Monday, July 09, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-man

I'm really not sure what to say about "The Amazing Spider-man". It's a reboot of a series that didn't really need a reboot. Sure, Spider-man 3 suffered from Emo Peter Parker and the song and dance numbers and the attempt to alter the story of Uncle Ben's death, but they could have made a good Spider-man 4 even if they did have to recast a few of the major roles.

Really, their motivation for making this movie wasn't because they had a good idea for a movie. The contract with Marvel says that if they go so long without making a Spider-man movie then the movie rights revert back to Marvel. That's why that really awful, never released, Roger Corman version of The Fantastic Four was made and that's why "The Amazing Spider-man" was made.

There's some things that I felt were done better in the previous trilogy and some things that were done better in this current series.

Two of the first three movies had appearances by Dr Curt Connor, one of Peter Parker's professors. They even made sure to cast this minor character with a missing arm. I always hoped that he'd get the chance to become The Lizard. With "The Amazing Spider-man" The Lizard finally got his appearance, but with a different actor. And with more brains that the comics credit him with.

The previous series did a better job of showing Peter as a science nerd. In this one you can easily get the feeling that any brains he has came from the spider and that much of his work was stolen from his father or Oscorp.

This movie tried to make Peter more of the wisecracking hero he is in the comics, but it came out as forced one liners.

This movie showed him as still being upset by his parents' disappearance and Uncle Ben's death. They also changed the story of Ben's death a bit. Normally I'd grumble, but I liked how they did it. Same basic theme, but new settings. The hunt for the killer is what draws Peter into crime fighting. He was motivated by revenge early on to make Flash Thompson, school jock and bully, look stupid. He hunted Ben's killer to get revenge. But he felt responsible for the creation of The Lizard. That expanded his motivation to be Spider-man to something more noble. But he never did find Uncle Ben's killer. They saved Peter's that until a later movie so they can still use vengeance as a motivation.

At the end they make Peter do his usual "I'm dangerous to be around. We can't be together, girl of my dreams." But, they do show that he realizes he's not going to be able to pull that off.

The movie was definitely built with further movies in mind. Repeated references to ailing Norman Osborn indicate the search for a formula that, when discovered, will likely turn him into the Green Goblin. No sign of Harry Osborne at all, but they did want to distance themselves from the earlier movies. And, if you wait into the credits a bit, we find there's still secrets about Peter's parents that have yet to come out.

I'm not inclined to get this on DVD. I liked it better than Spider-man 3, but less than Spider-man 1 or 2. Depending on how the sequels go, I may get "The Amazing Spider-man" on DVD down the road sometime.

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Totally unnecessary re-boot, but it was still very fun and entertaining. Also, Garfield was a nice choice for Peter Parker even if I do miss Tobey Maguire just a tad bit. Just a tad, though. Good review.