'Madame Web' is a Pass

Peanut Approved
February 29, 2024
Madame Web




No items found.
Peanut Approved:
Thumbs Down
Joe's Score:
Thumbs Down
Burt's Score:
Thumbs Down
Peanut Gallery Rating:
Coming Soon

Madame Web is a total pass per Peanut Approved.

Unfortunately, this movie was doomed from the start. Early in 2020, S.J. Clarkson was hired to develop and direct the movie and the rest is pretty much history. Until Madame Web, Clarkson had only directed a handful of TV episodes (Collateral, The Defenders, Jessica Jones, and a few others). If you didn’t know, directing television and movies is a completely different game. The director of a movie is much more akin to the “creator” or “showrunner” than the “director” in television. Clarkson also directed a Game of Thronesprequel pilot in 2019 that was so good that HBO passed on it and never so much as mentioned it again. Presumably, the news of this god-awful pilot hadn’t come out before she was selected for Madame Web. Nonetheless, plucking someone with only a handful of TV directing credits and putting them on a big-budget movie - and an action movie, no less - is a surefire way to create a box office bomb.

Funny enough, one of our friends said the movie had the look and feel of a show on the CW, which after seeing it turns out to be a pretty accurate description; and you can’t really be surprised by this knowing the director’s history. Seriously, the movie was rife with cheap plot devices and low quality effects and editing. The biggest offender was the antagonist’s ADR, which is essentially a VoiceOver track done in post production to fix the dialogue caught on camera. Anytime the guy talked, his lip and body movement was so disconnected from the words being said, you had to stop and wonder if the theater’s audio and projector were out of sync.

The film has been in theaters for two weeks now and hasn’t recouped its production budget yet ($80 million), which certifies it as a box office bomb. The marketing spend was an additional $60 million on top of the $80M.

Also dooming this movie from the start was the basic premise of the plot, which makes an attempt at being a Spider-Man prequel by showing a tribe of Spider-Man-like people in South America, but without actually leading into the story of Spider-Man in any way shape or form (Uncle Ben is a supporting character, while Peter’s birth is shown, but his name never mentioned). Anyone familiar with the Madame Web character will know that this backstory was completely fabricated and has little basis in the character’s pre-existing source material - something any writer or producer of this type of IP should know by now isn’t going to fly with fans.

The last thing we’ll say, and we promise we only mention this to echo what the internet has been saying… how do you cast Sydney Sweeney in a superhero movie and not have her in a skin-tight suit for THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE FILM?! Look, we know that no amount of those double D’s could have saved this sorry-ass production, but at least they may have had a chance at recouping their marketing budget. And don’t call us misogynistic for saying so; we’re just letting you know what the internet has had to say about it… :)