Friday, 13 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Commentary

I would almost be willing to bet that if I asked 100 people to give me the basic origin of Spiderman, about 90% would be able to tell me that he was bitten by a spider and received spider-like powers. Why, then, do we need an hour and a half of an origin backstory for a reboot of this franchise? I know that the essence of a reboot is to start a story over. But we all know the origin. I'm not saying get rid of it completely. Just don't make it most of the movie. By the time they got moving into any kind of plot, I had pretty much lost interest and did't care about the fate of any character anymore, good or bad. And that's a shame because, weak story aside, this movie is quite good.

Andrew Garfield is a fantastic Peter Parker. He looks like a more mild mannered person with potential for greatness whereas Tobey Maguire just looked goofy most of the time. I also liked how they developed Parker to be flawed in that he doesn't make a quick jump into knowing how to be a superhero and separate Parker from Spiderman (it just took too long to do). Garfield and Emma Stone have a great chemistry and are good on screen together. The comic relief is very well done in both writing and delivery. It blends the spoken with the physical perfectly and makes the movie light when it needs to release some of the tension. And it's got probably the best Stan Lee cameo of any of the Marvel Comics movies.

I must say though that I was very disappointed in the villain. I do need to put a disclaimer that I do not know the Spiderman franchise very well. I just know about how he got his powers and that he takes pictures for a local paper. I don't know the villains at all and had no idea about the Lizard. To me though, this villain seems very, very weak for a super hero franchise; especially one to start off a reboot. Add in that the CGI and makeup effects for the Lizard were downright laughable and it really disappoints. (I hate to say that because I am a Rhys Ifans fan.) Otherwise, the effects are very good. They could have taken some of the money spent on web effects, etc. and put it towards a better Lizard. The fight scenes are well done and Spiderman swinging used some very good camera angles and the 3D judiciously. I did roll my eyes at the whole thing with the cranes as that was a bit too cheesy for my taste but I've said many times that I can forgive some of that in a comic book movie.

All in all, it disappointed simply because they dwelt on the origin and Spiderman learning to harness his powers for way too long. Most people go to see these films because they want to see more of the kick ass action that is in the trailers. And they want to see their favourite superheroes fight their favourite villains. It took way too long to get moving and, when it did, it was like they never really had an idea as to how they wanted it to progress in the first place.

After I saw it, I would have given it a Don't See recommendation as a knee jerk reaction. After reflecting further though, you may want to give it a look for the effects. Just know that you're going to have to sit through the tired old origin exposition again.

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