Ben Brantley Really Hates Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark

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Julie Taymor's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark may not have officially opened, but since it seems like it never will, most critics published their reviews yesterday and today. (You can read Scott Brown's review here.) While all of the critics were, well, critical, none were quite as peeved by Spider-Man as the New York Times' Ben "Show Killer" Brantley, who hated it. Haaaaaated it. Brantley's mercilessly skewered shows before (See: "Even those who believe everything on this planet is here for a purpose may at first have trouble justifying the existence of Good Vibrations," and "A new musical is said to have opened last night on Broadway. I mean, I saw it. Or I think I did. It's called, uh, wait a minute, it'll come to me. Got it! High Fidelity," and "Loved the shoes. Loathed the show. O.K., I exaggerate. I didn't like the shoes all that much"), but he doesn't often describe them as one of the worst musicals in history, a distinction he saved for Spider-Man. To wit: "The sheer ineptitude of this show, inspired by the Spider-Man comic books, loses its shock value early. After 15 or 20 minutes, the central question you keep asking yourself is likely to change from ‘How can $65 million look so cheap?’ to ‘How long before I’m out of here?’ ... Spider-Man is not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst." Good luck making back your money now, Spider-Man! [NYT]