Sunday, May 5, 2013

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

I hated the 2002 Spider-Man movie almost from the instant it began. The voice-over narration at the beginning was cheesy and having Tobey Maguire be the actor to read it only made it worse. What a terrible case of poor casting. To make matters worse, the power went out halfway through the movie so we had to come back another day to re-watch it.[1] However, Spider-Man 2 was good enough that it redeemed the first movie enough that I now own them both. We do not speak of Spider-Man 3. The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot of the series. Unfortunately that means that we have to rewatch a lot of Spider-Man's origins (the fateful spider bite, Uncle Ben's demise, etc.) as well as rewatch him discovering his new powers and learning to use them.

My verdict: Despite having to cover a lot of old territory, this movie is alright. Even though Andrew Garfield was about the same age as Tobey Maguire when he shot his first Spider-Man film (27), at least he looks like a teenager; Tobey Maguire has looked like he's in his thirties since he was eleven. But Garfield was a twitchy actor which was sometimes distracting. Martin Sheen did a great acting job, but the rewording of "with great power comes great responsibility" was a joke.[2] With respect to the character of Peter Parker, I don't see why he could pick up certain superpowers from the spiderbite (spider sense, super strength, super speed, crawling up walls, etc.) but for some reason they had to come up with a 'plausible' explanation for his ability to shoot webbing (even though they never show him running out or having to steal more). And I didn't ever see the point of having Peter be a skater. Also, it was quite unrealistic to have Gwen, a high school senior, have a job with a top research scientist at Oscorp. The Lizard was an interesting villain, but I thought he was underdeveloped. I was disappointed that they decided to mimic the treatment of Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin in Spider-Man and have Curt Connors/the Lizard hear the disembodied voice of his evil alter-ego.


[1] The movie theater handled this very courteously, though.

[2] This is spoofed in the HISHE treatment: (and the bonus scene: SWGFSI).

Image attributions:

Black-and-Yellow Spider is by Dr. David Midgley, available at sp.jpg.

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