Starring: Miles Teller, Chris Hemsworth, and Jurnee Smollett.
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski
Where I Watched it: Netflix
English Audio Description Available?: Yes
Description Provided By: Deluxe
Description Written By: Rachel Koehler
Narrated By: Leslie Siemen
The Plot: Instead of going to jail, select convicts are given the opportunity to go to a remote Spider Head facility and be human test subjects for drugs that could change the world. Or, maybe something more nefarious? Of course, it’s something more nefarious.
What Works: Not much. I thought the acting from miles Teller and Jurnee Smollett, while neither at their peak, was sufficient. There are some interesting choices made a few times, but more often than not, they seem to always choose the least interesting outcome. Or, the film just fails to make sense.
What Doesn’t Work: Some people are bound to like this. I know he just directed Top Gun maverick, and I’m supposed to jump on board and talk about how this dude is the second coming, but this film highlights all the problems with his choices as a director. He can’t maintain a single genre for this film. Spider Head, for whatever reason, is trapped in being a science fiction dystopian reality mixed with horror, comedy, romance, action, espionage, and whatever else he can throw into this hodgepodge of nonsense.
And just because the sort story had Spider Head in the title doesn’t mean you need to keep it. It makes very little sense in the context, as you quickly forget the short stories name, or the facility they are in. The title should be more representative of the actual plot or characters, not just the name of the facility. If this facility was named Fuck Boy Island, would this film be named that? Probably not, as that’s already an HBO mAX series.
Chris Hemsworth in a role that asks him to be the smart one didn’t work for me. I like the guy, and he can do pretty much whatever, but when you ask him to start being the key scientist in charge of the whole damn experience, then i zone out. his character is also written in such a way that he’s trying to maintain some kind of friendship with those he’s using as guinea pigs, so his “bro” mentality makes his entire character Not work. I know Hemsworth probably saw this as an opportunity to stretch himself as an actor, but this script isn’t good enough for that. It would have made more sense to swap Hemsworth and Teller.
I suppose though that Hemsworth will come calling if Netflix asks. He produced the even worse interceptor, and already landed Extraction with them. Maybe he wants the same career that his brothers have, and he’s tired of being an A-Lister. Who knows.
The Blind Perspective: Don’t worry, this description will let you know of all the absurd stuff going on, like the sex, the people going insane, the odd use of feces, and Teller finding what amounts to a Bingo card. It’s a film that struggles to make sense, and the narration team did their best.
Final Thoughts: I walked away from this film only with the notion that somehow, I had seen worse films this year. And honestly, they were all on Netflix. Brazen, Marmaduke, Interceptor, and Texas Chainsaw massacre lead a list of Netflix films that have been vomited on those paying a high price to watch films that came out of an ass.
Not only does this film make me wonder about the director’s competency when Tom Cruise isn’t involved, but it also produces no likable characters to root for. Hemsworth is the bad guy by default, but this is still a prison alternative, meaning the people here did shit to deserve being here. What Teller’s and Smollett’s characters did will not endear you to them. They deserve to be in jail. Perhaps not this dystopian hell, but the people who are no longer alive because of them probably would have no problem leaving them in Spider Head Hell to rot. And after watching this film, I can think of a few more names of people to send to Spider Head.
Final Grade: D+