The Amazing Spider-Man
If you know me, you know I wasn’t exactly hyped for this movie. I thought it was a completely unnecessary reboot in a year of mostly good movies (screw you, Ghost Rider). But perhaps I’m being far too cynical. It could very well be a good movie. I even thought that Abraham Lincoln was going to suck, and I was wrong (see my review). Could it be that… that I’m losing my touch? Perhaps I can’t judge movies simply by trailers or by my own feelings prior to viewing.
Well let’s see.
Boy meets spider, spider bites boy, boy gets powers, boy’s uncle dies, boy learns lesson and becomes a superhero, boy fights villain he has a tie to, boy gets girl, boy continues his adventure for future sequels.
Oh I’m sorry. That was the plot of the original Spider-Man movie. My mistake.
Boy meets spider, spider bites boy, boy gets powers, boy’s uncle dies, boy learns…
Hey, wait a second! It’s the exact same plot!
Now I, like most of you do as well, know the story of Spider-Man quite well. It’s a rather simple tale that has been shown in the movies, shows, comics… which begs the question as to why it needs to be told again, but that’s for later. The problem is that the story is extremely similar to the first movie and not just the comics. Let’s count:
- Boy creepily takes pictures of his love interest (… although… gah, later…)
- The villain has a tie to the hero.
- Both villains have that whole Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on.
- Both have a moment where our hero is saving someone dangling from a bridge.
- Both movies show NY residents helping our hero (get to that soon…)
It would also be remiss of me to not mention this: the moments where the Lizard is tossing his gas canisters is a direct rip-off of last year’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which, while I haven’t reviewed it and I don’t know if I will, I highly recommend). I have a hard time believing it wasn’t intentional. The camera angles were suspiciously similar.
Before I continue, let me address this really, really horrible point:
The construction crew helping Spider-Man.
Hated. This. Scene. SO. MUCH. I liked the scene in the first Spider-Man on the bridge, but there are some factors here:
- The people on the bridge were in danger as well. And it kinda makes sense for them to all gather together to fight a common threat.
- The people of New York had time to get to know Spider-Man. In this movie, he was mostly just an internet sensation. Previously, we at least got a montage that implied a good deal of time had passed – we even had people singing in the streets about him!
I think the second one bothers me more. They almost went for a Batman Begins sort of thing, where Spider-Man “inspires them.” That’s not bad, but again, they didn’t have time to really love Spider-Man in this movie. He was just some guy.
Also, they hinted at some juicy detail into Peter’s parents. Well… WE GET NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You may think we did, but we did not. Know what we got? Bait. Bait for a new movie to expand on this grand revelation, when in reality, it’s still just as much a mystery as before,
Uncle Ben… oh Uncle Ben. They had the Illusive Man play you? Oh for shame…
Actually, no, Martin Sheen did a fine job. Unfortunately, the character was not developed very well and we never got a chance to really care when the inevitable death came. And we had no sad moments after. Everybody seemed to just carry on. No funeral, no real sad moments. When Parker goes after his uncle’s killer, it’s… anticlimactic. Extremely, especially since he fails the first time. I should also point out that the “with great power comes great responsibility” speech was completely botched and poorly done. HE DIDN’T EVEN SAY THE WORDS! I’m sorry, but… no.
And the robbery scene. It was horrible, just horrible. In every presentation of the robbery scene prior, Peter had a chance to stop the guy. This time, the robber was running away from where he was, meaning he’d have to actively chase the robber. Maybe they were trying to show that you should be good and help… but doesn’t this thought process encourage vigilantism? It’s one thing to stop somebody when you have the chance; it’s completely another to chase somebody down.
Gwen Stacy was a bit too smart. She was intelligent, yes, but I have a hard time believing a high school student can quickly create an antidote to a virus that took quite some time to create. Not only that, but to be able to access the tech in Oscorp. That was just stupid.
As for our protagonist: The whole “geek” thing never quite came through. At all. Not in his choice of clothing, not in his mannerisms, and not how he was treated by others – yes, I know these are all stereotypes, but Peter Parker is and has always been the stereotypical geek / nerd before gaining his powers. He just came across as somewhat of a reclusive stalker in this movie (yes, he’s a stalker. Which… yeah, that was just weird). He was never bullied because he was Peter Parker; the only time Flash hit him was when he himself intervened. And… no glasses? Why? It… it makes no sense. Yeah, I know he wears glasses later because of his dad, but… no, it’s stupid. It’s a part of the character and I, for one, am rather insulted that he went for contacts (as someone who actually does wear glasses).
Also… a skateboard? Really? Sorry, Parker, but… *snicker* you just ain’t pulling that off, buddy.
I will say that I kind of liked the portrayal of Spider-Man here as a jokester. That was good. What I did not like, however, is that he did not invent the webbing, but merely ripped off / “improved upon” tech that Oscorp was already using. Yes, he invented the shooters. But it’s… it’s just not the same.
Also… TOO MANY PEOPLE KNOW HE’S SPIDER-MAN! Not just the obvious ones (though that annoyed me too), but the many many scenes where he interacted with other people utilizing his spider powers. Yes, that happened in the first Spider-Man movie by Raimi, but only briefly and not quite as… obvious. The fight in school I can handle. But the subway scene? The basketball scene? Sorry. Too much to swallow.
And now for the antagonist:
I had a really hard to empathizing with this guy. Mostly because he was, quite frankly, Hitler. Yes, he went for Nazi ideology that weakness must be purged and everybody must be the same (lizard people = master race). I felt bad for him due to the arm, but beyond that I really just… didn’t care. The sudden shift from nice doctor to psychopath was just way too fast and poorly developed.
CGI was… okay, I guess. Web slinging, for some reason, looked… of. I don’t know why. It just didn’t look nearly as impressive as it did in previous movies. And the Lizard was just… weird.
Acting: the actors did not do badly for what they had. The problems I have with the characters don’t reflect on the actors. They did a fine job for what they were doing. I just didn’t like what they were doing, simple as that.
In the end, I wasn’t just completely right, but this movie was worse than I thought it would be. I even saw Spider-Man 2 on TV and was reminded of how good it was. This movie was completely unnecessary, poorly done, and frankly, it sickens me that it’s getting so much unwarranted praise and attention. No, I don’t think you should see it and I don’t like that I contributed to the movie’s box office gross. But you will.. unfortunately.
Before you comment (… and I can feel hate mail coming. I can smell it), I pose a question to you all: are my reviews too… bland? Not in writing, but do you think some pictures would be a nice addition? Let me know, and suggest stuff for me to review (comics, books, movies, games, etc).