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3 Things In Madame-Web That Just Does Not Make Any Sense

A picture of Madame-Web


The film is chock-full of bad voice dubbing

Perhaps the most glaring issue even casual audiences will notice in “Madame-Web” is the poor ADR throughout most of the movie. ADR, or automated dialogue replacement, is a routine procedure during the post-production of films in which actors are brought in to overdub lines of dialogue recorded on set in a professional studio, often to correct mistakes, service script changes, or help sound mixing on a loud location.

In the case of films like “Madame-Web,” poorly done ADR can be very noticeable, as actors’ mouth movements will not match the words they’re speaking. This is especially the case with Tahar Rahim’s performance as the film’s antagonist, Ezekiel Sims, who, when not shrouded in shadows that conveniently mask parts of his face, clearly did a below-average job in properly overdubbing his lines. Or perhaps the blame is on editors who haphazardly allowed those sloppy dialogue scenes to flood the finished film.

The movie invents Peruvian Spider-People

The very first Marvel comic featuring Spider-Man was published in 1962, and since then the character has become one of the most popular superheroes of all time. Countless comic book characters have taken on the mantle of Spider-Man, or Woman, or some other variation on the name.

With volumes and volumes of Spider-Man comic history to draw from, you’d think Sony wouldn’t have to bother making up lore that is not only unnecessary to tell the story of these characters, but also completely undermines the franchise they’ve built up.

That’s basically what happens early on in “Madame Web.” When a pregnant Constance (Kerry Bishé), Cassandra’s mother, is attacked in the Amazon while researching spiders, she’s rescued by a tribe of Peruvian Spider-People, who were foretold in legends to have gained powers from spiders that allowed them to crawl on walls and see into the future. These Spider-People are essentially responsible for helping a dying Constance give birth to Cassie.

It’s set in 2003, and it wants you to remember that

Early on in “Madame Web,” a title card reads “2003,” indicating that the film takes place in that year. However, the film is not confident in that title card, because the rest of the movie is filled with pop culture references and obvious allusions to its setting. The first of these comes during Cassandra’s high-speed ambulance drive through Queens at the start of the movie, where one shot lingers on a Blockbuster video store that she passes.

Another reference to its setting happens when Cassie returns to her apartment, and a shot of its parking lot is suspiciously framed on a building wall painted with the album cover for Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love,” which was released in the summer of 2003. Another music reference comes during one action scene set to Britney Spears’s “Toxic” from her 2003 album, “In the Zone.” Mid-fight, Cassie’s car radio is interrupted by a DJ who blurts out, “This track is going to be huge! It’s Britney Spears!”

Besides the fact that by 2003, Britney Spears had already put out two of the best-selling albums of all time, this actually complicates the “Madame Web” timeline even more. Although “In the Zone” was released in November 2003, “Toxic” wasn’t sent to radio until January 2004, meaning that this radio DJ was playing a deep-cut album track that hadn’t been made an official single yet. That radio DJ is just as clairvoyant as any other character in “Madame Web.”

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