My run of good luck with Spider-Man reboots ended earlier today. I watched Baby Spider-Man, and I must warn you that it doesn’t hold a candle to Spider-Man: Homecoming or Spider-Man: Middle School Dance. It just proves the old saying, not all Spider-Man reboots will be of equal quality.
It’s not that Baby Spider-Man doesn’t have its moments. The prologue, set in the womb of Peter Parker’s mother, is a wordless symphony of astonishing visuals accompanied by an evocative Philip Glass-penned score. A spider mutated by amniotic fluid bites the fetal Peter Parker, transforming him forever into Baby Spider-Man.
Unfortunately, when the action jumps forward a year to Baby Spider-Man webslinging around his crib, the movie turns horrible very quickly. The spider bite gave Parker not just the usual spider powers, but also the premature ability to speak and think like an adult. Seth MacFarlane provides Baby Spider-Man’s voice, and as you can probably imagine this makes for an absolutely torturous experience for everyone in the audience.
By the time Baby Spider-Man has his first big confrontation with Baby Carnage, I had already dozed off a couple of times. It’s difficult to understand what audience Baby Spider-Man is intended for. It’s full of puerile, childish humor that’s too raunchy for a family audience. And it includes almost nothing from the decades of Spider-Man lore, making it anathema for comic book nerds.
I’m sure when Sony and Marvel set out to make a fresh batch of Spider-Man reboots, they knew full well that not all of them would come out right. But I’m sure they didn’t mean to produce this unappealing mush, and I bet they hope it disappears from audience memory as quickly as possible.
TL;DR – Not all Spider-Man reboots can be winners, and Baby Spider-Man pretty much falls apart as you’re watching it.
What the rest of the critics are saying:
“What the hell is this?” – Buzanne Witherford Weathers, Salon.com
“Stop. Just stop.” – Sonso Sunez, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Audiences be warned: this film has nothing to do with Alec Baldwin’s Boss Baby / Baby Driver series. Steer clear of this mess.” Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
“Utterly embarrassing and shameful.” – Romy Micthell Lucker, CNN.com
“Seth MacFarlane should have his tongue cut off for subjecting us to his ‘take’ on Spider-Man.” – Legs Lavish, New York Observer
“At 81 minutes with credits, Baby Spider-Man feels crude, lazy and entirely perfunctory.” – Tom Huddleston, Time Out
“Quite possibly the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“At its best, the lengthy prologue feels reminiscent of a film by Terrence Malick or Godfrey Reggio. As for the rest of the film: the less said, the better.” – Granison Maltman, Paste Magazine
“Baby Spider-Man seems almost calculated meticulously to suck the life out of its audience as much as humanly possible.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
“Truly a hideous waste of time.” – ZahRa NiSa, ComingSoon.net
“What a loathsome, irredeemable, turd of a film Baby Spider-Man is.” – Clobbish Sanderson, Wall Street Journal
“Here’s hoping Spider-Man 2099 and the rest of the reboots to come are a lot better than this trash.” – Emerentia Krogmann, IGN Movies
4% liquid & seed retention – ALMOST NO JUICE OR SEEDS AT ALL, BARELY EVEN A CANTALOUPE, DON’T TRUST YOUR GROCER IF HE HANDS YOU THIS™