Sad Adam Sandler Meets A Space Spider In This Somber Sci-Fi Saga


The spider, which is about the size of a Great Dane, shows up out of nowhere, suddenly on board the spaceship. Jakub is understandably freaked out by the presence of this astro-arachnid, and things only get weirder when the spider begins talking with a calm, comforting voice (courtesy of Paul Dano). The spider, which Jakub eventually names Hanuš, is wise and ancient — seemingly as old as time itself. It can also probe inside Jakub’s mind and make him relive his past memories. Is this creature even real? Or has Jakub finally snapped, imagining himself a companion? The film sort of plays around with this by having Jakub have a rather horrifying nightmare before Hanuš shows up in which spider legs start crawling out of his mouth. 

Whether the spider is real or not doesn’t ultimately matter. What matters is that the creature ends up helping Jakub reconnect with himself and see how he takes his beloved Lenka for granted. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Lenka must grapple with her decision and whether or not she wants to leave Jakub for good. Mulligan is a wonderful actor, but she’s not given much to do here except look forlorn and thoughtful. On top of that, “Spaceman” loses momentum whenever it cuts away from the ship — a stronger film would’ve stayed entirely within space.

That’s not to say everything set in space works. There’s a dullness to the material, adapted from the novel “Spaceman of Bohemia” by Jaroslav Kalfař, that doesn’t seem fitting for a movie that features a giant talking space spider. Still, Dano’s soft voice helps turn Hanuš into one of the cuddliest spiders ever captured on screen. Even if you suffer from arachnophobia you might find yourself wanting to give this creature a hug. 

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