Madame Web is the latest superhero movie to get a hammering from the critics

Madame Web is the latest superhero movie to get a hammering from the critics
Madame Web trailer
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Madame Web is out in cinemas from today (February 14) but the superhero film has been slammed by critics as one even described it as a "Chernobyl-level disaster".

The film follows New York City paramedic Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson) who starts to show signs of clairvoyance and is forced to confront revelations about her past, but she also must protect three young women from a mysterious adversary who is trying to kill them.

Although there is a star-studded cast of Johnson, Sydney Sweeney and Adam Scott, this couldn't save the film, according to critics.

It's not the first superhero film to be panned by critics as Madame Web comes after the release of the two divisive Venom films and the low-rated Morbius.

The Hollywood Reporter's Lovia Gyarkye described the movie as an "airless and stilted endeavor," and compared its energy to "an employee subjected to an ice breaker during a corporate retreat".

Madame Web has not been received well by critics, but viewers can make their own minds up as the film is out todaySony Pictures

"A genuine Chernobyl-level disaster that seems to get exponentially more radioactive as it goes along, this detour to one of the dustier corners of Marvel's content farm is a dead-end from start to finish. It is the Cats: The Movieof superhero movies," Rolling Stone's David Fear noted.

While Variety's Peter Debruge described it as "a hollow Sony-made Spider-Man spinoff," and was unimpressed with the Madame Web's superpowers.

"Her powers prove pretty boring once the pattern establishes itself. The premonitions are freaky, like Final Destination flashes, but Cassie's 'let's try that again' do-overs render each situation less interesting.'"

Of course, while Madame Web is a stand-alone film, its position in the Spider-Man universe was also discussed and critics pointed out a lack of references.

"We have a film that is ostensibly connected to the Spider-Man universe, and yet seemingly unable to commit to tying itself directly to that lore," Vanity Fair's Lawson commented.

Even before its release, the film received the meme treatment upon the initial trailer release over an awkwardly chopped and delivered line by Johnson who said: "He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders, right before she died."

But fans of the meme - which Johnson described as "silly"- will be disappointed to learn that the line doesn't actually make it into the film.

IndieWire's David Ehrlich highlighted this: "'He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders just before she died' isn't actually a line that appears in the final cut of this movie, but it was only such a focal point in the trailer because it was delivered straight into the uncanny valley that forms when singular artists are forced to sell a product that's already gone bad."

Currently, Madame Web has a score of 3.7 out of 10 on IMDb and a 17 per cent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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