The Amazing Spider-Man Review: Better Than The Original?
Is this the Spider-Man film that we've all been waiting for? A comparative review on Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and the current Spider-Man film.
I wasn’t at all excited when I first heard that they were rebooting Spider-Man. But then I saw the trailers for it and they blew my mind. This is starting to look like the best Spidey film ever. As I went into the theatre I had high expectations as I am rarely taken away by trailers.
After watching it, I was a bit disappointed as it felt better than the first Spider-Man but not on par with the second one. It is impossible not to compare this film to the first film as it has a lot of the same elements in it. Some were done better, some were not. I certainly felt like a lot more could’ve been done with the opportunity given to this film. The new version is a tad better than the old one, but with all the hits and misses that the first film had already made, this should’ve been a whole lot better.
Since it is impossible not to compare, I’ll do a comparative review. First is for the main character, Peter Parker: If there’s one thing the new Spidey has done correctly, it definitely has to be the characters. Gone are the dumb characters that were present in the first film or trilogy for that matter. And Andrew Garfield’s version was exactly the opposite of dumb. It was also more relatable than Tobey Maguire’s version. Maguire’s was the stereotypical nerd that we see in films. Garfield’s was more of angst, rebellious teen. He was certainly showed with much more emotion. His intelligence was also more justified with his invention of his web-shooters. There were parts of Tobey’s performance that I wish were present in Garfield’s like being a little less confident, but overall Garfield wins this.
Spider-Man: Of course Garfield wins this. This is the version of Spidey that we exactly want to see, witty, charming and sarcastic! That’s the Spidey we remember. Besides the costume, Garfield definitely tops Maguire.
Love Interest: There is no question as to who would win this! Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy is an example of opposite of a dumb character, which Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane was. Mary Jane was simply an object for which Spidey has to save. She was only there as a damsel in distress and as a girl for Spidey to fall in love with, nothing else. Gwen on the other hand, while also simply a love interest, was certainly not a damsel in distress. She was smart and charming, she was on the same level of intelligence with Peter, and she was there to help Spidey in taking down the villain which she certainly did well. She was not going down without a fight unlike Mary Jane or any other damsel in distresses in other superhero movies. And no words can describe the chemistry she had with Andrew Garfield. Gwen Stacy hands down.
Villain: I loved Willem Dafoe’s performance as Norman Osborn. Where his performance falls off is when he is as the Green Goblin. It was just way too corny and cheesy! And the suit was just horrible. There was also no clear motive as to why he is so mad or eager of Spidey. He wanted to team up with him ‘cause he’s powerful? What? Rhys Ifans’ performance was great. As Connors, there is always that conflicted look in his face, which was what I loved. You’ll also be sympathetic to his goals in curing the imperfections of humanity. The lizard also was great to look at. And I was surprised that the humanoid face didn’t turn me off like I thought it would. It actually made better sense than having an actual lizard head like in the comics. Imagine it speaking looking like that! The absence of the coat though turned me off a bit. And it wasn’t clear where his split personality starts and ends. Overall, a win for the Lizard.
Supporting Cast: Uncle Ben, Aunt May, Flash Thompson, Jonah Jameson, who else is there? The new Spidey did every one better except for the absence of Jonah Jameson. If he’s going to be present in sequel, I hope J.K. Simmons would reprise the role. He was my favorite character in the old trilogy. Other than that, all the cast was simply better. Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben was more fatherly and Sally Field as Aunt May doesn’t look like a grandma. Everyone was presented more realistically and in turn made it better.
Story: It is almost the same story except change the villain from Goblin to Lizard. The villains almost are the same. Osborn wanted to save his company while Connors wanted to prevent human testing. Both became villains after. It’s both a story of Peter Parker’s transformation to Spider-Man. The only major difference is the addition of the story of Peter’s parents, which is sort of a step backward. They hyped it to be that story but we only got a tiny bit of it. The story could’ve gone on without it. The love story is way better. It will surely be satisfying for your girlfriends! The new one also has a more realistic and gritty approach which makes it more believable but I sort of miss the colorful world of the old one which really feels like a Spider-Man comic book. The first movie had better pacing. It was easy to understand but with a few complex subplots added. The new one’s pacing was inconsistent. Some parts are really dragging and every time it starts to build a head of steam, it starts to slow down again. The new one has a more complex story, but due to the pacing, some gaping plot holes and the addition of Peter’s parents’ story, I’ll have to give this a tie.
Action: Both contain great action sequences, but the new one went out of their way to be as creative as they could get in this department. The way they incorporated the use of his web-shooters was incredible. You could never have imagined that they would use it that way! Spider-Man really looks like a spider and they finally put some range on his web-shooters. This new Spidey, while still ludicrous, is bound to the laws of physics. And that is amazing!
Moments: This is where the first movie trumps the new one big time. Aside from the basketball and crane scenes (ugh!) in the new one, there aren’t any that I can remember. There are no memorable quotes as well. In the first movie, there are a lot that comes to my head! Most of the time, it is the moments that make a movie no matter how corny it gets, e.g. the finger touch in E.T. In the old Spidey, there’s the upside down kiss, the quote “With great power, comes great responsibility,” and his exploration of his powers are only a few that comes to mind. When figuring out how to use powers, it has to be memorable, even if you make it cheesy! In the new one, he just doesn’t feel as happy using his new found powers. He was only testing his agility it seems that he became Peter Parkour! Does skateboarding count as spider skills now? With that being said, the first movie trumps this big time it’s almost worth 2 points!
Verdict: I’m almost leaning toward the first movie because of a straight and understandable storyline and memorable moments, but because the whole movie is too cheesy and kiddie and because of the strong characters they have in the new one and the possibility of an awesome sequel, I’ll give the slight edge to new “The Amazing Spider-Man.” But even if the new one is the better film, I believe that the first movie will be the one that people remember.
Both are 7.5’s out of 10 for me, but since I gave the new one a slight edge, I’ll give the first one a 7.25 while the new one stays a 7.5!
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