Does 'Madame Web' herald the decline of the superhero genre?

The film starring Dakota Johnson lands on the big screen this Wednesday, becoming a feature film of origin for the Marvel Studios fortune teller.

Sony had a challenge ahead of them and it seems that, more or less, they could have saved it with "Madame Web." The film starring Dakota Johnson had to improve what was previously seen in other feature films from Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios such as "Morbius" or "Venom." And it has done it with a film that, released on February 14, is attracting a multitude of comments on social networks.

The film, which could definitely be improved, presents us with the fortune teller "Madame Web" in the skin of Dakota Johnson. What can well be described as an origin film starts with a slow beginning in which several pacing and editing problems stand out, in which we learn about the previous life of Cassie Web (Johnson), a paramedic whose accident will change her life.

Dakota Johnson stars in 'Madame Web', the film from Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios.
(Jessica Kourkounis/Sony Pictures)

This is the beginning of the multiple easter-eggs that we will find in the feature film, a point in favor of "Madame Web" that, aware of the power of Spider-Man within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it doesn't stop throwing in small references to the superhero as the plot progresses and they will give relief to fans of the character who will find fun in finding all the possible references.

And the oldest is perhaps Johnson's paramedic companion, none other than Ben Parker (played by Adam Scott). His character, with a very residual weight in the plot, provides a familiar touch in a film in which Johnson, unintentionally, ends up being the protector of three young teenagers: Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney), Mattie Franklin (Celeste O'Connor) and Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced). They, in an increasingly endangered future, will become, respectively, two of the Spider-Woman and Araña (translated as Spider).

Anya Corazón (Isabela Merced), Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson), Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O'Connor) in 'Madame Web', from Columbia Pictures.
(Jessica Kourkounis / Sony Pictures Entertainment)

The characters of 'Madame Web,' lacking development

Together with Cassie Web, the three teenagers will become the protagonists of a plot that has no other aim than to make these characters known. Their performances improve as the film progresses, seeing them increasingly comfortable with the roles they must play and with a clear difference between the personalities of all of them that, far from clashing, they generate good chemistry and where they are seen as they are: carefree teenagers who are not aware of the danger they are in.

That danger is personified by Ezequiel (Tahar Rahim), the character who has stood out the least in the film. With an origin that lacks a clear development that allows him to have more charisma, Ezequiel remains a flat villain, far from the antihero presented in the comics and who will become one of the most forgettable enemies in Marvel Studios.

Ezekiel (Tahar Rahim) in Columbia Pictures' 'Madame Web'.
(Sony Pictures)

Something similar to what will happen with the movie. Despite being a feature film that is enjoyable and that, within Sony, is the best made, it is a movie that seems born with an expiration date that demonstrates a trend that has been seen in recent years: the decline of superhero movies, a genre that has been on the rise for a decade but that, more and more, tires viewers who are looking for a new experience with these feature films and not the typical original film, precisely what it brings us "Madame Web."