#SheReviews Madame Web – Ruth Greening

February 20, 2024

Madame Web is a 2024 superhero movie based on Marvel Comics featuring the character of the same name. A movie for all superhero followers young and old, filmed around Massachusetts, Boston and New York City. Cassandra Web (Dakota Johnson) is a paramedic in her normal social circles. Dakota delivers a stunning performance commanding the screen with its character-driven narrative.

She invokes both her vulnerable and strong side with Web’s reassuring voice and gestures. The modern Madame Web film has its unique universe with an approach that is more grounded and gritty compared to many previously released superhero films.

Web is depicted as an inexperienced clairvoyant, somewhat abrasive and at times offbeat, in her 30s learning her new powers, compared to the comic book version which is a blind and paralysed elderly woman connected to a life support system and a fully-fledged clairvoyant. I am pleased the writers have sought to differentiate in this film, particularly in our modern world of independent capable females.

Being a lover of Marvel movies I have been waiting for its release. The visuals, graphics, actions and music are powerful and illuminating to see a movie of young wonder women come to fruition. Their full potential had not been realised but as the story progressed, so did the three young women bloom. There is room for a sequel so fingers crossed.

The Story

New York City paramedic, Cassandra Web starts to notice changes in her behaviour mainly in the form of visual signs of clairvoyance in the spider world. Following a confronting near-death experience her mind begins to play games forseeing events about to happen before they have occurred. Through confusion and the sense the predictions were real, Web is finally forced to confront revelations about her past.

She never knew her mother although had been made aware of her mother’s unusual past. A scientist with an obsession for researching spiders and finding a secret tribe in the Peruvian jungle possessing enhanced strength and health abilities gained from the venom of a unique spider. Her explorer, turncoat companion at the time became the recipient of the spider’s benefits after her mother’s untimely death. Yet it was her mother’s keepsakes and journals that were Web’s saving grace, stored away until she was ready.

Her emotions conflicted, she had no choice but to finally take a path of self-discovery when three young women from a mysterious adversary wanted them dead. Webb has an innate instinct that she must protect them and after several death-defying events, the stranger soon turns into a caregiver and Web becomes an integral part of the girls lives.

Fortunately, Webb’s closest friends provide the support she desperately needs. Their warmth and sincerity come across the screen as it soon follows with the bond formed by the three young women.

Cast and Crew

Story by: Kerem Sanga, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Director, S.J.Clarkson Producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Celeste; Connor, Isabela Merced, Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Emma
Roberts, Adam Scott

Release date in Australian cinemas 14 February

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