Spider’s Web (2001) Movie Review

I feel bad for screenwriters. They spend all their time staring at a blank paper (or in most cases nowadays, a blank Final Draft template on the computer) and trying to figure out the best way to construct a movie, make up characters to carry out the movie, and later, what those characters will say. And after they think they’ve gotten it all figured out, the screenplay goes to an actor who just butchers the dialogue for no other reason except they are unable to say the lines as written. Such is the case with the first 10 minutes of “Spider’s Web”, which features some of the most laugh-out loud lines coming out of the most incapable actors currently working in B-movies.

And no, the rest doesn’t get any better.

Of course I’m being somewhat generous to the writers here, since “Spider’s Web” is as atrociously bad as you can get with a beautiful woman like Kari Wuhrer walking around half-naked half of the time. Wuhrer stars as Lauren Bishop, a determined businesswoman who has her eye on climbing the corporate ladder at all costs. But when Lauren’s attempts are rebuffed again and again by the infamous glass ceiling, she turns criminal, and launches a clever scheme with new boyfriend Clay (Stephen Baldwin) to steal $40 million from the company.

Stephen Baldwin (“Dead Awake”) plays a trustfund kid with a very, very strange walk who falls for Lauren and ends up helping her steal from his rich daddy. Baldwin and Wuhrer shares executive producer credit, so there’s no one to blame but them for the generous amount of flesh the two actors peddle throughout the movie. Showing that he’s no chauvinist, Baldwin even exposes his pale white buttocks to the camera for a lengthy period. I guess he didn’t want his lovely co-star to shoulder all the bare ass exposure duty. How nice of him.

“Spider’s Web” is a “Wild Things” for the B-movie crowd. The scheme, such as it is, could only work in movies without a well thought out screenplay. For instance, how is it possible to record the computer screen of a man in an office building across a lengthy distance with an off-the-shelf camcorder? And record it clear enough to be able to read the passwords that the man is typing? Or for that matter since when did passwords on computer screens show up as letters and not encrypted asterisks? Even my crummy computer, which has nothing to hide but the images and html files for this website, encrypts my password. And this man, who makes $40 million dollar transfers over lunch, doesn’t have this “extra” security? Please.

Watch “Spider’s Web” for the sex and skin, but don’t expect much else. It doesn’t help that Kari Wuhrer is in serious mode, which means her line readings are atrocious because, frankly, she has neither the background nor the ability to deliver lines in a believable manner. She should have stayed with the camp that made her so likeable in “Eight Legged Freaks”, or even the vamp role in “Poison”, another Direct-to-Video “thriller”. Here, she’s simply embarrassing herself. Shockingly, Stephen Baldwin actually looks awake for this movie. Unfortunately he’s awake for a really bad movie with cheap production values.

How bad is the execution of “Spider’s Web”? Well, at one point, during what is supposed to be an emotionally intense bathroom scene, someone in the crew must have tripped over the movie lights because the screen goes dark for a second; and then someone must have grabbed the light stand and righted it, and the screen was once again lit. But here’s the shocker, and the one thing that most describes “Spider’s Web” — the filmmakers didn’t even bother to re-shoot the scene!

Paul Levine (director) / D. Alvelo, David Lloyd, Robert Stiff (screenplay)
CAST: Stephen Baldwin …. Clay Harding
Kari Wuhrer …. Lauren Bishop
George Lazenby …. Leland De Winter

Buy Spider's Web on DVD