If you need a rundown on the Spider-Man mythology, you won’t get it here. Life lessons, spider bites and high-swinging spectacle are all present and accounted for and I believe his likeness and powers are ingrained in the pop culture portion of most people’s brains. Hell, even my 50+ year old mother knows the hand gesture to simulate how Spider-Man shoots web.
(Side Note: She’s still working on the pronunciation of ”thwip”)
Beforehand I was asked if I was excited to see the film. I didn’t have an enthusiastic response. I didn’t really know if this movie needed to exist. Marvel has a new film universe populated with the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor films, and the addition of these seemingly non-Avengers timelines seem jarring. It’s a shame that so many different studios own the rights to various Marvel projects. Maybe with the amount of cashola Avengers made and the overwhelming sphere of influence Disney has over media we will see some X-Men, Punisher, Daredevil and Fantastic Four share some screen time.
Peter’s parents keep their screen time short, and are primarily used for mythology and world building. Martin Sheen and Sally Field are warm and loving as the concerned Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Andrew Garfield donned the red and blue luge-inspired outfit just as well as he wore the attitude and awkwardness of Peter Parker. An endearing cat and mouse romance weaves in and out of the story between Parker and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. You could say for a movie about biology, the leads certainly had great chemistry.
(Side Note: I really enjoy looking at Emma Stone. She gives me a significantly bigger boner than Kirsten Dunst. Part of me wants Emma to have an amazingly long and successful career, whereas the other part (my penis) wants her to fail and end up in the sequel to Melancholia so that I can see her boobs.)
Peter Parker’s transformation into Spider-Man is usually carried out as an allegory to puberty. In Marc Webb’s universe, it’s presented more in line with evolution. It’s violent, scary and takes some getting used to.
The special effects were better than I expected. The original trailer had a laughably bad video game-inspired first person jog over a New York rooftop that instantly turned me off the prospect of this reboot. The finished product is of a significantly higher caliber. Sharp and clean, the CGI work during the action scenes didn’t become a mess of motion blur that is often associated with this kind of film. The Lizard reads well on screen, sharp and as lifelike as a 7ft tall anthropomorphic man-dinosaur can. Unlike The Avengers, I was pleased to know that The Amazing Spider-Man was shot in 3D. Where some of the action in a post-converted movie can look like a bad cardboard cut-out, the 3D work here seemed natural. I only counted three “OH SHIT IT’S IN YOUR FACE” gimmicks, two of which I will give a pass to. The third made me groan a bit.
With an audience fresh out of their second or third helpings of The Avengers, can any other superhero film be successful? I think so, as long as you go in knowing that The Amazing Spider-Man weighs heavier on the endearing and emotional scenes and lighter on the spectacle and action. With the recent paparazzi shots of Garfield walking around with Avengers comics, it’s easy to speculate that Spider-Man may be swinging his way into the Stark Tower Complex (if the naming conventions of previous Marvel sequels hold) in A2: Avengers Unite. That, or it’s a PR stunt. I welcome his inclusion if this happens, and am looking forward to the inevitable sequels this movie produces.
(Side note : Kudos to whomever made the decision to not give The Lizard pants. There were a few Ken doll moments, but I’ll take that anyday over company-issued Oscorp stretchy science pants, Dr. Manhattan’s blue junk, or Michael Bay’s Testical Transformers.
- The Jolly Gamesman