THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN - A Review By The Mighty Asterisk
Okay, I've stated my opinion to a few people that while I liked the Raimi movies when I was younger, I don't like them as much now. They're okay, but not exactly what I want when I see a movie with the name "Spider-Man" on it. Does The Amazing Spider-Man do this? Well...Sort of.
I just got back from the Midnight Showing of The Amazing Spider-Man, Marc Webb's little indie super-hero flick, and see what I have to say about it. A little spoilers, but nothing to freak out about.
Let this be known, before anything: Regardless of what the source material might be, The Amazing Spider-Man IS a good movie. A very good one at that. But as a Spider-Man film? It's odd. It's unlike any super-hero movie I've seen in a lot of ways. It focuses more on human emotions rather than straight up super-hero action, which is good. But it also causes the movie to drag and slow down, especially the first act. You're just staring at the screen bored, saying, "Yes, I know how he becomes Spider-Man, I want to see him BE Spider-Man. This demonstrates that the film really shouldn't be an origin story because, frankly, that's ground we've already covered. The most disappointing thing about that is it doesn't even tell the origin in an interesting fashion. The closest it comes is adding depth to the parents' "disappearance" but really that adds up to nothing. But really, the more I think about this film, the more I'm disappointed.
A lot of people complained that Prometheus was sequel bait. It might have been (No, I didn't see it) but if you want a movie that is just BEGGING for a sequel, look no further than The Amazing Spider-Man. Nothing happens, it's all build up. It is a shame, because I really, really had high hopes for this to be a great Spidey story, but it ended up just being set-up. But let's take a break from all this bashing, because I start to forget this is a movie I actually liked.
First off, I never had a problem with Spider-Man's suit. From the moment I saw it, I was like, "That's colorful, that's what I need from a Spidey suit." Sure, the eyes look a little odd, but it actually really works in the movie. Unless you've seen the movie, you have NO idea how well this suit works, especially with the breathtaking CGI incorporated by Webb and Crew. The film was made for 3D, and you can tell. Almost every shot takes a shot at showing the capabilities of the 3D, and it makes it into its own art form. Really, I liked this 3D better than Avatar's 3D.
Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. At first, I loathed the casting because, frankly, I didn't see this guy as the role. He looked a little too weird for it and just not what I saw in the character, but some of this might have been fueled bythe fact that I didn't like The Social Network. But as soon as the clip with Spider-Man confronting the car thief came online, I was hooked. Andrew Garfield is Spider-Man. Period. Tobey was pretty good, sure, but Garfield has the right attitude and humor required (and humor was something a little lacking in the previous films, surprisingly). Overall, I thought he was the best thing about the movie and if it can ever be figured out, he'd be a welcome addition to a future Avengers movie.
Emma Stone is one of those actresses who I think is good, but just a little overblown. I mean, yeah, I haven't seen Easy A, but she was pretty good in Zombieland and Superbad. But I still hadn't been too exposed, or impressed really, with what I had seen of her. Her as Gwen Stacy...doesn't really change that, really. She was good sure, but she had nothing to do. She didn't even get kidnapped or anything, she was just kind of...there. She had good chemistry with Andrew Garfield, sure, but even that romance led to nothing. But the whole "leading to nothing" thing...I'll get to that.
Rhys Ifans as The Lizard is a very polarized performance in my opinion. Sure, he was overacting in some parts (But to be fair, in a couple of scenes, Garfield does too), but there was also something very special to his role. He added some humanity to it, he gave Connors a human element. As for the actual Lizard creature...ehh. The CGI on him was pretty good, but his mouth looked really strange, it was a little too wide. His voice kind of contradicted the face too, but that's not really my big problem with The Lizard in this film, and this actually leads into my main problem with the film in general. Be warned, we're delving into a little spoilerish territory here.
This villain does nothing. Nothing. At. All. He doesn't even kill that many people, in fact, he only kills one. He attacks the high school, but the worst that happens is that he tears it up a bit. He even infects the SWAT team with the cross species genetics gas, and turns them into Lizard people, but you never actually see them until they turn BACK into humans! The Lizard doesn't get a single victory in this film, and since he doesn't get the chance to shine as a real bad guy, he isn't actually a villain, he's an obstacle. Yes, he kills a major character, but really that's ALL he does. It isn't even really a victory for him since that wasn't what he was trying to accomplish and in the end, you know that Connors regretted it. So in a way, that's my main point. This film doesn't even have a villain, it has a character with antagonistic properties that Spider-Man does away with pretty easily without too many consequences. Neither character really learns anything, it's just a sub-boss. And it makes the entire movie feel like a lead-in to an inevitable sequel.
So in the end, what did I think? Well, as a Spider-Man and visual effects fan, I really dug it. As a critic, I didn't like as much as I wished I had. This isn't the story we want to hear, it's the boring prequel comic that comes out before the movie. Still, do I regret going to see it? Not at all. I saw it on a huge screen with something like 600 people at midnight, and I enjoyed myself.
Also, that mid-credits scene made no sense.
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