Spiderhead. Quick Review

Top Gun: Maverick has been sitting on the shelf for so long that the director Joseph Kosinski the meantime has made this Netflix thriller starring Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller. They played a doctor and one of the patients at a medical facility using convicts as Guinea pigs for a series of drug trials at the remote island penitentiary of the title Throw in a screenplay by dead Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and one might think this is Netflix’s latest attempt to astroturf its way on the world of blockbuster film making. Except it’s not. With the limited mostly interior-focused locations, Spiderhead has the feel of one of those COVID lockdown-induced bottle thrillers that just happens to have a couple of big names attached. On paper, this seems like an interesting change of pace for Kosinski whose filmography thus fun revels so completely in the big screen experience. Unfortunately, this suggests that Spidered is more interesting or has any grasp on what it wants to do or say. All the themes one might expect from this sort of base-level morality-focused narrative are discussed but without any major conviction. There are also moments where proceedings invest in broad shock humour that have Reese and Wernick touches all over them. This is a piece that on some level wants to be propulsive and engaging but is somewhat let down by its inbuilt limitation. Above all else, the entire package is not a lot more than a middling episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. There’s enough intrigue set up in the opening act that the majority of viewers will want to see the film through to a conclusion. That said much as Spiderhead is far from the worst thing ever it is symptomatic of the kind of star-driven middling genre fare that Netflix has become synonymous with over the past several years. The kind of project designed to squat at the top of Netflix charts for a week and then be distinctly forgotten will exist in a couple of years with Netflix currently going through an attempted course correction remains to be seen. For the time being in terms of new releases, Netflix subscribers can only watch what has been put in front of them. Perpetual mediocrity This will have alienated millions of viewers outside of those like this reviewer who has decided to write this piece and slap his Desired rating at the bottom of its conclusion. Despite the star power here there’s nothing to explicitly recommend or any suggestion that Kosinski and his team just put out one of the most jaw-dropping cinematic experiences of recent memory. In contrast, viewers will forget Spiderhead exists minutes after the credits roll.
5/10.

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