I groaned with many other nerds when I heard they were rebooting Spider-Man a decade after the first. Did we need a new movie? Yes. But did we need the origin retold? Yes and no. Sure, some things from the original trilogy needed to be corrected or updated. Did Amazing Spider-Man pull it off?
I have two vastly different opinions of this movie: when I first saw it in theaters and from recently watching it. Originally, I really enjoyed the movie. There are many elements to Spider-Man. While the Raimi movies where great, they failed to capture everything, while streamlining others. Amazing fixed some of that while creating a few new problems for itself.
Andrew Garfield is a great Spider-Man and Peter Park. He’s believable as a nerd and every man. His characterization of both was done well. Peter seemed smarter this time around, more of a scientist and less of an after thought. Unlike the Raimi movies, Peter built his webshooters rather than it being another power, but more on that in a minute. Spider-Man was better all around. His moves were more akin to what I’d expect, and his strength was showcased more. Plus, he had more wisecracks in costume.
Much of the movie took cues from the Ultimate Spider-Man (USM) comic, for the better. Peter’s parents had a bigger part in the origin, fleshing it out more. Working at Oscorp, creating the webbing, etc., all of this works. I don’t know what exactly was the “untold” part the ads kept referring to, but whatever, it works. My biggest problem with the film was some inconsistencies. Did the Parkers die in a car accident or plane crash? The actors say car but the Bing article (seriously?) says plane. Why did Peter stop looking for the mugger? Run out of time? These flaws stuck out more on my second viewing.
When I first watched the movie, I loved it. I thought the action was great, the dialogue sharp, and the actors were well cast. Watching it recently was painful. I was bored for the first hour of the movie. Granted this was the origin part, but considering how I could recite it in my sleep, I didn’t need to see it again. I wasn’t alone in this thought. No one in my family cared either. I’ve shown my girls every good superhero movie, this is the first they didn’t like. We stopped half way through. The second half (which I finished on my own) was much improved. The fight scene at the school was one of the best in the movie, along with have the funniest Stan Lee cameo yet. The crane operators were a little hokey though.
Many of the films problems came from reshots and editing. Two rumors circled about the movie. The first was execs wanted to make more out of the franchise (Avengers was looming on the horizon). The other was they were not happy with the movie and demanded changes. I’m inclined to believe the former given the Venom & the Sinister Six announcement. Regardless, edits were obvious and jumbled. Watch the deleted scenes, they’re a mess. I still don’t think they know what they’re doing. Shailene Woodley was in ASP 2 as Mary Jane, but was completely edited out after and won’t be appearing in the film. And she’ll be recast in the sequels. That’s a vote of confidence.
Denis Leary was perfect as Captain Stacey, though his death scene was poorly done. Martin Sheen and Sally Field were great as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Very believable as aging parent figures, but not unbelievably old. Emma Stone was great as Gwen, though I don’t buy her interning at Oscorp.
Amazing Spider-Man is fun, though some of its flaws are obvious. While I didn’t need to see the origin again, it was done well. Hopefully we won’t see it again for 30 years. And why can’t he keep his freaking mask on? How many times did he take it off? How does the entire NYPD not know his face?
Loved it, hated it, or mixed? Thoughts on the casting? Comment below!
I wish Spider-Man was at Marvel Studios.