The Amazing Spider-Man: Will It Be Faithful Yet Contemporary?
Some thoughts on all things Amazing Spider-Man, and how the relaunched franchise might develop...
Re-watching the Amazing Spider-Man trailer I caught myself liking it. I admit I have been actively reluctant to like it at all. I loved Tobey MaGuire as Peter Parker and I have not wanted to let him go. I loved the tone of the Sam Raimi films. I felt they were a wonderful cinematic bit of Marvel magic that firmly lifted Spider-Man to the level of world consciousness we have long had with DC Superman and Batman. Looking back, however, I can't say they were perfect or faithful.
The organic webbing caused such a ruckus at the time, yet now feels somehow right. Some of the casting was either a little off or I felt indifferent to it at the time, (Aunt May. Uncle Ben. Harry.)The costume was perfect though. Tobey was perfect. J. Jonah Jameson was perfect. Norman Osbourne was perfect. The Goblin armor would have fit in with a more realistic approach to Spidey but seemed out of place in Raimis version. So, I have held deep love and convictions for the first two Spidey films and have managed to overlook the third.
Now comes Mark Webbs reboot, without Tobey for goodness sake,(!), and I have pouted about it endlessly. Now I am beginning to question myself as to why. The trailer looks great doesn't it? The glimpses we have of Peter Parker as a small boy with his parents is very intriguing. I would like to think the accident that gives Peter his abilities, and the Lizard his, is all related to the work Peters parents were involved in, that they were scientists rather than spies. I think that would be an improvement over the spy story.
I am not too keen on Sally Fields and Martin Sheen. Both are distracting to me because of their long careers and I don't think Andrew Garfield needs too many mental distractions. I was really hoping for the Ultimate lines hippified versions of Aunt May and Uncle Ben.
The scene where we see cars being flipped on the bridge? Color me excited. I am ready for the Lizard.
I also like how it seems Peter's curiosity gets the better of him after Gwen Staceys warning and that leads to his being bitten.
I don't care for the first person point of view as Peter swings around as Spidey because I have played that game before. I hope the movie doesn't slip into that gimmick too often or it could lose points from this audience member.
I think I am going to like Gwen rather than MJ. That, and the return of the mechanical web shooters already signals Mark Webb is being faithful to certain elements of the Spidey origin and early years that Raimi neglected or ignored.
I have also decided, based on seeing Andrew Garfield hunched over his desk, doodling or writing out notes in class, that Webb has a good grasp on what constitutes a genuine modern day geek. It isn't glasses, or being too skinny, or too smart, though those traits do retain a little bit of geekiness. True contemporary outcast "geeks" are the guys and girls that don't know Lady Gaga songs, that don't troll the internet with boob pictures, that aren't goth or emo chic. True geeks huddle over their desks drawing pictures. Of mountain tops. With him on top. (lol). They know all the little details of their favorite manga and anime. They are mostly quiet and polite. The GOOD kids that don't fit in with the superficial and shallow world of consumers and pop culture addicts. So, I think this version of Peter Parker is going to work for me.
Unfortunately the suit doesn't and likely will never. I see that as pure marketing to force parents to buy the new toys since their kids still have their Spider-Man toys with the classic suit.
The tone looks very interesting to me. I am not sure how a more mature Spidey film will play out for adolescent America but I am up for this. In fact I am already hoping for some Kraven the Hunter easter eggs to set up a Grim Hunt style sequel.
Well, there you have it, the confessions and conversion of a Spider-man fan to embrace the new era. Let's hope it is a well placed hope I have!
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