Terminally tedious, SPIDER is all mood and no movie. By normally outrageous
director David Cronenberg (EXISTENZ and CRASH), it is his first picture that
could be called boring.
Ralph Fiennes plays Dennis "Spider" Cleg, a madman who has just been
released from a mental institution. Using a stub of a pencil, Spider takes
copious notes in an old notebook using a made-up alphabet. Moving as slowly
as molasses on a cold winter day, the story has Spider revisiting his
childhood via flashbacks. As he looks in on himself as a boy, played by
Bradley Hall, the adult Spider repeats the child's lines. Miranda
Richardson and Gabriel Byrne play his parents.
You'll go mad trying to figure out the movie's small mysteries. Don't tax
your brain. The secrets aren't worth it. After a maddeningly long sixty
minutes, you finally get some insights into Spider's delusions. You will,
that is, if you haven't walked out long before then. Unless you're one of
those art house types who thinks boring is brilliant, you'll probably want
SPIDER runs 1:38. It is rated R for "sexuality, brief violence and
language" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes