I’m sure you’re thinking what has happened to the Couch Potato Commentater. How can the web personality who goes on and on about Marvel and their achievements call The Amazing Spiderman uneven or dare I say it… slow? Truth to be told there were some parts of the reboot I enjoyed but for the most part the web-slingers new story left me with an unsatisfied feeling. So to address all the Marvel fans who think I’m a traitor to the comic cause, I’m going to lay out the ‘Good Spidey’ and the ‘Bad Spidey’ and hopefully by the end of the piece I can truly decide if I indeed thought The Amazing Spiderman was a disappointment.
The Good Spidey
Instead of getting right into the negatives I thought I would start with the positives since the film did receive above average reviews and made $140 million dollars in its first six days. I thought the casting of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was perfect. I always thought Tobey Maguire’s version of Peter Parker was too much of a dweeb and a cry baby. Peter Parker was a tough guy mentally and physically. There’s no room for crying in between swinging from sky scraper to sky scraper. Garfield is hot off his role in the Social Network and is the perfect Peter Parker. He plays Parker as a smart outsider that is quirky but not too nerdy. It’s too bad all Andrew Garfield did was walk around the overcast streets of NYC for the first half of the movie, but more on that in the ‘Bad Spidey’ section.
Emma Stone was a nice change for the female lead, Gwen Stacy. It was nice to see a smart female character in the world of Spiderman rather than Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane who just screamed through the first three films or asked “Do you love me?” over and over again. Stone is the hottest and most charming actress on the planet right now. It will be interesting to see where they take her character in the next installment considering Gwen Stacy’s fate in the comics.
Most people who grew up with Spiderman missed the web shooters from Raimi’s trilogy and I for one was glad the creators decided to go back to their Spiderman roots. Who hasn’t run around the house and shot silly string at the dog and pretended it was Spiderman’s web shooters? The first person view of Spiderman using his web shooters to glide through the city was amazing. I’m not the biggest 3D fan but I will say this is the best 3D I have seen since Avatar. Unfortunately, this is where the Good Spidey stops and the Bad Spidey begins for me.
The Bad Spidey
First off, I need to point out The Amazing Spiderman’s major failure and that is the villain Curt Connors and his alter ego The Lizard. When it was first reported that The Lizard would be the villain in the reboot I was excited. Here’s a villain who actually doesn’t want to be the villain. Dr. Connors just wants to heal him and countless others who have lost their limbs. Of course things go wrong in the lab test and the good doctor gets turned into the scaly Lizard. The only problem is he looks like one of those Koopa Troopers from the early nineties big screen version of Super Mario Brothers. I may have to chalk this up to the Avengers because the Hulk looked so great on film and the CG lizard looked so bad. What makes things worse is The Lizard doesn’t even show up until an hour and fifteen minutes in and to have the FX be sub par is a major disappointment. Speaking of not showing up until late in the film that brings me to my next criticism, the pace of the film.
At one point I felt like standing up in the IMAX and yelling “get on with it and put the damn suit on!” It takes over an hour for us to get a glimpse of Spiderman in the full suit. I understand that Marc Webb wanted to build the character, but guess what…? We already know that he gets bitten, becomes Spiderman and Uncle Ben gets killed. We know this because that’s the same origin story we saw ten years ago. Why not reboot and have him already suited up and saving people in New York City and not tell the origin story which we all know by heart.
In Tim Burton’s Batman the filmmaker had Batman suited up and fighting crime in the first scene because we already knew Bruce Wayne’s origin. I know that everyone likes the Batman Begins model but remember we never had a Batman origin story on-screen. What we did have is an origin story of Spiderman just ten years ago. I told people to stop having the too soon mentality when it came to this film but now I may have to side with that way of thinking. I want to see Spiderman fighting bad guys even if they are low rent purse snatchers. I don’t want Peter Parker skateboarding around town waiting for something to happen.
In the end I still can’t form a solid opinion on The Amazing Spiderman but I think if I had no other choice I would lean more to the negative side giving the film only two potatoes. The film cost $230 million dollars to make and I couldn’t see any of the price tag on-screen. I actually thought the Lizard looked cheap and nothing happened the first hour. Where did all that money go? I know shooting in 3D is expensive but that budget is hefty considering The Avengers only cost $220 million and had a ton of star salaries and a great deal of action throughout the film. Seems like wasted money on a valuable franchise to me. Hopefully the sequel will amp up the action but who’s to say I will give a sequel my time. What the hell am I’m talking about of course I will go watch the sequel it’s freaking Spiderman.