Today I'm talking about (as the title and video would suggest) The Amazing Spider-Man! As I'm not a huge film buff, other than the fact that I like to watch them, I won't be commenting much on individual shots or cinematography but more on the movie as a whole. To start, I was not looking forward to this movie with any great anticipation like I am with The Dark Knight Rises or The Hobbit, but I was interested in it. That said, this movie exceeded my expectations but there were a couple snags that keeps it out of the running of movies I will buy in the future. It should go without saying that there will be spoilers after the break, so read at your own risk if you haven't seen it.
I absolutely loved Spider-Man and while I was never one to collect comic books growing up, I watched the TV show a ton and I enjoyed the first two films from the Tobey Maguire series. I think The Amazing Spider-Man tapped into Peter Parker much better than the previous incarnations. Yes, he's still a nerd, he's not popular, but he's not the geeky dweeb who everyone picks on. Andrew Garfield nailed the wit and sarcasm of the web-head while maintaining an appropriate level of teenage angst and awkwardness. He starts as a kid with new powers and abilities, abusing them as he searches for Uncle Ben's killer, but after rescuing a boy from and act by the Lizard, he starts to turn things around and be less selfish. It's a nice development to see through the film rather than the sudden change in the previous series. The return of the mechanical web-shooters is appreciated, both because it matches with the original idea in the comics and helps cement Peter as being an smart kid without having to play up a school scene about his intelligence.
Speaking of the school, Gwen Stacy and Flash Thompson were great choices over Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborne. While Mary Jane is the iconic redhead beauty to match with geeky Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy is just as important. Unless my memory fails me, Mary Jane and Peter only get together after the death of Gwen Stacy, so should the movie series continue, we may actually get to see that. As for Flash Thompson, the bully? He becomes friends with Peter, even dresses up as Spider-Man, and later becomes Venom! Venom happens to be one of my favorite characters in comics, going from villian to anti-hero to full-time hero with the Secret Avengers.
|Seriously, that's Venom. Awesome!|
Now for some of the not so cool stuff. The dialogue could have been a bit better. It felt a bit forced, very much like movie-speak instead of normal conversations. Heck, it's a Spider-Man movie and the line "With great power, comes great responsibility" is never uttered, though it is referenced. Some of the problem with the dialogue is downplayed if you consider some of the dialogue in comics themselves. Captain Stacey makes a comment to Gwen about her boyfriend being 'a man of many masks' and it made me face-palm, but at the same time, it's the kind of thing you'd read in a comic book. I don't know if I should credit that to the writers or if they just got lucky. Visually, there were too many slow down 'oh cool' shots that detracted from the flow of the movie and were obviously for marketing. The first-person web-swinging and climbing was cool in the trailer but it really could have been removed from the movie itself.
Sadly, this movie ensures that the rights to Spidey remain in Sony's hands so we won't be seeing the wall-crawler hanging out with Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers. However, there's obviously going to be a sequel and there's rumors of a Venom movie coming out. After it was all said and done, I watched the whole movie, didn't want my money back, and was happy to chat with my wife about it the whole way home. If it's on Netflix, Hulu, or ye olde cable, I'd watch it again, but I doubt I'll go out of my way to see it or buy it.