Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 02/14/2024
Production Company: Sony Pictures Releasing

Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O'Connor, Isabela Merced, Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Emma Roberts and Adam Scott.

Director: S.J. Clarkson. Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Executive Producers: S.J. Clarkson, Adam Merims and Claire Parker. Screenwriters: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Claire Parker, Kerem Sanga and Matt Sazama. Cinematographer: Mauro Fiore.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Oh, what a tangled web director S.J. Clarkson (TV's "Anatomy of a Scandal") weaves with the new superhero adventure "Madame Web." The movie is based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name, who is a psychic ally of Spider-Man.

Clarkson, along with her co-writing team of Claire Parker (TV's "Anatomy of a Scandal") Matt Sazama ("Moribus") and Burk Sharpless ("Moribus") serve up some fun and excitement with this madcap caper, but not enough.

In "Madame Web," Dakota Johnson ("Daddio"), plays a 30-year-old flighty paramedic in Manhattan named Cassandra Webb. Her ambulance co-worker/ex-boyfriend Ben (Adam Scott, TV's "Party Down") has her best interests at heart. After a near-death experience, Cassandra soon develops psychic abilities which allows her to see future events within the "Spidey World."

It's weird, but there are worse fates in life.

However, she's not the only one with these special set of skills. Cassandra is soon tasked with protecting three teenage girls, Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney, TV's "Euphoria"), Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced, "Migration" and "Father of the Bride") and Mattie Franklin,(Celeste O’Connor, "A Good Person").
Each of them has had a hard knock life, but don't realize they are poised to become the next group of superheroes. That's if Cassandra can keep them away from the villainous Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim, "Napoleon"). He wants to kill the girls/future "Spider-Women."

Ezekiel was a spider researcher. He also worked with and accompanied Cassandra's mother in 1973 to the Amazon rainforest in Peru to search for a rare venomous spider with medicinal value that could revolutionize the health care industry.

After being bitten by one of the spiders, Ezekiel now has gained increased strength and abilities that allow him to see the future and his death. That's part of the reason why he's after these future "Spider-Women."

There is actually a lot of backstories throughout "Madame Web" and it's filled with Deja vu/loopy moments. At times this approach muddles the story rather than enhance it and move it along.

Although Johnson's comedic flair sometimes fall flat, she makes the most of what she's working with here and still comes across as a likeable and compelling heroine. The subway train and diner scenes are among the movie's best action-packed sequences.

A bit more tweaking of the script and perhaps fleshing out the characters could have gone a long way to make "Madame Web" a more captivating origin story.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Check Out This Trailer For "MADAME WEB"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 1975
Running Time: 109
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Director: Berry Gordy, Tony Richardson and Jack Wormser
Director of Photography: David Watkin
Screenwriter: John Byrum and Toni Amber
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to?
Do you know?
Do you get what you're hoping for? When you look behind you, there's no open doors. What are you hoping for? Do you know? "Theme from Mahogany...
The "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" was sung by Diana Ross in the 1975 movie "Mahogany." But, who initially recorded the song in 1973?
"Roberta Flack"
"Natalie Cole"
"Deniece Williams"
"Thelma Houston"