Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review: The Amazing Spiderman 2012

I missed the reboot of the Spiderman movies last year, so caught it on my Nexus 7 instead recently. The Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies were great, especially the second movie where the scene where the subway passengers lifted Peter Parker up over their heads and said, "it's just a kid" moved me in a way few other superhero movies did. I bought Marvel stock based on how I felt about those movies and those paid me back very well. The third of the series is not worth your time watching, but even Christopher Nolan screwed up with The Dark Knight Rises.

Unfortunately, The Amazing Spiderman just cannot live up to those standards. If the other movies didn't exist, this one might be barely acceptable. First of all, Andrew Garfield just does not pull of Peter Parker very well. He's too stylish and good looking for someone who's supposed to play an awkward nerd who's frequently bullied. Emma Stone did portray a smart and spunky Gwen Stacy, and I was pleased with the way her father, Captain Stacy was portrayed.

Gone, however, is the strong sense of morality that Spiderman always had. Gone is the motto, "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." Gone is the closure that Peter Parker had when he caught the crook who'd killed Uncle Ben and discovered that his apathy had cost the life of a loved one. Instead we have a murky sense of betrayal that Parker was orphaned, and a villain who's transformation into one makes no sense in either plot or moral sensibility. Just as badly done: Parker's second job as a photographer is gone --- he now comes off as a freeloading high schooler with an attitude problem rather than the likable nerd with a secret.

I don't regret the time spent watching the movie, but I do regret that the stars/director who made my favorite superhero series asked for so much money that the franchise got rebooted early and we ended up with a lousy Peter Parker. I definitely would pass on watching the sequel in the theaters.
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