Tom Holland’s ‘The Crowded Room’ a dud: review


June 9, 2023 | 6:43 p.m

Tom Holland stars and executive produces the AppleTV+ thriller “The Crowded Room,” and the show is a big announcement about how not to quit your day job as Spiderman.

Now airing, “The Crowded Room” is a miniseries created by Akiva Goldsman in the summer of 1979 in New York City.

The plot follows troubled young man Danny (Holland) after he is arrested for shooting a gun near Rockefeller Center. At the time of the accident, he was with his friend Ariana (Sasha Lane), but she disappeared, and only Danny was caught.

The cop in charge of his case (Thomas Sadoski) thinks Danny might be a serial killer, but fellow cop Raya (Amanda Seyfried) has his doubts.

When she questions Danny, he begins to trust her and open up to her. Blinking transformations define his life up to this point.

Tom Holland stars as the troubled Danny in the epic “The Crowded Room.”
Apple TV+

Emmy Rossum smiles.
Emmy Rossum became Tom Holland’s mother when she was just 9 years old.
Apple TV+

He was not popular at school, he was in love with a girl (Emma Laird), he had an abusive stepfather (Will Chase) and a caring mother (Emmy Ross – 36 years old, she was taken in a confused state, and her on-screen son Tom Holland is 27) .

It’s all rotten stuff, like this scene checking the boxes of what a “troubled youth” stock character should be.

Several heavy-hitting actors appear in minor roles, such as Jason Isaacs, although they feel underused.

Amanda Seyfried sits across the table from Tom Holland.
Amanda Seyfried and Tom Holland in “The Crowded Room.”
Apple TV

Amanda Seyfried sits solemnly.
Amanda Seyfried plays the cop on the case.
Apple TV

The show is loosely based on the book “The Minds of Billy Milligan” (which will give you a gig if you Google it).

In fact, it’s pretty easy to guess the big reveal just by looking at that title, or being familiar with the psychological thriller genre.

Holland is best known as the latest Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and to date Zendaya), a role that requires more intensity and emotional hazy moments than a role in “The Crowded Room.” ”

He held his own in some serious dramatic roles (such as “How I Love You Now” and “In the Heart of the Sea”) but was not particularly central to those films.

It’s understandable that he wants to break away from Marvel and prove his “serious” chops, but “The Crowded Room” is a rather unmotivated vehicle.

Actors with a good chance of breaking away from Popcorn include Robert Pattinson and Daniel Radcliffe, both of whom found success after “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” for risk-taking and unconventional roles.

“The Crowded Room” is not dangerous or oddball. It has the potential to be both, but it’s not interesting enough.

Emmy Rossum looks distressed in the garden.
Emmy Rossum as Danny’s mother
Apple TV+

Tom Holland stood in the dark, looking worried.
Danny (Tom Holland) is a troubled young man involved in a police case in “The Crowded Room.”
Apple TV

It’s not a horror show.

The performance is good, and the product price is high.

However, it’s more boring than it should be, especially considering the subject matter.

The setting is plodding, the writing uninspired, lacking a certain gritty, witty quality that the genre requires.

And, the surprises are few and far between.

Tom Holland and Sasha Lane sit on the porch.
Danny (Tom Holland) with Ariana (Sasha Lane).
Apple TV

Amanda Seyfried stands in front of the chalkboard, looking thoughtful.
Amanda Seyfried as an inquisitive cop.
Apple TV

Especially when “The Crowded Room” is associated with better crime thrillers that explore the human psyche, this show pales in comparison to “Mindhunter” or “Sharp Objects.”

Watching it, it’s hard not to think of all the other shows that have done similar concepts better.

Holland is not without talent – ​​and of course Seyfried and Ross are both established stars.

But none of that is enough to solidify this nonsense show.

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