“The Spider’s Head” on Netflix: Pharmaceutical Science Fiction | Directed by Joseph Kosinski, with Chris Hemsworth

The spider’s head 5 points

spider-head, United States, 2022.

Address: Joseph Kosinski.

Script: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, on the George Saunders story

Duration: 106 minutes.

Interpreters: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett, Tess Haubrich, Nathan Jones, and Charles Parnell.

Premiere on netflix

It is about time that Netflix introduces in its home the category “films that deflate” to present productions of the caliber of spider’s head. This adaptation of the story “Escape from Spiderhead”, written by George Saunders and published in 2010 in the magazine The New Yorker: from minute one the attempt to cross a story of “pharmaceutical science fiction” with situations and a tone of black comedy, a search whose exponents could be counted on the fingers of one hand. As it happened in The future Avenger –Paul Verhoeven appears as the putative father of the initial premise–, here is a laboratory where mental manipulation is the order of the day. But not through the insertion of false memories, as happened to an Arnold Schwarzenegger wishing to visit the planet Mars, but through experimentation with drugs that allow one to experience sensations very different from those triggered by everyday life.

Among the guinea pigs that remain on the island in the middle of nowhere where the cold and stripped laboratory works, the figure of Jeff stands out (Mills Teller), who is serving a sentence for a car accident in which his best friend died and, in order to escape from the bars, agreed to lend himself to the experiments led by Steve Abnesti (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth). Jeff doesn’t really know what it is, but he doesn’t seem to care too much either: Steve is a torrent of sympathy – psychopathic sympathy, but sympathy nonetheless – and having hallucinations or sparking desires where there were none thanks to a series of unknown chemicals is much better. than letting yourself be beaten to a pulp in prison. As if that were not enough, there is a partner in the kitchen with whom he is cool and who will end up occupying the inevitable role of romantic interest.

The hand of the screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (the same of zombieland Y dead pool) is visible in the absurd spiral drawn by the consequences of the liquids they inject through a device inserted in the back and controlled via a cell phone. Thus, for example, Jeff will feel an irrepressible desire to have sex with a girl he had never spoken to… in the middle of the room where he is being watched by Steve. Or he will acquire an enviable linguistic precision to define what he feels or thinks. But as the footage progresses, Joseph Kosinski’s film (the same as the recent Top Gun: Maverick and the futurists tron Y Oblivion: the time of oblivion) begins to change skin, as if he wanted to get rid of all that poisonous comedy to become an action thriller. He does it, first, trying to give Jeff’s motivations dramatic weight and, then, turning him into a bloodhound who suspects everything that seemed normal to him for up to three minutes. The swerve makes spider’s head is much like a long chapter of BlackMirror. One of the last seasons, which are not exactly the best.

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