Webb on the floor in Madame Web

While researching her mother’s old notebooks hoping to learn more about Ezekiel Sims, Cassie ponders how a person would know if they could climb walls if they’d never actually tried before. While the moment that follows, of Cassie seeing if she can stick to her apartment wall, is slightly entertaining, this quote is completely ridiculous. Spider-Man, and presumably Ezekiel Sims and Peru’s Spider-People, use the Van der Waals force, which means thousands of tiny hairs allow them to stick to walls. Cassie, of course, can’t do this, and she knows it, so it’s incomprehensible that she would even attempt this.

5 “When Your Heart Starts Back Up Again… You’re Fine”

Said By Cassie Webb During The Family Barbecue

Cassie Webb at the family barbecue in Madame Web

Cassie seems to jump straight back into everyday life after going through her near-death experience. On a job, Cassie finds herself trapped in a car that falls off a bridge, leading to her clairvoyant abilities unlocking themselves. Almost immediately following this, Cassie attends a family barbecue and baby shower for Mary Parker, as if nothing had happened, noting that “when your heart starts back up again… you’re fine.”Aside from making fun of cardiac arrest and the fact that she almost lost her life, Cassie certainly shouldn’t be saying this as a trained paramedic, and should be far more wary.

4 “They’re Teenagers Now, But In The Future…”

Said By Ezekiel Sims While Tracking Down Anya Corazon, Mattie Franklin & Julia Cornwall

Ezekiel Sims at the opera in Madame Web

After stealing technology from the NSA to aid in the quest to track down Julia, Anya and Mattie, Ezekiel Sims and his assistant, Zosia Mamet’s Amaria, begin a wider search for the girls. However, after making mock-ups of the girls’ faces, Amaria expresses reservations about hunting down teenagers. Many of Tahar Rahim’s quotes as Ezekiel Sims in Madame Web are laughable, but him noting that the girls are “teenagers now,” but won’t be in the future really sticks out. Memorable for all the wrong reasons, this proved that Ezekiel Sims was not only Captain Obvious, but also quite the monster.

Ezekiel “Zeke” Sims gained his Spider-Man-like abilities in Marvel Comics by performing rituals, rather than being bitten by a rare Amazonian spider.

3 “The Girls Were Never Your Future, I Was”

Said By Cassie Webb To Ezekiel Sims Before He Dies

After years of seeing Julia, Anya and Mattie kill him as three Spider-Women in his visions, Ezekiel Sims’ crusade against the girls was perhaps the right choice for him. However, in Madame Web’s final battle, Cassie suggests that the three girls were never Sims’ future, but that it was her all along. This is simply not true, as Sims had been plagued by visions of the three girls, not Cassie. Madame Web’s final battle is a dizzying array of fireworks, so it’s difficult to follow what Cassie’s thought processes are, but this line helps to make it even more confusing.

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2 “When You Take On The Responsibility, Great Power Will Come”

Said By Santiago When Cassie Webb Returns To Peru For Answers

Santiago speaking to Cassie Webb in Madame Web

After Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home delivered the comic-accurate “with great power, there must also come great responsibility” line, rather than the changed “with great power comes great responsibility” line from previous Spider-Man projects, Madame Web once again adapted this iconic quote. However, hearing José María Yazpik’s Santiago (one of Peru’s Spider-People) utter “when you take on the responsibility, great power will come” acted as nothing more than a distraction for audiences. This quote felt forced into Madame Web, and is running the risk of cheapening Peter Parker’s own story if Sony’s Spider-Man Universe ever decides to explore it.

1 “You Know The Best Thing About The Future? It Hasn’t Happened Yet”

Said By Cassie Webb To The Audience In The Movie’s Ending Voiceover

Cassandra Webb as Madame Web at the end of Madame Web

Madame Web’s final moments provides a glimpse into the audience, as Cassandra Webb is finally seen in her Madame Web costume alongside Julia Cornwall and Mattie Franklin’s Spider-Women, and Anya Corazon’s Araña. While this had the potential to be an epic team-up moment in all their superhero suits, the script once again reduces the impact and drama of this moment significantly. The final spoken words in Madame Web are, “You know the best thing about the future? It hasn’t happened yet.” This line is entirely meaningless, and saw Madame Web end on a very sour and uninspiring note.

Madame Web Movie Poster Featuring Sydney Sweeney as Julia Carpenter, Isabela Merced as Anya Corazon, Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, Celeste O'Connor as Mattie Franklin, and Tahar Rahim as Ezekiel Sims

Madame Web

Madame Web is a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Taking place in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, the movie revolves around a clairvoyant woman who can look into different dimensions. Dakota Johnson stars in the lead role, with Sydney Sweeney, Adam Scott, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O’Connor comprising the rest of the cast.

Release Date
February 14, 2024

Director
S.J. Clarkson

Runtime
114 Minutes

Key Release Dates

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