SPIDER-MAN IS BACK ON THE BIG SCREEN!
I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man. Even though I probably should have been a little bored. We all know the story of Spider-Man. He’s one of the most popular fictional characters ever created. Mainly because it’s a simple story with TONS of character.
A teenage loner gets bitten by a spider and gains power but also responsibility. As Spidey learns to manage his new secret identity there are several classic staples that have to be included in his origin story. His relationship with Uncle Ben has to be a tale of respect and regret. ‘The Girl’ needs to feel like she’s truly a part of his story. He has to learn his powers through trial an error etc…
The fact is, there are moments in Peter Parker’s past that DEFINE who he is as Spider-Man. Personally, I think Marc Webb did a better job with Spider-Man’s journey than Sam Raimi did. (All due respect to Spider-Man 1 & 2)
THE DARK KNIGHT EFFECT
Thanks to Christopher Nolan’s brilliant Batman trilogy, superhero movies all seem to be striving for dark and gritty realism. I think some people expected Peter Parker to be a brooding high school version of Bruce Wayne. I don’t think that was ever the intention. The realistic approach became apparent to me when Peter falls through a ceiling and into a wrestling ring. That ring is another big plot point in Spidey’s past but instead of having Peter fight Randy Savage, the scene becomes a quiet moment of inspiration. As much as I loved Sam Raimi’s origin story, this felt more natural and… realistic.
It takes a long time for Spider-Man to finally appear and I was okay with that because Peter Parker’s story is so interesting. Many reviews I read were put off by the similarities in Peter’s origin. It would have been a lot worse if they changed things or skipped over too many details. (Look at how fans reacted to the Teenage
Alien Ninja Turtles announcement a few months ago.)
With so many people comparing this movie to Raimi’s version I ask; If they didn’t redo the origin and set up their own universe and set of rules, wouldn’t we all be using Raimi’s version as a guide?
Andrew Garfield is Spider-Man now and I think, a much better Peter Parker. Honestly, I was just happy to have the character back on the big screen again.
IT’S NOT PERFECT
It’s easy to forgive big films like this for lack of ‘big’ action moments when the character relationships are front and center. Batman takes a long time to appear in Batman Begins but we didn’t notice because the story was fascinating. The Amazing Spider-Man almost achieves the same effect but falls short in a few spots.
The majority of Spider-Man’s early screen time is spent dominating petty crooks and thieves. There isn’t really much danger there. When he finally comes face to face with The Lizard he kicks him once then saves a kid.
The Lizard’s story is a good one but I thought the CG on the creature was a little distracting when he was on his own. When he finally goes toe to toe with the web head, the effects are more believable. I would have loved a couple more scene stealing shots during their fights. Most of the time, Spider-Man is just avoiding claws.
THE UNTOLD STORY?
Essentially, the Spider-Man’s origin story is THE SAME as the original film but the focus is on Peter’s mysterious parents and their disappearance. We were promised an untold story and big reveals. Peter Parker’s parents disappeared and are presumed dead. The circumstances surrounding their disappearance is a mystery.
But there are NO reveals and the untold story remains untold. News broke soon after The Amazing Spider-Man’s release that this is the first film in a trilogy. That makes it a little easier to forgive the lack of answers but why promise to dig into his past with no pay off. We don’t even get a solid hint just casual references throughout the film.
We now have to wait two years for more information on the central theme of this rebooted trilogy. What happened to Peter Parker’s parents?
The Amazing Spider-Man wins with it’s honest portrayal of Peter Parker and his relationships. I give the film big marks for awesome web slinging shots but the film fell a little short on the Lizard action. Regardless, Spider-Man is a really entertaining tale that’s worth seeing if you love Spider-Man.
He’s back on the big screen! And finally we can truly forget that Spider-Man 3 ever existed.