Reviews of The Amazing Spider-Man
Displaying all 6 reviews
It’s a hard pill to swallow that after four increasingly terrible Spider-Man films I’ve come to realize that my childhood hero, the wise-cracking-nerd-turned-spider-man Peter Parker is, at least according to Hollywood, nigh unfilmable. Marc Webb’s newest incarnation gets three things right: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Spider-Man’s lithe physicality. And that’s it. The rest of the film is a ponderous slog through the now painfully over-trod origin story of our webbed hero. Where some have said that Webb has “Dark Knighted” the franchise, I’d argue that it’s more of a Twilighting of it. The focus shifts from frantic web-slinging (not to say there isn’t scene after scene of kinetic if not pointless city-swinging) to a burning love between Stacy and Parker. Yes, the two leads are both skilled youth and the chemistry is subtle and sweet, but the film does nothing with it. Instead a terrible adaptation of a great villain (The Lizard, played by Rhys Ifhan, very handily showing why Nob Hill is the only film anyone remembers him in) is squeezed in to the spaces between kissy faces and heavy-handed character development, with all the requisite “Spider-Man beats” checked off the list. What kills me about Webb’s adaptation is that it doesn’t even have the gall to be enjoyable terrible, instead it putters along at some half-speed, so mired in inertia that it can’t even muster a solid showing of superhero camp.
This is everything, everyone hates about Hollywood, barb-wire wrapped around yet another shit-show of a Spider-Man film.
I’ll go flip open one of my Spider-Man packed long boxes and try to ease the pain of my shaken inner child.
- Currently 2.0/5 Stars.
Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Director: Marc Webb
C. Thomas Howell
Watched a 2D version in the cinema, and now the aftertaste is quite irony since the redux deliberately put an “amazing” in its title, the storyline basically sticks together with Sam Reimi’s first instalment, parents left him, grew up with uncle and auntie, bitten by the spider, uncle died, a mad scientist with a genetic mutation, blah blah blah… (and finally, save the world and lose the girl).
Bully scenes are as stale as anyone could imagine, and
what makes me sick is the blatant boosting of worship of “the strongest the best” principle (e.g. Flash’s inferior stance of friendship after being humiliated by Peter Park’s basketball antics), if this is the canon Hollywood mainstream products consistently not only inculcate Americans’ minds, but also export to elsewhere, for which the dictatorial tone really should come under the lash. Competitiveness is beneficial in certain amount, but it is not the most chief way to gain success and fame, period!
The biggest feat of this reboot is that they find a rather right couple to enliven the tedious plot, Garfield and Stone both have captivating charisma even though they all have long passed the high-schooler’s age, and they are plainly adorable on screen, they can hone up all the hoarse dialogues to a much pleasant tier which one can properly endure with a blithe smile. The villain, Rhys Ifans does make an impact, but hurdled by the role’s curbed dimension, barely could be claimed memorable. Let me skip Sheen & Field pair thereafter.
About the CGI visual stunts, I remembered the teasing trailer did impress me with its close-up intimacy with all the spider-jumping and swinging, but in the film, luckily the night-time environment has an edgy to the spider-man dangling among the concrete jungle. even without 3D glasses, the vertiginous effect is pretty intimidating, but cannot be completely satisfied.
Director Marc Webb, from (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009, an 8/10) proves to be no more than a qualified hacker, no superimposition shots this time. Anyway it’s typical Hollywood prerogative, we detest it while being ensnared to its resource cornucopia, a dilemma which we have to ruefully swallow.
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
(Originally posted at www.tkatthemovies.com)
A Los Angeles Times column attributed the Spider-Man reboot, just ten years after Sam Raimi’s first, to a general disinterest in old movies. The author is surely not alone in his skepticism, but I don’t necessarily take issue with this quick turn-around. Though with different titles and characters, movies and TV shows often feel like pale imitations of each other, and entitled demands for “originality” appear grounded in a distorted, nostalgic view that disregards a history of retelling stories extending back to ancient times. If anything, recycling character brands adds pressure to differentiate. (Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns” and Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” have less in common than most romantic comedies.) So I don’t really mind that they rebooted the franchise, but I mind that they traded Raimi’s energetic vision for something as safe as Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man.
Superhero tentpoles have been some of this summer’s best movies, particularly with disappointing efforts from Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone and Pixar. Spider-Man stands as a cut below the rest, perfectly fine but never as effective as its Spidey predecessors nor its comic-based peers. Story unfolds with a refreshing clarity that’s welcome in a time of increasingly convoluted plots, but the emotions never hit as deep as they should. It is a decent start, perhaps to be followed by a stronger sequel unburdened by a perfunctory origin story.
Raimi’s trilogy worked so well in part due to heart-on-its-sleeve romance. The first two captured the essence of an all-consuming crush, and there was a sincerity that made even the most eye roll-worthy exchanges moving. The Amazing Spider-Man fails to establish such warmth between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. The leads have such great chemistry, demonstrated in the effortlessness of the banter, but the film is unconvincing in suggesting why Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are meant for each other. She sees him stand up to a bully, they sit next to each other in class, and that’s essentially all there is to it. The director of the film also gave us (500) Days of Summer, a flawed but moving portrait about the highs and lows of relationships. None of that emotional resonance is here. The romance is taken for granted, relying on the notion that these two must be together because that’s always the case.
Part of what makes this romance ineffective is the half-baked depiction of Peter’s inflated ego. The deservedly maligned third installment of Raimi’s trilogy at least committed to uncovering the warts of its hero. The same starts here but with little consideration for what this means for the character. When Peter attacks a former bully actually just offering his condolences, he disregards the weight of the responsibility that comes with his strength. Elsewhere, he stubbornly defends his alter ego to Gwen’s father (Denis Leary), and Spider-Man lays on the snark as he takes on a car thief. The film never truly deals with the consequences of these shortcomings. Peter can do or say whatever he wants, but at the end of the day, Gwen and Aunt May (Sally Field) are there to assure him that he’s good.
The film touches upon but never explores a number of fascinating ideas, particularly with its villain. Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) becomes a monster in a fight against the fragility of the human body. The vulnerability serves as a crucial driving force, but the movie never takes a step further to pick apart this latent fear of mortality, the sort of existential weight that makes Nolan’s Batman saga so effective. Still, Dr. Connors’ initial resistance to the pressure of higher-ups feels true to this relatively decent character, so his decision to ultimately offer himself as a human lab rat for his cross-species genetic work feels forced. Not all villains need to be explained, but complexities go unexplored and consequently the Lizard becomes nothing more than just another baddie tearing up New York.
Perhaps the core problem of this film is the utter lack of character development and opportunities for the fine cast. Stone, Ifans, Leary, Field and even Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben feel somewhat incidental. They all do solid work in their respective roles, but their characters are peripheral to the journey of Peter Parker. And Garfield isn’t allowed to demonstrate the depth of his chops either, as his Spider-Man moves through the story but never seems to think or feel as much as merely react to his surroundings.
As I catalog my reservations and doubts about The Amazing Spider-Man, I feel like I’ve given the impression that this was an unpleasant experience, but that’s far from the truth. The action scenes here lack the buoyancy of Raimi’s set pieces, but the effects in Webb’s movie offer a new take on the city-jumping gymnastics of Spider-Man. The flying here is more operatic than manically comic, and it suits the more serious approach to the material. The Lizard moves with such a keen understanding of space and time that makes the creature so effective and at times truly terrifying. And while the dialogue is not nearly as funny as the repartee in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, the visual comedy as Peter adjusts to his newfound powers is perhaps the most fun to be had in this movie.
Most comic book adaptations in recent memory have empowered me as a staunch defender of the trend. Not all of them are great, but some of them are the best movies being made. A.O. Scott of The New York Times has on numerous occasions argued against these movies. But in a column, he once said, “Thinking in categories — high and low, trash and art, entertaining and “serious” — is a shortcut and an obstacle.” This should also apply to these “superhero movies,” and to assume they’re all equally deserving of our cynicism is perhaps antithetical to the idea of criticism. I’m not saying we should embrace all of these movies with open arms, but critics should be willing to engage with an open mind because there’s great (The Dark Knight trilogy), awful and the so-so in between. The Amazing Spider-Man falls in with that final bunch. Many viewers were happy with the movie, but I’m guessing the specifics haven’t really stuck with them. Chances are they will have the much more gripping Dark Knight Rises on the mind.
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Nur fünf Jahre nachdem Sam Raimi den letzten Film seiner Spider-Man-Trilogie über die Leinwände dieser Welt hat flimmern lassen, kommt nun Marc Webbs Neuauflage des Comicstoffes in die Kinos. Mit dem Ziel, bisher unbekannte Facetten des Superhelden zu beleuchten, verspricht The Amazing Spider-Man zunächst komplexe und düstere Blockbusterunterhaltung, die es versteht, sich von ihren populären Vorgängern gekonnt abzuheben, scheitert letztendlich aber, trotz Potentials, an den hohen Ambitionen.
Was it all a dream? After twenty-five years of creative and financial struggles, Sony and director Sam Raimi finally struck gold and started a successful Spider-Man franchise. The first Spider-Man, an idea first conceived when Richard Donner’s Superman movies determined that there was a future for comic book heroes in mainstream cinema (after the Batman serials of the 40, which nobody took seriously in the first place, were largely forgotten and action heroes segregated to television), smashed the box office during the summer of 2002 and the franchise never waivered since, not even with the heavy handed third installment which even Sam Raimi held in disdain. It was an uneven body of work, to be sure, but always fun. The high point was part two, an endless fountain of energy of a movie.
A fourth film was inevitable and, indeed, went into production soon after the release of Spider-Man 3, with at least two more sequels intended. There were talks of introducing The Lizard, but the final villain of choice seemed to be The Vulture. Then, as if out of nowhere, Sam Raimi announced he was pulling the plug and dropping his involvement. He cited a restrictive time schedule with Sony as the cause, but his quick return to home territory with Drag Me to Hell suggests he had tired of the franchise. Too bad, because the arc, as far from perfect as it was, was left unfinished and good things seemed to be coming its way. A fine cast including John Malkovich as Vulture and Anne Hathaway as Felicia Hardy (who would eventually become Black Cat) were in the line-up. Ah, what could have been. We shall never know beyond some very limited conceptual art depicting Spidey fighting what appears to be a giant gargoyle. Be that as it may, Sam Raimi went to Oz, Malkovich got to play super baddie in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Anne Hathaway did become a feline nemesis not to Spider-Man but to Batman in Dark Knight Rises.
Perhaps, though, Sam Raimi’s take had run its course. The second movie is widely considered the best Spider-Man yet, but his third disappointed most fans. When he closed the door, Raimi gave Sony his best wishes for a reboot that had been in discussion as a potential backup when production troubles became evident. The film that came of this, The Amazing Spider-Man, is not so much a rethinking as a clean start. Both The Amazing Spider-Man and the first Spider-Man strike close to Stan Lee’s heart, though in different ways. Raimi’s vision was almost pure fantasy, not too far removed from basic vampire lore. Peter Parker becomes a human web-slinger after being bitten by an ordinary spider. Lee, it seems, was taken in by the grandiose of myth, though Spider-Man himself was a product of a time when suspicions of unregulated government testing ran high.
The Amazing Spider-Man, however, operates almost entirely on science-fiction, not too far flung from real science according to research conducted at Nexia Biotechnology in Quebec where spider genes were inserted into mammal glands to produce artificial silk. Parker is again bitten by a spider but under different circumstances. In the first movie the bite occurred during a school trip to a museum, in this movie Parker is stung while exploring the Oscorp facility, where his long lost father was conducting covert genetic research. Director Marc Webb makes a big deal out of the possibilities of cross DNA, but is also cautionary about its dangers. If the original trilogy had the soul of Dracula, the reboot bears the warnings of Frankenstein. Tellingly, Raimi’s work was tinted in the golden hues of a sun baked New York, while Webb paints his backgrounds in cold shades of blue and red. It feels like an awe inspiring walk through a state of the art science institute.
Chronologically, The Amazing Spider-Man (as the title, taken from the first comic book series Spidey appeared in, suggests) follows Lee’s footsteps more rigidly. Spidey’s heart has been turned to Gwen Stacy, his love long before Mary Jane came into the picture. True, much of the picture is a rehash as it would need to be if it is to start at the hero’s origin once more. One could argue that a remake of a movie just ten years old was unnecessary. Indeed, no concrete reason was put forward by Sony why they couldn’t just pick up where they had left off with a new director on helm. But, this was the movie that was made and the only question that really matters now for a reboot so close to the original is, how does it hold up? Fortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man can hold its own against a lot of what was done before.
Webb’s emphasis on the human factor far exceeds the forced mechanics of the first movies and he has an excellent cast to work with. Both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are talented actors offering much to admire, but in The Amazing Spider-Man, Garfield is allowed to absorb us in all the angst, insecurities, and even the joys of being a teenager. The common complaint, in fact, that the movie is half over before Parker wriggles into the skin tight blue and red suit (and that he is hardly seen in the mask even then) is really hardly noticeable since it is as a common teenager and not as a soulless CGI creation swinging in between the buildings, that Garfield truly shines. The shots of Spider-Man standing high and mighty above the city he protects are nowhere near as triumphant as those of Peter Parker, an ordinary young man who has found his purpose, looking out courageously from atop a skyscraper at the world before him. The former scenes celebrate the triumph of special effects; the latter to the spirit of youth and a repressed loner’s liberation.
Even at thirty, Andrew Garfield is fast rising as one of the most talented embodiments of the all-American teen. His Peter Parker is a loner by choice and not unreasonably so. He was abandoned by his parents when very young and left to the care of his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. What little Parker knew of his father is shrouded in mystery. All he is certain of is that his Dad was a scientist working on genetic research at Oscorp. But he fills the void of an empty past with a passion for photography.
He shares a common dilemma with many young boys; he likes a pretty girl that he is too scared to talk to. But Gwen Stacy has a kind heart and reaches out to him after he is humiliated by a bully. Emma Stone is also a bit old for a high school sweetheart but her warmth is so effective we can’t help but want her there. It just so happens that Gwen is an intern at Oscorp and the daughter of the police chief, two compromising positions to be in considering what’s to come.
Stone and Garfield’s shared moments of teenage love are relatively free of the common over-pumped emotion and revel in the endearing awkwardness and timidity so many of us remember so vividly. Even the choice of soundtrack is commendable, suggesting Webb took the caliber of human emotion straight from Indy pics and not the kind of teen romances that seem to be the only market action movies know to borrow from. When she first asks him over for dinner, Gwen exposes herself to be as shy as Parker. Stone works wonders and the whole scene is a beautiful tribute to American young love.
Rhys Ifans’s Dr. Connors seems a promising performance for a new sort of superhero nemesis. He is no lunatic bent on world domination. His studies are motivated by good enough intentions. He wants to rid the world of pain. There is something in it for him, of course. He wants to replace his amputated left arm, but he is scrupulous. In fact, he only injects himself with the serum that transforms him into The Lizard when his conniving boss threatens to test it on unsuspecting veterans. He had some history with Peter Parker’s dad, both having researched in transgenetics at Oscorp, but the movie is foggy about the extent. Supposedly, a deleted subplot hinted that Dr. Connors may have been behind the death of Parker’s parents and that Mr. Parker had injected Peter with spider serum years earlier, marking his destiny early on. All this was scrapped, however, and what remains is puzzling.
The depiction of Dr. Connors as an ethical, if naïve, scientist raises hope for a new, complex direction for superhero movies. Alas, The Amazing Spider-Man is not it. As soon as Dr. Connors morphs into the rampaging Lizard he loses everything we admired about him and becomes a generic movie monster trashing a city. When he faces off with Spidey, the movie goes into autopilot and their battle through the buildings of New York is indistinguishable from the ending of The Avengers or so many other action movie showdowns, mixing an unsavory blend of spectacular destruction with attempts at wit. Spider-Man’s attempts to get through to him (“This isn’t you. You aren’t thinking straight.”) touch upon the humanity we first noticed in Dr. Connors but do little else. What a waste of innovation.
Martin Sheen had little knowledge of the material before taking on the role of the doomed Uncle Ben, but he does play it with uncharacteristic gentility. It’s not his fault that Uncle Ben’s inevitable death scene (when he crosses paths with an armed shoplifter) is staged and shot so sloppily, with jumpy editing and forced dialogue, that it becomes almost comical in its familiarity. It’s good to see Sally Field again as Aunt May but she appears less and less as the movie goes on. Still, she gives the movie an emotional cushion. She is old enough for maternal advice, but youthful enough for spunk. Her presence is an asset and it’s a shame there wasn’t more of her.
Denis Leary is miscast, it seems. He is hardly recognizable, but not because he is disguised. No, his physical similarities to Willem Dafoe are too obvious for the movie to pass up the chance for a subtle homage to Dafoe’s Green Goblin in Sam Raimi’s first movie. Rather, he is so out of his league as the surly Captain Stacy that his influence is minimized. He is a gruff commander of authority and an overprotective father, but he carries none of Leary’s dry wit or reluctant cloyingness even in his dying moments. The less said about a failed attempt at whimsy, Gwen’s ardent refusal to accept his invitation for hot coco downstairs while she hides a wounded Spider-Man in her bedroom is best forgotten.
But it’s Garfield and Stone that make this movie an overall improvement over the original trilogy. Fans recognize with some wariness that, judging by the comic books, Gwen Stacy’s days are numbered. This means the loss of Emma Stone and that’s the real cause for dismay. But if Marc Webb proved something in The Amazing Spider-Man it’s his eye for casting and utilization of his cast. Mary Jane will likely be a welcome addition no matter who takes the part.
It’s been hard to tell how excited I’ve been before about Spider-Man being brought to the big screen as I rarely had too much excitement in the films that Sam Raimi directed and left me out of place with the whole hype centered around the franchise. When I was prepared for this new film by Marc Webb and how different it would be approached from Raimi’s vision, I felt that there would be something more promising to it in comparison to the campy cheesy take that Raimi used. I definitely felt that The Amazing Spider-Man was taking a more serious approach to the title character and his conflicts, as opposed to the rather silly approach Raimi took with Tobey Maguire’s baby-like performance, the campy humor, and the numerous stereotypes.
This time, Webb made Peter Parker a more edgier person in his emotions and his look, which Andrew Garfield explored far more deeply than Maguire, who played the character too innocently most of the time and barely sunk deeply into the alter ego of Peter other than wearing the suit and the mask. Garfield blended in more deeply with the identity of Parker as this troubled teenager who can convey dimensions of humor, anger, sadness, confusion, and courage all at the same time. Whenever he was in the suit, he was very agile and swift in his speed and conveyed a lot of witty personality as this masked vigilante, something Maguire didn’t get to show a lot of in his portrayal of the alter-ego. The moment we see him from a tracking perspective of his arms and legs climbing and jumping up the buildings until the reflection of him in his mask for the first time evokes real movie magic as he stands in a wide shot overlooking the whole city at dusk. We didn’t see much of a striking introductory shot of Spider-Man in the Raimi trilogy, he just kept suddenly appearing through montages on his daily routine of crime-fighting. His crime-fighting is also not as random in this movie since most of them revolve around hunting for the crook who killed his Uncle Ben and battling the Lizard, providing the film with more of a central focus to his heroism. Emma Stone creates a stronger heroine in Gwen Stacy, in contrast to the teary-eyed, wailing damsel-in-distress that Kirsten Dunst had to play in Raimi’s trilogy, as someone who is bright and beautiful at the same time. Her intelligence, her sharpness, and her wit comes across together so coherently as she becomes a deeply connected soul-mate for Peter and shows compassion for his plight, rather than complain about his absences or toying with his attraction to her. Her smiles and her directness really awaken a tender heart in all of us for her beauty and kindness that she’s very convincing as a dream girl of Peter’s life, while Mary Jane was just too girlish and average in her beauty to really come off as bewitching enough. Rhys Ifans brings a sympathetic and nervous energy to the troubled Dr. Connors, his regret over the disappearance of Peter’s parents, and his obsession to improve living species by any means of science. He had the right vibe for a character who is tragically broken and isn’t meaning to become a supervillain, although his transformation into the Lizard is visually astonishing and menacing to behold as he grows madly anxious to crush Spider-Man and infect the whole city with body-altering chemicals. It makes him a direct parallel to Spider-Man, who has been changed by the result of an experiment that his father and Connors worked on, yet is still able to preserve his humanity despite his altered state.
The whole mystery revolving around Peter’s deceased parents, the experiments his father was involved in, and Conner’s connection to their loss does arouse curiosity, yet the drawback to this complicated plot is that it provides no clear answer to what Peter is trying to figure out or as to what threat was posed to his parents that made them leave him with Uncle Ben and Aunt May for the rest of his childhood. The character of Dr. Ratha is the most curious character since he provides a lot of menace and mystery when he demands Connors to be ready with his drugs for testing on their ill boss Norman Osborn and implies what happened to the Parkers, yet nothing is fully explained about these secrets. Of course, it’s still obvious to tell from the sinister implications Ratha makes in his demeanor that he must have had something to do with the loss of the Parkers as part of some conspiracy that forced them on the run in the first place that it’s not that necessary to get too explicit about the facts. I kept wondering why Peter doesn’t dig more deeply behind his father’s experiment with spiders that brought him his superpowers or ask Connors more about what he knew of their disappearance. When the whole detective work goes nowhere, it left the plot feeling very incomplete in what needed to be explained. I understand Webb did that deliberately so that he could explore it more in the sequel, yet most films of a franchise have to have some sense of completion in order to allow them to exist on their own and leave an audience satisfied. The constant scientific talk about animal species that Connors and Peter engage in slowed the film down and hardly left any strong English translation for what it was all about, other than it’s what sets up Connors’ monstrous transformation.
Luckily, the film hardly loses any real passion or excitement in the storyline and the action that it keeps focused in as Peter has to struggle to elude the police, including Gwen’s father George Stacy, who are targeting Spider-Man as a wanted man, his battles with the Lizard, and his tense relationship with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May as they grow concerned and argumentative with him about his secret business. Aunt May is not the same sweet old woman that Peter has to dote on in other incarnations, but a more deeply worried middle-aged woman who has to break down in tears and hover over Peter a bit more about his bruises and cuts from his nights of crime-fighting that he can’t explain to her. Sally Field’s heartbreaking emotions as she worries for Peter and tries to reason with him really make us feel for her all the more, as opposed to Rosemary Harris’ cliched performance of a typical happy granny always being nice and soft around her nephew like she’s going to make him a sandwich or just ignore his secret escapades. Denis Leary is very grizzly and tough as Captain George Stacy in his authoritative manner that he shoves into Peter’s face as he tries to do his job in catching Spider-Man and stopping the Lizard at the same time. He’s almost becoming an alternate father figure to Peter after Uncle Ben as he keeps telling Peter about where his place is and what needs to be done for the sake of society. Martin Sheen himself brings both a fierce and caring edge to Uncle Ben, more so than Cliff Robertson did in Raimi’s trilogy, as he expresses his sympathy to Peter for how he thinks about his father, but strictly reminds him of how he should take care of his responsibilities as his father did for good. These relationships that Peter has with the adults makes it tenser with how he comes into his age that it avoids keeping anything as campy and innocent as it was in Raimi’s vision of the Spider-Man saga so that the imperfections in the characters are much clearer and less caricatured. They felt more realistic and gritty as opposed to colorfully drawn like in the original films, bringing a deeper psychological edge to this film in the same way that Christopher Nolan has done with Batman.
The whole look of the film is also less colorful as people would expect a world in a comic book universe to look; New York isn’t as bright and sunny as it was in Raimi’s vision, but more shrouded in the dark of the night and filled with more believable locations as opposed to elaborate set designs. Interesting how Webb made the scenes of Spider-Man’s crime-fighting escapades take place mostly at night, whereas Raimi had Spider-Man doing a lot more in broad daylight and saved a nightly fight for the climax. The night really enhances the sense of menace that creeps over New York and the troubled states that Spider-Man finds himself in as he hunts for criminals and faces the monstrous Lizard, which has him coming home every night to his shocked Aunt May about the wounds on his body. The music also feels less colorful as Danny Elfman’s score, but with James Horner as the composer, it feels more tender, sad, and suspenseful in the experience that he has had composing strong emotional scores in very dramatic films, whereas Elfman deals more with the fantastical and otherworldly. The special effects are still fantastically animated to witness on screen, which is always necessary if you’re shooting scenes of a guy leaping through the air, shooting web, going up high skyscrapers, and another guy turning into a reptilian monster. The scope of the action scenes, which go from a chase in the sewer to a towering fight on the high tower of OsCorp above the city, keep the film at a very decently paced, epic scale that dwarfs most of the action in Raimi’s films which were minimized to falling off buildings and crashing through walls in all three films.
A lot of people can argue that Raimi’s trilogy was the best incarnation on-screen of the web-crawling vigilante, although many disliked the third film, so there’s no point to regard this film as being superior or inferior to the first two films that Raimi directed when there are one too many Spidey fans who will be divided by these two incarnations and clash over them with reasonable back-up. I am among the minority of fans who wasn’t crazy about Raimi’s films and was good and ready for a reboot that can improve in the places I didn’t like, so I gladly accept this film for its gritty and believable exploration of Peter Parker/Spider-Man and his friends, loved ones, allies, and foes and the modern world they all exist in. Any of the plot threads that were not filled in left me rather unsatisfied, yet anxious to see how they get filled in by the next movie, especially in that added scene during the end credits where we met a mysterious man in the shadows, who gives only ambiguous hints as to what role he will be playing in the next film, leaving a lot to debate and anticipate. I know I’ll be even more anxious for what awaits us in the following film than I was for Spider-Man 2 and see if it will achieve the same recognition that Nolan received for the second film of his Batman reboot. Whether Webb still stays on for the next film, let’s hope the story of Spider-Man gets bigger and better with the values this movie brought out. It’s not a re-hash of what we saw in Raimi’s films; it’s exploring Spider-Man’s origins like we’ve never seen before in a tougher style and in a believable approach to the the world that will keep us ingrained and curious about what’s to come.
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.