The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Review
July 5, 2012 Leave a comment
My expectations were pretty low as I walked into the Spider-Man reboot, merely 5 years after the travesty that was Spider-Man 3. Marc Webb isn’t a director I was familiar with nor Andrew Garfield an actor I knew. Rumors always spread around that the way Sony and Fox keep the rights to their Marvel movies is by continuing to make them which makes this reboot feel like Sony clinging on to the property. But I went in with an open mind and the only expectation being that the Lizard would be pretty disappointing. This movie is going to incite more conversation than it deserves. Its just above mediocre. Every well done thing is paralleled by something done horribly.
There are essentially two stories in this movie. Sure the origin story is there and the Illusive Man does great as Uncle Ben. We’ve all heard the story a million times. I don’t see why they can’t just do a little into scene with him getting bit and simply show us Parker is in high school. Out of all the superheroes of the world, Spider-Man’s origin is by far the most famous. But anyway two stories. One is the excellent romance between Parker and Gwen and the other is the horribly told and executed tale of Kurt Connors aka the Lizard.
I’m not a big romance guy but this movie had something special with its two protagonists. I really wish the movie had simply focused entirely on it so when Peter inevitably kills Gwen in the sequel (that’s a 40 year old spoiler you should already know) it would make it all the more tragic. On top of that, Peter’s relationship with her police chief Dad was really a missed opportunity. Oh sure there were nice moments, but the richness of the relationship that is available makes it a crime it wasn’t tapped.
There are lot of issues. The Lizard is terrible. He looks better than I thought he would but he still looks like a Goomba from the Super Mario Brothers movie. Dr Connors is not a convincing character in any manner after he injects himself with the Lizard serum. Even as a cure amputees scientist he comes off as a little one dimensional. The last 5 or 10 minutes of the movie simply didn’t fit the tone of the rest of the movie. The end credits scene even leaves comic fans baffled as to the mysterious villain that appears. And of course the origin retelling was a complete waste of time.
The big issue is, as much as this movie mucks up, the actors in it (except for maybe Rhys Ivans) do a fantastic job. Flash was a believable bully. Gwen and Peter were wonderfully nervous around each other. Uncle Ben had a lot of wonderful parenting moments. Aunt May didn’t really get enough lines to have an opinion on though.
Andrew Garfield as Spiderman was fanstastic. The thing Toby McGuire always lacked was the wise cracks. Marc Webb used a ton of iconic Spiderman poses and jumps not to mention that most of the time we were looking at a real person, unlike the not so great CGI the original Spiderman movie suffered from.
This movie feels like one that the studio simply wouldn’t let the team making the movie do their job right. So many character moments that should have been present were left out. So many moments were added that make no sense (“The best promises are the kind you can’t keep”). Not to mention the pointless mid-credits scene. This movie would have been a thousand times better if it was just about Parker balancing his life as Spiderman with high school, friends, and family rather than add a poorly written and executed villain in it. Does Spider-Man really have to save the entire city every movie? Why not just have Dr Connors turn into The Lizard during the last 20 minutes and have the big action climax be Spider-Man finding a way to subdue him?
If Sam Raimi’s interpretation of Spider-Man is the one true movie interpretation for you then The Amazing Spider-Man won’t change your mind. Matter of fact I imagine you’ll hate it. Its odd since both movies do an equal amount of comic accurate bits in it. I chuckle at the thought of fan boys arguing over it for years especially since its just a decent movie in my opinion. Not mind blowing or fantastic, just decent. I do look forward to the sequel so long as we get a similar team but Sony and Marvel, just let them do their jobs and get out of the editing room!