Disclaimer: I don’t really care what happened in the comics. This is a movie, so I will critique it like a movie.
I got back from the new Amazing Spiderman movie last night and was sorely disappointed. This is coming from someone who loved the Spiderman movies growing up, and then rejected them later because of the cheesy special effects. But after watching the newest reboot of the franchise, I’m going back to good old storytelling over special effects. Before I get started, feel free to watch the trailer for the movie here.
Don’t get me wrong, the CGI is far superior to the previous Spiderman movies. And I love that they made the new Spiderman more witty and a lot darker. I was really liking the movie until they broke into Act II. Peter Parker embraced his identity way too fast, I didn’t feel like he was struggling with what it meant to be Spiderman. The first Spiderman had a theme and an ultimate goal. The theme was, “With great power comes great responsibility” and the goal was to get Mary Jane. In the end, the theme meant that he couldn’t have Mary Jane. It’s a brilliant setup.
In the new Spiderman, my guess is that the goal is to understand more about his parents. But they hardly even address that issues in the final act. The theme is even more ambiguous. I seriously don’t know what they were trying to say. The script was to choppy to figure out what the theme was. SPOILERS! In the end, Peter has to leave his girlfriend (Gwen) because he promised her dying father that he would never put her in danger. They had something going here, until at the very end, he say’s to Gwen, “the best promises are the ones that you can’t keep”. WHAT! So pretty much he decides to break his promise that he made with her dead dad because he can’t contain his teenage crush? Where’s the character arc?!? Where’s the emotional dilemma?!?
Other problems that are more forgivable, but are still idiotic. There is no way that Gwen, a high school student would have that much access to a high-tech bio chemistry lab. How in the world are there lizards all over the streets of Manhattan? When there’s a giant lizard that is killing people, why is the chief of police chasing Spiderman? And lastly, there is no way the audio of Uncle Ben’s voicemail would be that clean. Rant over. (I had to put the last one in).
I seriously wanted to like the movie. I’ve always loved superhero movies. But at the end of the movie, I felt cheated and insulted. And I’m only blaming the writers for this. I thought Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone both played their roles very well. I loved the new style of Spiderman that director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) helped develop. And I will say that the movie had me laughing several times. But at the end, it left empty. It was merely eye candy entertainment. Kenneth Myers said, “Entertainment reaches out to us where we are, puts on its show, and then leaves us essentially unchanged, if a bit poorer in time and money. It does not (and usually does not claim to) offer us any new perspective on our lives or on other matters in creation.”
Feel free to comment if you disagree. I know some of you do. ;-)
P.S They really should have taken some notes from Chris Nolan’s Batman movies. That was the best reboot I’ve ever seen.