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Dakota Johnson’s ‘Madame Web’ Trashed By Critics: Is It Truly Unwatchable?

They say it is one of the worst superhero movies ever made.

Starring Dakota Johnson, ‘Madame Web’ is the latest entry from Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. However, unlike its predecessors, the movie has been met with a wave of critical disapproval. Released in the United States today, the film’s reception might raise eyebrows for fans.

Directed by S.J. Clarkson, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, and Claire Parker, ‘Madame Web‘ tells the origin story of Cassie Webb (played by Dakota Johnson). Webb, a New York paramedic who develops psychic abilities, is positioned at the center of a plot intended to save three young women and their futures.

Despite the premise and a cast featuring names like Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced, Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Emma Roberts, and Adam Scott, the film has not resonated well with critics.

What Does the Critics Say About ‘Madame Web’?

The critical consensus describes ‘Madame Web’ as an ‘embarrassing mess‘ and ‘the worst comic book movie‘ yet. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes shows a bleak 17% approval rating based on 75 reviews, with an average score of 3.9/10. Metacritic’s score is similarly discouraging, assigning the film a 29 out of 100, indicating ‘generally unfavorable’ reviews.

The Hollywood Reporter criticizes the film for its ‘mechanical screenplay’ and lack of imagination, while The Daily Beast lambasts it for its incoherent action sequences and ‘torturous saga.’ Rolling Stone goes further, calling it a ‘Chernobyl-level disaster,’ unfavorably comparing it to flops in other genres. Even more, UPI brands it ‘a new low for superhero debacles.’

There Are Other Contributing Factors As Well

‘Madame Web’ arrives in a period of superhero fatigue, following closely on the heels of ‘The Marvels,’ which saw a disappointing box office performance. This sets a challenge for the film and places it in a precarious position within Sony’s broader plans for its Spider-Man Universe, including upcoming releases like ‘Venom 3,’ ‘Kraven the Hunter,’ and ‘El Muerto.’

The marketing strategy for ‘Madame Web,’ especially the timing of the review embargo lifting merely a day before its release, is also noted as a potential indicator of the studio’s concerns over the film’s reception.

Despite the critical mauling, it remains to be seen how ‘Madame Web’ will fare with general audience and fans of the genre. Dakota Johnson’s performance and the film’s connection to the Spider-Man lore may still draw fans looking for their next superhero fix, especially in a year with fewer Marvel releases.

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