Madame Web promotional picture | Photo: Columbia Pictures

Madame Web: Comedy Film Sleeper Agent

4 mins read

Mainstream superhero films have attained quite the bad rap as of late, between criticisms of shoddy, cliche writing, over-reliance on CGI and abuse of CGI artists, and oversaturation of the genre. Nonetheless, films of the genre are continually pumped out, thanks to Marvel Studios’ fanbase and the box office numbers they rake in. 2024’s “Madame Web,” produced by Columbia Pictures, is yet another one of these flicks. It tells the origin story of the titular character who has the power to see visions of the future. 

The film was met with trepidation and criticism even before release, with much mockery being directed at the strange, stilted, expository dialogue featured in its trailer. When the film came out, I felt the need to watch it despite not being a superhero fan, just because I was curious if it could really be that bad.

This film is that bad. It is also very funny. Not in a deliberate way, mind you; I didn’t laugh at a single intentional joke the movie made. What I did laugh at, though, were the action scenes, which are shot in a sudden, startling, jerky way which makes them nigh-impossible to follow.

The cinematography of this movie is almost Kardashian with inexplicable cuts and zooms straight out of reality TV. The dialogue is similarly laughable when it isn’t utterly painful to sit through. The movie has a terrible problem with telling and not showing, and the resulting expository dialogue is clunky. 

The movie also has a pacing problem with long stretches of nothingness interspersed with sudden bursts of action. It’s so jarring that it wraps back around to being hilarious. As for the plot: it’s very run-of-the-mill, and I found myself predicting key parts of the plot long before it happened. It doesn’t do anything new or interesting and, stripped of all the oddities that makes it entertaining, the plot is downright mundane. 

As for the characters: they are incredibly one-note and can be described with one character trait each. I never really found myself caring for any of the characters, nor their relationships with each other; they’re antagonistic for most of the movie, and when they do get along, it’s very sudden. The antagonist is also very basic and uninteresting, with no other personality other than “menacing.” To be honest, I can barely remember anyone’s names. That’s how uncompelling they are. 

2022’s “Morbius” developed a sphere of mockery and ironic praise around it, similar to “Madame Web.” The jokes surrounding the film, however, were funnier than the film itself; this is not the case for “Madame Web,” which is actually, horribly, funny. There’s definitely enjoyment that can be derived out of this film, as bad as it is — I certainly had fun. It’s the type of film that can be enjoyed the most with a friend, be it just one or a group. Don’t come in expecting “The Godfather,” but if you’re looking for an experience like 2003’s “The Room,” this is the movie for you.

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