|Posted by DisneyOtoko on July 17, 2012 at 2:20 PM|
The Amazing Spider-man Review
Back in 2002 when I was a boy of 11 Spider-man wasmy favorite superhero! I knew all the characters (at least the ones in the 90sshow) I knew the basic origin story and I was absolutely enthralled witheverything Spider-man! When I heard that a movie was being that was animmediate must see I didn’t give a damn how crowded and I told my parents asmuch. So we waited in the hot sun in the waiting lines for a specific showingand the sold out signs, but it was worth it because Spider-man 1 was awesome(it still is even though now it’s not as much as I thought it was) and I wouldanticipate every sequel. After 3 came out I was sort of let down (and Batmanwas my favorite as of 2005) for all the normal reasons why people were let down.I figured that the 4th one would reflect on 3’s mistakes and be like1 and 2. Unfortunately the 4th movie was cancelled! I was followinginternet and Hollywood news on the project so I knew about possible villainchoices and all that and I knew Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst would come backand all that, but when I heard the studio politics that crushed Spidey 4 I wasmad!!! I labeled the reboot as a cash grab and a way to suck all artistic lifeout of the franchise. There was a time when I was thinking of boycotting it,but I’m not one to stay angry like that for very long (unless it’s something majorly extreme) so I decided not to pass judgment on it until I saw it. Thetrailers were pretty good, but since trailers are misleading I was still slightlyskeptical. I treated two very good friends of mine to see it on the 7thand we really enjoyed ourselves! I was pleasantly relieved. I actually thinkthis was a little bit better than the Raimi movies (Even though I love theRaimi movies except 3) I still think the reboot was too soon and should havewaited about two years 1 year at the very least so the movie can get some ofthe kinks and imperfections that the movie ended up having out and also createspace between the previous franchise. Still I really enjoyed the film as it iscomparisons and all. I thought it was a very interesting way of retelling theorigin and is a very entertaining movie!
Okay I know it’s not really fair to do this, butwith Sony shooting itself in the foot in terms of critically looking at themovie by having this reboot come too soon comparisons to Spider-man 1 areinevitable. While Spider-man 1 was very classic, old school Amazing Fantasy 15on the big screen type movie this one switches things up. It goes into Peter’srelationship with his parents before and after they died and Peter’s emotionsand struggles regarding his powers and the loss of Uncle Ben and what he doeswith those powers afterwards and the revelations to the path of heroism andresponsibility. I also find Doug Walker’s statements interesting on whether ornot this movie would be good if the Raimi trilogy wasn’t made.
I also don’t want to compare it to the Nolan Batmanreboot, but I am a little tiny bit in terms of a basic stylistic direction.While Spider-man 1 was more of the traditional grand fantastic spectacle thathad a mystical aura of fun around it this one is darker (it’s NOT Nolan Batman gritty, deep and intense dark),but does maintain the basic charm and appeal of Peter Parker/ Spider-man. It connectsto Nolan in terms of how down to earth this movie and its characters aredespite the genuinely fantastic things that happen. If there’s any real problemwith the story is that sometimes it feels (not necessarily rushed) that somethings aren’t explained as much as they could be. I know that the parents’research is going to be explained in the sequels, but other basic stuff isn’telaborated on again going back to Doug Walker’s statement. Still what I got wasvery good and was different enough so that I never felt I was watching theRaimi movie again.
If you’re bored of my stylistic analysis thesynopsis of the plot is this. Peter Parker wants to know more about the actuallives of his parents instead of the secretive and hush hush vibe whenever hebrings them up at home and memory so he decides to slip into Oscorp to see hisfather’s partner in genetic cross species splicing research Dr. Curt Connors.While snooping around he triggers the release of genetically altered spiders andin the tradition of the origin story gets bitten and develops spider powers.Peter approaches Connors about finishing his father’s research and actuallydevelops prototype serums for cross species splicing. Peter misses variousresponsibilities and engagements and gets into a fight with Uncle Ben andanother tradition in the origin story Uncle Ben gets shot and killed (the moviecleverly stages this event so that it’s different from other retellings) (bythe way if you complain that I gave away a spoiler because I said Peter got bitby a spider or Uncle Ben got shot you are officially an idiot!) The film continuesto deal with Peter’s grief over Ben’s loss and developing the identity ofSpider-man and the ideals behind Spider-man while also expanding his relationshipwith the beautiful Gwen Stacey and combating Connors as the classic Spideyvillain the Lizard!
THE CHARACTER SECTION IS WHERE I GET INTO MAJORSPOILERS SO IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE YET AND DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILEDLEAVE NOW!!!!!!!!!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
One of the great things about the characters ofthis movie are that not only are they likeable, but they are so down to earth. Thisis where the realism shines in the dialogue and the performances. Take Gwen andPeter’s awkward conversation where Peter asks her out. That was excellentbecause that’s how a conversation like that would really go it’s not allperfect there would be long pauses and “ums and uhs etc” and the best part isit’s performed so well that it doesn’t take you out of the movie and isactually a part of the movie. An honorable mention to the moment with Flash.Finally Flash wasn’t the stereotypical bully! He was a jerk, but he was alsohuman and knew that there are lines that you don’t cross and actually gave hiscondolences to Peter after Uncle Ben’s death most likely because if I remembercorrectly part of the character’s basic history is his father is dead so he knows what it’s likeand the film also has Flash be Spider-man’s biggest fan!
UNCLE BEN AND AUNT MAY: played by Martin Sheen andSally Field
These characters were done very well. Even thoughSally Field isn’t given much to do in the film it still is nice that she canpull off an appropriately aged Aunt May and show the stress of trying to raisePeter without Ben and trying to cope with Ben’s death. Martin Sheen as UncleBen was very good. He was warm, wise and like many of the other characters downto earth and didn’t say “with great power, must come great responsibility”(even though I love that phrase and it’s powerful it still sounds like acornball catchphrase) he says the same exact thing, but in a much more naturalway which serves the style and mood of the film very well.
DR. CURT CONNORS/ THE LIZARD: played by Rhys Ifans
The Lizard for the most part was really well done. Theclassic set up with the lost arm is established very well along with the newelement of the relationship between Connors and Richard Parker. At first I wasvery concerned that they would make Connors a completely unsympathetic villainand make him straight up evil, but the film gave him just enough humanity tokeep that aspect intact. Such as the genuine excitement and camaraderie withand in a sense mentorship he has with Peter as well as the pain of being soclose to regain his arm and to have it taken away from him. Also he wasthreatened by that Oscorp crony (Whatever happened to him anyway? Did he getthat serum to the Veterans’ hospital like he threatened? And if so how come theveterans didn’t turn into lizard people? That plotline sort of vanished) andpushed to desperation and developed the evil Lizard personality. I thought theLizard was used very well generic plan, but I thought his powers were usedappropriately especially the clever way of showing his control of reptiles aswell as Spidey’s cleverness for creating the web to sense vibrations. I do have1 nitpick and I may sound like a hypocrite when I said I don’t care aboutdesigns all that much, but I miss the snout. I know it’s hard to make theLizard talk with the snout, but the snout is a huge part of what makes theLizard’s look complete giving him a very bestial look so he could snarl, roarand bare his teeth. And besides his face is a little goofy. He seriously lookslike a Goomba from the Mario movie with the Joker scars. Still despite thatRhys Ifans does a fine job as Connors and I like that they’re hinting at asplit personality that part of Connors is good and the Lizard mind is still there.
CAPTAIN GEORGE STACY: played by Dennis Leary
George Stacy while different from his sourcematerial is a solid character and it shows that Dennis Leary can break thecommon perception of him and really showcase his talent such as Diego from theice Age movies. He’s a hardworking police captain who tries to do the rightthing. I like how there are elements of the sarcastic likeable jerk DennisLeary in the performance. It’s subtle, but it is amusing and it works.
GWEN STACY: played by Emma Stone
Even though Mary Jane will always be my favoriteEmma Stone did a fine job as Gwen! Her chemistry with Andrew Garfield isexcellent (hell they’re going out in real life) and I love how Gwen actuallygot to do something and served the climax of the story outside of being thedamsel in distress such as making the antidote for the Lizard formula andtorching the Lizard when he breaks through the door she’s hiding behind. She’ssmart and figures things out. Great stuff!
PETER PARKER/ SPIDER-MAN: played by Andrew Garfield
Now I liked Andrew Garfield better than TobeyMaguire. I liked Tobey Maguire’s performance, but Garfield was just far moreinteresting. I mean Tobey Maguire played Peter as the classic stereotypicalnerd very oldschool, nothing wrong with that, but we’ve seen that a billiontimes. This Peter is very interesting because he’s not popular, but he’s not atotal geek despite the same classic level of intelligence that Peter possesses.He’s sort of the bland everyman that is completely forgettable and just coaststhrough life. That is more interesting than just the cliché nerd getting pickedon. I also liked that you see the wisecracking and slight coolness of Peter,but he chose not to use it, but when he gets his powers and puts on the costumehe can let that out more. I also like that there is a true period of adjustmentfor his powers. In the Raimi movie there was like two to three scenes where hedidn’t control his powers, but here he’s constantly breaking stuff andsometimes he has no control over the powers at all. I really liked that. I alsolike that Peter’s first response is anger and vengeance and spends the firstfew outings in the ever developing costume catching people that fit thedescription of Uncle Ben’s murderer. It’s when the Lizard throws cars over the bridgeand Spider-man’s webbing won’t hold that Spider-man makes the choice to save atrapped child. And it is there that he learns what Uncle Ben was trying to tellhim and realizes that these powers can be used to help people and should beused to help people. The best part is that Andrew Garfield doesn’t need to tellus this in dialogue you can see it in his face and even when he has the mask onyou can tell it goes down to the essence of the performance. I also like how inthis movie Spider-man is actually funny! His wisecracks are finally funny inthe Raimi movies it wasn’t funny at all most of the humor was with Jameson.Andrew Garfield was a great choice and I really liked him. Hope he signs on todo more!
I may have to see the movie again, but I couldn’ttell you one thing about this score. It was solid enough, but it did nothingfor me. I miss the Elfman theme and I think it would have worked and fit withthis type of movie because there’smystery excitement, wonder and a tiny bit of brooding for good measure, butalas the Elfman theme wasn’t used unless it was remixed to the point where itwas unrecognizable.
The effects were okay. I already complained about the Lizard not having a snout, but the film looked fine. The action scenes were really good, but my friend pointed this out and I agree with him and it’s that the locations during the fight scenes seemed kind of empty because thelocations were conveniently evacuated like the school and Oscorp Tower and there was no real sense of danger that civilians could get hurt or killed (theLizard bomb thing doesn’t count because it’s a cliché that we know is going tobe fixed) except when Gwen was there, but she wasn’t there very long and itcontinued to be the empty fighting. I don’t know if Director Marc Webb hastrouble with big crowd shots creating chaos and hero and villain battling inthat chaos or what. Anyway the fight scenes are good, but that is a little oddto me. Also Stan Lee’s cameo was hilarious!
Overall I really enjoyed this film even a littlebit better than the Raimi trilogy. With good writing, characters, acting anddecent fight scenes and meaningful themes and a twist on Spider-man this filmis really good! Stay during the credits because there is one scene in themiddle and that possibly sets up the next villain or Connors’s alternatepersonality. I kind of want to play the game since the game is a direct sequel.Maybe I’ll give it a rental.
Verdict: 4.8 Lizard mutated lab rats out of 5
Join me next time where I celebrate my 1 yearAnniversary as a blogger and my 100th Post! What am I reviewing?It’s a surprise!