Spiderhead Movie Review: Chris Hemsworth’s New Netflix Movie Looks Like Abandoned Black Mirror Episode

From the director of Top Gun: Maverickthe writers of the two Deadpool films, and starring Thor himself, the new Netflix Original Movie Spiderhead probably would have claimed tentpole status not two years ago, but in our current oversaturated environment, it arrives with essentially the same level of buzz as Avrodh 2 on ZEE5.

Spiderhead is a stylish, standalone sci-fi thriller inspired by dystopian 1970s films like Logan’s Run, but might remind young audiences of Michael Bay’s The Island. Like Tom Cruise in Maverick, Chris Hemsworth plays the pseudo-protagonist, while Miles Teller gets the most compelling arc. The ever-electric young actor stars as an inmate named Jeff, imprisoned in a top-secret facility overseen by Hemsworth’s character, Steve.

At first glance, the Spiderhead facility looks like one of those Nordic prisons where even mass shooters live in minimum-security bungalows overlooking the fjords. And certainly, manipulator Steve never misses an opportunity to remind inmates of the relaxing life they are allowed to live, despite the serious crimes they have committed. Jeff, for example, was involved in a drunk driving accident that killed his pal – a plot that mirrors something that really happened to Teller, leaving him with the emotional wounds he sometimes talks about in interviews. , and facial scars that will now also be a part of any character he ever plays.

Of course, there’s a catch to why Spiderhead’s inmates are left relatively unchecked. Prison, we are soon told, is ground zero for some very sinister experiences. And the guilt-ridden Jeff is an ideal guinea pig for Steve, who doesn’t need to exert much pressure on him to get him into his increasingly unethical human trials.

Steve has made a variety of drugs that, when given to a human, can make them emotionally flexible. One drug affects their libido and another their mood. There’s even a medicine that makes people more eloquent. But Steve’s priority is to perfect something more meaningful: a drug that can mimic the feeling of being in love.

Spiderhead is a minor Kosinski film, but it’s a great exposition for his signatures as a filmmaker, like the modernist architecture that has always fascinated him, Claudio Miranda’s digital cinematography, and Joseph Trapanese’s electronic score. These are all superficial observations, however. Basically, almost all of Kosinski’s films are about loneliness. But while the characters of tron the legacy, Oblivion and Maverick embodied a more literal loneliness, Spiderhead is the first time Kosinski has actively addressed those anxieties via plot. Steve is a mad scientist, but in a way he’s a lot like Jeff Bridges’ Kevin Flynn in Tron Legacy, or even Cruise’s Maverick in Top Gun 2, characters so dedicated to their missions that they almost sacrificed all of their personal relationships. they ever had.

The cool thing about Spiderhead – and we’ll get to the issues in a moment – is that it’s not set in the distant future, which makes some of its ideas feel more urgent. Steve, for example, uses iPhones to control the dosage of drugs he injects into inmates’ blood. And the two vehicles that can connect the remote facility to the mainland — an airplane and a boat — are positively vintage, as is the film’s old-school rock soundtrack.

But for all its thematic grandiosity – Steve’s ultimate master plan, without giving it away, will probably appeal to Vijay Deverakonda types – Spiderhead never quite comes together. As a character, Steve is too thinly drawn, and the film’s dedication to casting him as the protagonist of the story is an unnecessary distraction that prevents you from bonding with Jeff. And the tone is everywhere. Spiderhead can’t decide whether it wants to be a paranoid thriller or a darkly comedic satire of our time. Hemsworth’s performance is quite pleasing, however. He plays Steve as a massively titled tech bro with a God complex.

But in an encouraging sign of creative evolution, this is Kosinski’s second film in a row where the emotional line is stronger than its brilliant visuals. Jeff’s redemption arc is genuinely moving, though – and this is emblematic of the film – it would have been even more gripping if his crimes had been more morally complex. But Spiderhead is happy to greet big ideas from a distance, never shaking hands.

spider head
Director –Joseph Kosinski
Cast – Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett
Evaluation – 3/5

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