October 22, 2012
The Amazing Spider-Man
For anyone over the age of about nineteen The Amazing Spider-Man was more than likely met with the reaction "They're rebooting it again?! They just did that!" Whereas the Sam Raimi happened more than half a lifetime ago for anyone a teenager right now. Ten years, a very subjective amount of time.
So that's the first difficulty, forgetting the last set of Spider-Man films, particularly the rather good second instalment with Doctor Octopus. The second difficulty is accepting Andrew Garfield as a geeky Peter Parker. Actually he does a pretty decent job acting awkward however Peter Parker: is an awesome skateboarder, is great at Science, a brilliant photographer and wears a pair of big glasses like all the cool kids are doing these days. The only thing he can't do is play basketball. Which in my eyes makes him extremely cool and not geeky at all. Entire films have been constructed around characters like that as the heroes. I hate those films that reinforce the stereotype that only people good at sports are "cool" (and anyway, anyone could get at least proficient if they wanted with a bit of practice, they probably just have better things to do).
The first half of the film is entertaining enough though. Martin Sheen is great as Uncle Ben, the origin story is interesting, and Spider-Man's cheeky reckless insolence is captured well. Things appear promising. It all goes downhill in the second half when Rhys Ifans turns into Lizard Man. It's like the writers gave up (or got fired) and some stupid focus group wrote the last half. It's full of cliches. And there's probably the worst scene I've seen all year when the crane workers of New York unite to provide Spider-Man a way to swing down the streets. Let's have someone unexpected(!) turn up! Let's have someone die! Let's have some angst! Clunky and unoriginal.
Thankfully I saw the film at the end of its run and so was able to see it in 2D and not annoying 3D.
Initially promising, fading rapidly to bad.