Amazing Spiderman – Why It’s Not As Good As Everyone Says

Now I’ve done a few of these posts and the generally the rule I try to follow is to only write an article about films I genuinely like as to avoid being biased.  There where 3 main movies last summer I thought were a bit over hyped Promethues Dark Knight Rises and Spiderman.  Now I had a big debate with myself on which of thee latter two I enjoyed less. The Dark Knight Rises aimed high and spectacular failed in some key areas while still delivering a visceral experience.  ASM aimed extremely low and I guess hit all the points it wanted to make.  In the end I’ll have to choose TDKR as the better movie because it had a reason to be 2 and a half plus, but ASM didn’t need to be longer then the Avengers or 90 Minutes.

This is the one movie I will call overrated.  This movie is getting all kinds of nerd love. I don’t quit it.  Now once again I have a biased for Spiderman.  Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy was with me through my childhood and adult hood.  As I transitioned from a child to a young adult , the more kid aspects provided a level of fun, while the darker introspectiveness appealed to my overly hormonal depressed teenage ass.  And as much as I’m a fan of Comic Book Movies, I really can’t consider myself a comic book fan.  EXCEPT I read the original run of Spiderman.  Years and Years of comic books.  Then I played the video games, and I even read a lot of Ultimate Spiderman.  So of course I have some baggage, but I have fond memories of the Evil Dead series and that remake satisfied me.  Because it actually tried and wasn’t rehash, but we’ll get to that later as I sterilize, put on my gloves, and perform an autopsy on this movie.


Fan Service

Once again I cannot stress enough how much I love clever fan service which makes the geeks smile, serves the story, and let’s new comers enjoy it as well.  This movie has the most annoying fan service of the geek properties.  Mainly because it’s lateral moves to get away from the Sam Raimi Spiderman, and it actually hurts the storytelling.  Peter Parker’s web shooters are discovered instead of built or created and they never run out of web. Pointless.  Gwen Stacy as opposed to Mary Jane even though it’s a generic hollywood relationship, and wasn’t unique to Gwen AT ALL. Pointless.  Peter Parker’s parents having their own sub plot that doesn’t pay off what’s so ever. POINTLESS.  New Mask that gets taken off constantly.  I think I saw Garfield more out of the mask then in the mask.

None of the fan service that Sony Pict- I mean Marc Webb introduces really get used to the point that makes them worth putting in.  There’s a real interesting dynamic of Peter running out of web, or his parents playing a big part of the universe.  But no they don’t take advantage of that.  Take For Example in Avengers when Thor fights Ironman.  This scene could’ve been totally pointless, but not only does it play into the story, it develops the characters dynamic, Thor having a temper, and Tony being the most tragic one out of the group and getting used to the crazy ideas of what’s going on in this shared universe.  It’s a great scene.  There’s not a whole in here like that, that I can remember this is more of the Expendables of lazily introducing geek mythos and letting it fall through their hands.

Romance

Now I don’t have a problem with a romance in a comic book movie.  It just either needs to be the main focus or on the side.  Xmen First Class had a love triangle that wasn’t even a big deal until the last 10 minutes.  Kickass also had a romantic subplot.  The reason it’s good to have the women behind the hero is that it if done right it raises the stakes.  We may feel bad for Kickass, but the fact that he has a women to fight for gives the scenes more weight.  In the original Spiderman there is no romance. It’s all about the characters of Peter, Harry, and Mary.  Not only that, but we never see the romance as a typical hollywood slob.  When they finally get together their relationship is absolute shit, and really sends home the fact of how dark these Sam Raimi movies are. It’s kind of depressing that at the end of the trilogy it’s not clear if Peter and Mary got back together or even if they deserve to get back together.

In the comics, and I can say this now, Gwen Stacy and Spiderman’s relationship was very complicated.  They both liked each other but for a number of reasons they had to work towards their relationship. They had to earn it.  It’s a similar dynamic in the original, where peter and Mary took two whole movies to get into a relationship and it actually more resembles the Gwen Stacy dynamic then Mary Jane, but enough about the comics.   Look at Ironman.  The reason Ironman works so well is because the chase is more interesting then the catch.  In Ironman 2 where they make out just because it’s the end of the movie it feels cheap, just like this romance here.

Basically they got together because they’re both pretty people.  Andrew Garfield is gorgeous and could easily be a model, and Emma Stone does not look like a nerd chick. But beyond that why do these two like each other other then they’re both attractive.  They don’t have any chemistry unlike say Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, and they’re not given anything to say that really makes it interesting so why should we care.  Basically if you’re going to have a love interest do it right and not so bland like the rest of the movie. Speaking off.

Walmart Brand Spiderman

When I watch Green Lantern or Wolverine Origins, poor Ryan Reynolds, it feels like the studios went up the movie maker typed in ” Generic action super hero movie” and then the movie came out and they said ” Shit, we forget to add in the hero” and they put in Green Latern and Wolverine.  My point being neither of these two movies have any identity.  The Green Lantern movie could’ve easily been say The Flash and replace the Intergallatic stuff with Science Labs or something and Xmen Wolverine could’ve  been any number of generic action movies.  A good superhero movie should look like it.  Captain America has a desaturated Saving Private Ryan look.  Ironman has a techy shiny aesthetic.  The Dark Knight has a gritty palette.  You could show me a clip from all these movies without the main hero or any main characters and I could tell.

Most of the time Amazing Spiderman doesn’t even look like a hollywood movie.  It looks like an episode of SmallVille or damson’s Creek.  Nothing wrong with that.. Well no actually that’s everything wrong with this movie.  Nothing feels cinematic or epic.  The original Spiderman’s transformation was not only physical, we get to see every single aspect of Peter Parker’s abilities.  Before he climbed walls and swung on his web, he got a banner stuck to his hand and got a trey stuck to his web on accident.  We see every single power of Spiderman from agility to quickness to spiderman sense. ALL THAT SHIT.  The new Spiderman he just skateboards.  Now agility is a pretty common ability in the Marvel universe he easily could’ve just been Night Crawler.  The transformation sequence here also has corny music that sounds like they’re trying to sell the soundtrack.. Just like Smallville.

I get the feeling that the producers did more directing on this movie then Marc Webb did.  I’ll give it enough credit in that it did a decent job of setting up a new franchise, putting it generously.  This is RC Cola, This isCaned Vegetables, Imitiatino, etc.


Peter Parker and The Overall Tone

Now I have to admit, after rewatching the Spiderman trilogy it’s a real tight rope.  Sam Raimi is juggling several plates the whole series.  If you really pay attention, this is the darkest of the superhero trilogies.  ” But what about the dark knight it has DARK in the title”.  TDK trilogy is GRITTY and REALISTIC. Not Dark.  There’s never a point where the audience should question Bruce Wayne.  The characters are pretty much flawless.  In the Spiderman Trilogy  EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER has issues.  Peter is a bitch, Mary is a bitch, Harry has daddy issues.  While people can consider it whiny at points I think it’s an excellent juxtaposition of the kid friendly aspects.  This is a trilogy in which a teenage boy watches his grandfather die only to find out he potentially blamed the wrong guy only to find out the right guy didn’t do it on purpose.  Not to mention killing his best friends dad.  There was always self doubt and inner conflict in these movies which made it so great .  No character was sure of themselves.

This new movie is not dark.  It’s cinematography is darker, but really given the description of an actual dark movie, this Peter Parker is just an asshole. There’s no reason this guy should be a nerd or even Peter Parker.  There’s nothing in him that saids nerd aside from the glasses.  Poor Andrew Garfield isn’t good, but he’s given nothing to work with.  The original Peter had such a quaintness to him, and was such a geek you believed it. Andrew Garfield looks like a nerd, and the glasses they put on him makes him look even more handsome.  Basically his blandness once again reflects the lack of anything special in this movie.

There’s one thing I know certain people are looking for in here is for him to joke around a lot, but let me tell you. It’s nothing that adds to the character.  Most of the times when this movie tries to be “hollywood funny” it fails on it’s face in an emberassing way.  The original had Sam Raimi’s direction , and Jonah Jameson, and Peter’s expression.  This movie isn’t funny it isn’t dark, and the new Peter is basically no different by the end of the movie then when he starts.  If there’s an Avengers movie I want Tobey Macquire not Andrew Garfield.

ReHash and Too Soon

Now most of my big complaints have been the lack of any real style and comparisons to other superhero movies and of course to the original .  And I feel that since Sony only waited 5 years to reboot this franchise , Comparing it to the originals are fair.  Once again the Orignals are the absolute pinnacle of superhero arcs.  I’d like to say if this was the first Spiderman movie this wouldn’t be a whole lot better then Green Lantern.  This movie either needed to be really good or take the story in a new direction.  Which it didn’t.  It didn’t do anything new.

The action scenes in Sam Raimi’s movie are to this date absolutely Badass.  Spiderman’s powers add interesting dynamics to fight scenes since he can stand of walls, web sling, etc.  The subway scene in Spiderman and Doc Ock in the hospital are absolutely breathtaking and the high with Sandman is also badass.  The new Spiderman has a bigger budget and better special effects.

Sike. Womp Womp.  The new effects in Amazing Spiderman are pretty but they look like , well effects.  It looks like a video game as opposed to the amazing special effects in Spiderman that still hold up to this day.  The Lizerd looked absolutely fake.  And I thought that maybe they’d use more of Spiderman as an acrobat.  Nope. The last big climax is supposed to be great because it’s Spiderman swinging in a straight line…  Yeah we’ve seen Spiderman swing in the city, dive in the air, have an aerial fight, Pretty much everything you can possibly do cool whilst being in the air, and you guys have Peter’s sorry ass injured and swinging in a straight line.. I’m done.

Basically this movie is a soda with a lot of ice and low carbonation.  It’s not the worst thing and they world and you’ll still drink it, but real soda fans will tell it’s some bullshit.

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