Sunday, June 26, 2022

‘Spiderhead’ on Netflix: Critics say Chris Hemsworth’s comic thriller is fun but ‘lost’

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This will be Hemsworth’s latest Netflix release, following his action film Extraction, which was one of the most watched films during the pandemic

Chris Hemsworth’s ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ may be weeks away, but it’s managed to make waves alongside his next release, ‘Spiderhead’. The Netflix film received mixed reviews from critics and has a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While the Australian actor, opposite Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller, received a thumbs-up for a remarkable performance, the storyline has suffered a minor setback.

The official Netflix synopsis reads: “In a state-of-the-art prison run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers doses of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commutation sentences. There are no bars, cells, or orange overalls. In Spiderhead, imprisoned volunteers can be themselves. Until they aren’t anymore. Sometimes they are a better version. Do you need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. There’s a drug for that, too, but when two test subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), bond, their path to redemption takes a trickier turn as Abnesti’s experiments falter against the limits of free will altogether. “


Flickering Myth’s Robert Kojder felt the film wasn’t as dark as it was made out to be. “Spiderhead doesn’t feel as dark and morally challenging as it should. It’s all played a bit too safely, begging for a more nasty and sadistic treatment without sacrificing dark humor,” the critic opined. Polygon’s Katie Rife said, “For a film so realistic in other areas, Spiderhead seems intentionally sidestepping the fact that most people don’t need to be pushed so hard to hurt others.”

Screenrant called it an “intriguing thriller,” while The Guardian felt the film got lost in stages. Focusing on Hemsworth’s performance, Empire stated, “While he’s fun, the character never brings up much menace, a problem given this is positioned as a tight two-hander. As Spiderhead’s main arachnid, he’s a bit of a letdown.” Tilt magazine gave it a positive review: “Joseph Kosinski’s Spiderhead is a surprisingly suspenseful experience, built on an intriguing premise and a tightly woven script, sitting comfortably between an episode of Black Mirror and a fun genre exercise like Steven Soderbergh’s Kimi or Unsane.”

This will be Hemsworth’s latest Netflix release following his slam bang action film Extraction, which has a sequel in development. He will next be seen in Thor: Love and Thunder alongside Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson.

“Spiderhead” will be released on Netflix on June 17th.

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