20/31 Big Ass Spider
Man, Big Ass Spider is so totally almost a good movie. It’s competently made, with some genuine flourishes of style (the opening is especially strong). It’s got good acting, with a likeable lead performance by tv actor Greg Grunberg and the inimitable Ray Wise in a supporting role. It strikes a consistent tone, with an appropriate blend of action and humor, and it’s got a decent monster, in the form of the titular big spider.
That said, it’s also racist. Every character in the movie who isn’t white (and there aren’t many) is a stereotype. The only non-white lead is a heavily accented Mexican security guard who willingly regulates himself to sidekick status in deference to the white hero (he calls himself Grunberg’s Mexican Robin). There’s also a long sequence of African-Americans reacting on the news, and later an angry black cop. The racism of Big Ass Spider isn’t hateful, it isn’t even necessarily derogatory, but it is pretty glaring. Simply, making every minority character in a movie that plays all of its white characters relatively straight just doesn’t fly, even if the intention isn’t to demean. It’s also a really lazy, cheap stab at getting laughs in a movie that’s reasonably funny and agreeable to begin with.
I dunno, something like this is just a bummer and it only serves to highlight the other flaws in the filmmaking, since it put me, as a viewer, on the defensive against the movie. What the fuck, Big Ass Spider? I thought you were cool.