Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Madame Web starring Dakota Johnson blasted as ‘straight up stupid’

Dakota Johnson takes the lead in the latest of the Spider-Man spin-offs, Madame Web, which sounds a tangled mess (Picture: Sony)

The latest Marvel-based blockbuster hopeful Madame Web has been absolutely rinsed in first reactions from critics and fans alike, who have dubbed the film ‘an embarrassing mess’ and ‘straight up stupid and senseless’.

It’s also been called ‘the Cats of superhero movies’, after the stinker of a flop released in 2019, where even Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson and Idris Elba’s involvement in the movie adaptation of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega musical couldn’t save it.

Madame Web, which stars Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney and is set for release on February 14, has largely been kept under wraps from critics until the last minute, with the embargo on reviews only lifting the day before.

Opinions, largely negative, have also been shared on social media after the movie (which is not officially an MCU property) premiere in Los Angeles on Monday night.

It’s the fourth film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe after Venom and its 2021 sequel Let There Be Carnage, as well as 2022’s Jared Leto-led Morbius, which sits on a dismal 15% on Rotten Tomatoes from 283 reviews.

However, Madame Web doesn’t appear to be faring much better at all as, at the time of publication, it hovers on 16% from 55 critic responses.

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Madame Webb has been called ‘an embarrassing mess'(Picture: Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)
It’s also been compared to notorious 2019 flop Cats, where even Dame Judi Dench and Taylor Swift’s involvement could not rescue it from a critical mauling (Picture: Universal Pictures)

Fifty Shades of Grey actress Johnson plays the titular role (no that she’s ever referred to as that), also known as paramedic Cassie Webb, who develops psychic abilities after an accident that allow her to see the future within the ‘spider world’.

Rolling Stone’s David Fear writes in his review that the film is ‘a genuine Chernobyl-level disaster that seems to get exponentially more radioactive as it goes along’, as well as ‘the Cats: The Movie of superhero movies’.

Johnson plays Cassie Webb, who develops the ability to see the future after an accident, starring alongside Sydney Sweeney (Picture: Columbia/Sony)

(Tell us how you really feel, David.)

He goes on to add: ‘The sole amazing factor of this Spider-spinoff is that someone, somewhere signed off on actually releasing it.’

Meanwhile, The Wrap’s Lex Briscuso is able to summon up a description of Johnson as ‘aggressively fine’ in her part, sharing: ‘She does give a few solid comic relief moments but is otherwise so bland that even her signature sarcasm can’t bring colour to the role.’

It only gets worse from here.

The film is the latest in a line of poorly-received superhero flicks (Picture: Beth Dubber/Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)

‘One of the worst movies ever made, in any genre,’ commented CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell on X.

‘Story makes absolutely no sense. The “action” is boring, with barely any cape stuff. Dakota Johnson looks as bored as you’ll feel. It makes Morbius look like The Dark Knight,’ he added.

The @CinemaTweets1 account called it ‘one of the worst films I’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through’, describing it as ‘bad – and not like bad in the funny/endearing/Snakes-On-A-Plane bad, but just straight up stupid and senseless’.

YouTuber Cris Parker posted: ‘#MadameWeb is an embarrassing mess. Talented stars wasted on probably the worst comic book movie I have ever seen.’

‘I sat there baffled scene by scene someone approved this,’ he admitted, before adding: ‘The memes will redeem it.’

 Film critic Carson Timar blasted it as ‘actually atrocious’, warning his followers to ‘avoid [Madame Web] at all costs’, while @dbapz described it as ‘WILDLY entertaining in all the wrong ways’.

However, @daveleedwnundr suggested that at least ‘a superb ensemble of cheesy performances lead to an ironically enjoyable romp’, while observing there was at least ‘an ultimate joy in this ham-fisted adventure’.

The initial poor reaction to Madame Web makes it the latest in a long line of superhero films that have underperformed and disappointed fans, including The Marvels and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania from the Disney-owned MCU, as well as Shazam! Fury of the Gods from the currently evolving DCEU.

Madame Web is released in UK cinemas on Wednesday, February 14.

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