Quick Review: “The Amazing Spiderman” (2012) Dir. Marc Webb

Just a quickie post because I’ve been busy the last few days, but I did see The Amazing Spiderman last night.  In a nutshell:  It sucked.

My beef with it:

-No fun at all, Spidey takes himself way to seriously.

-Miscasting…Andrew Garfield’s not a bad actor, but he’s way to good looking to play nerdy Peter Parker.  Interesting casting with Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Aunt May and Uncle Ben, but sometimes they were way over emotional about every little thing Peter did…Peter’s a nerd, not normally known to get in trouble all the time.  Their shocked reactions are like a parent who deals with an out of control son all the time.  I just wish his Aunt and Uncle could have been…a little more relaxed…and a little more cool.  And where’s Uncle Ben’s all important line, “With great power comes great responsibility?”

-More Miscasting…why is everyone Peter Parker goes to high school with played by 30 year olds?  Even the extra’s for christ sake.  Ralph Macchio was in his 20’s when he played the Karate Kid, a perfect example of an adult actor who could play a teenager (seriously! He looks 14 or 15 in the first Karate Kid movie when in actuality he was 21).  There are good older actors who actually look the part and can play teenagers.  If you want another great example, just look at Jack Gleeson who plays Joffrey on Game of Thrones.  He’s 20, playing 16.

-The high school scenes (with the soundtrack included) feel like something out of an 80’s John Hughes movie.  Hughes movies aren’t bad, but they’re a product of their time and doesn’t seem to reflect the more futuristic world Spiderman is set in.

-James Horner’s score – he borrows several themes from his previous films…and in many places I could here “A Beautiful Mind” in the background.  Not very original.

-Peter Parker’s kind of a little shit in this movie.  Totally acting on impulse for his own selfish reasons.  We love Parker because he never catches a break, sure, but for him to be out for blood after his uncle is killed by a Kwik-E Mart thief?  I know I’ve discussed being open to different interpretations of superhero characters in movies, but for me there’s something about this interpretation that goes against the spirit of what Spiderman is all about.  The scenes where Spidey tries to his goofy, sarcastic self…they just come off as annoying.  And  Spiderman is not a brooding teenager…he’s a regular joe getting through the day the best he can…and his Spiderman side, for me, is an outlet for all the things he wishes he could be in his normal life.

-The Lizard just isn’t threatening enough as a villain.  Dr. Connors is more a sympathetic victim to his experiments, and his anger and thirst for vengeance seem more like after side effects of the drug serum he takes as opposed to his actions being motivated by character.

-What ever happened to Peter hunting down his uncle’s killer?

-What ever happened to the corporate Oscorp crony The Lizard was after?

In general, the tone is all wrong, and there is just some basic sloppy storytelling at work here.  Raimi had a much better understanding of Spiderman as a character in the first two films (I didn’t see the 3rd, but it sounds like it had some of the same issues as this one bogging Spiderman down in dark brooding mode).

Dark Knight Rises was not a great film either, but I enjoyed it at least because it still kept in the spirit of Batman.  The Amazing Spiderman just didn’t do it for me, and while the tag at the end tries to promise more for future films, I really hope they just stop here, because this whole Spiderman reboot is not working at all (really, that teaser didn’t tell us anything…I didn’t give a crap who that guy was in the shadows taunting Dr. Connors, and it didn’t make me want to invest time in any future films).

The Amazing Spiderman tries to be different, but winds up coming off as boring and uninspired.  So far, I’m not digging 80% of the movies so far that have come out this summer.  I hope something changes soon with what time the season has left.

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