What is it about this line that makes it so hilariously awful? At its best, exposition of this kind is just as carefully crafted as any other type of dialogue in a film. Just think of the scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) quickly recaps the history of the Ark for a pair of Army Intelligence officers. The sequence is pure exposition yet the dialogue is pleasing to the ear and intriguing, partly thanks to Ford’s enthusiastic delivery. In comparison, the “Madame Web” line is functional to a fault, cramming in as much information as possible with no sense of rhythm. It’s so rough that it’s hard to fault Johnson for not somehow elevating it with the way she says it. Short of Johnson channeling Nicolas Cage at his wildest, I don’t know how this line could sound anything but clunky.
It does, however, make for a wonderful meme, as you can see from some of the following examples:
‘Forget it, Jake. He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died.’ pic.twitter.com/abtNZ85S4K
— Tom Reagan’s Hat (@RufusTSuperfly) November 15, 2023
As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders before she died. pic.twitter.com/sNfwEqCFjG
— Interro 🏺🔧♨️🏔🔳 (@Interrobang_2) November 15, 2023
he was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died pic.twitter.com/xJ4HSc1iXx
— alex (@alex_abads) November 15, 2023
Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father. He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died. pic.twitter.com/B4ik6IEiF0
— The DisInsider (@TheDisInsider) November 16, 2023
“What is grief, if not being in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died” pic.twitter.com/njVLh9VuVu
— Shane Anderson 🏳️🌈 (@ShaneM_Anderson) November 16, 2023
he was in the amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died pic.twitter.com/MnDYwX0a6N
— Ash Crossan (@AshCrossan) November 15, 2023
Perhaps it’s because folks are more eager than usual to be silly following a stressful year of extremely necessary strikes, or perhaps it’s because Johnson herself has proven to be a surprisingly reliable source for memes. Whatever the case, it’s heartening to see the internet rescuing this line from itself so quickly. Just don’t go mistaking this for un-ironic enthusiasm for “Madame Web,” Sony. One can only hope the studio learned that lesson the last time one of its Spider-Man spinoffs birthed a social media trend.
Then again, who knows? Perhaps Cassandra and her spider-pals will have the last laugh when the movie swings in theaters on February 14, 2024.