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Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Review: One Week With Spidey

This review contains things that you might consider a spoiler. If you are sensitive to those things, I highly recommend watching the movie first than coming back to read this review. If you don’t care about spoilers, I guess you can just keep reading!
            This movie doesn’t feel like a movie. It feels more like a product that came off an assembly line. Everything felt very routine and unpolished. The filmmakers just went through the motions of making a movie while putting forth very little effort into making it a Spider-Man movie.
            First off, the suit doesn’t look great. It looks like a football you might get in a sales pile at a sporting goods store. It’s not the worst we’ve seen but it’s also not the best we’ve seen. To make it even worse they made his eyes an off yellow color that doesn’t match with the suit. That was really distracting.
            Andrew Garfield is a great actor. He got nominated for an Oscar for his role in 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge. I think he should’ve won the Oscar for his role in The Social Network and he wasn’t even nominated. He is a great actor who one day will have an Oscar on his mantle. I just didn’t like his portrayal of Peter Parker. Peter in this movie is portrayed as a punk. When teachers tell him to not ride his skateboard in the hallways, he rides it in the hallways. To me at least, that is not who Peter Parker is. He is not a guy who doesn’t hold respect for people around him. He’s supposed to be an innocent teenager that struggles to get through high school. The Peter that Garfield portrays in this movie is too perfect. He isn’t prone to the struggles that make Peter Parker, Peter Parker. He humiliates the school bully Flash Thompson on purpose. That’s not something Peter would do. Now you might be saying “Well, Peter humiliated Flash in the original Spider-Man in 2002 when he punched him through a wall!” That is different. Maguire’s Peter didn’t do it on purpose. He was just using it for self-defense. Garfield’s Peter was using it to humiliate on purpose. That is not something Peter Parker would do.  Apart from Peter Parker the other main character in this movie is of course Spider-Man himself. It was good to see the quick-witted Spider-Man that was absent from Maguire’s trilogy. One of my favorite things about the Spider-Man character is the fact that one of the weapons that he uses is his fast thinking insults/comebacks. And we finally got that in this movie! For one lousy scene. It only lasted one scene. Like what the heck! You did it good for that once scene, so just incorporate it in the whole movie! The one big take away from Garfield in this movie is he is much more likeable as Spider-Man than Peter Parker. He was a big fan of the character when he was little and you can tell that he was doing is best at trying to make his portrayal one fans would like. His chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy was great. The instantly connected. One of the best relationships in a comic book movie.
            I really like Emma Stone as an actress. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given much to work with. There was no development to her character. She stayed the same throughout the entire movie. The biggest change to her character happened at the very end during her father’s funeral. That’s it. You only get 5 minutes of this different Gwen Stacy then the movie ends. You only see two sides to Gwen. The first being the side that has a crush on Peter, the other being the genius that she is. That’s all you really see. Not much to the character.
            Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben was fine. Nothing special to it. The worst part about his character was during the most important part of his character, that being the “With great power comes great responsibility” speech he doesn’t even say “With great power comes great responsibility.” He says the exact same thing just in different phrasing. It just felt so awkward. I don’t know why they didn’t just say the iconic line. Maybe they didn’t want people to think that they were copying the original Maguire movie. But in all reality that is the most important/iconic line to come from any comic book. Why didn’t they just say it! No one is going to think that you stole it from the earlier movies. They are just going to think that it’s an important Spider-Man line and go with the flow. The only thing that Aunt May did in this movie was worry. Every single time she was in a scene she was constantly worrying about Peter. She also didn’t get very much to work with which is a shame.  
            The Lizard in this movie is the worst villain to be in any Spider-Man movie up to the point of when this movie was released. This character’s motivations is he is working on cross species genetics to try and save Norman Osborne who is dying. We never see Osborne in this movie. How are we supposed to feel for the villain when we can’t connect with what he is doing? The answer is we don’t feel for him. At least in Spider-Man 3 with all the villains that were in there you felt for them. You understood all their motivations. But the main motivation of this villain is trying to figure out a way to regrow his arm. Once he tries that he becomes the big lizard monster and just runs around the movie with nothing to do. The script didn’t know how to handle this character. He started to get random voices in his head like Norman Osborne did in the 2002 movie. The best way to describe this villain is this cereal analogy. Let’s say you have a favorite cereal. It’s so good, so cholatey and the milk that comes from it after words is perfection. Then you try the off-brand of that cereal. The packaging looks the exact same except for the mascot that’s on the front. It tastes like cardboard and the milk afterwards taste like you’re eating wet toilet paper. Norman Osborne in the 2002 Spider-Man is the good cereal and The Lizard or Doctor Connors is the off-brand cereal. The Lizard’s plan was so stupid. That’s the best way to describe it. Stupid. He wanted to turn the whole city into Lizard people. Nowhere in the movie does it explain his reasoning for that.
            One of my biggest pet peeves in movies in when they cast people over the age of 25 to play high schoolers. I forgave the original trilogy because Peter graduated from High School in the movie so he wasn’t in high school for the entire movie. Garfield was well above 25 years old when he shot this movie. I got really distracted. He didn’t even remotely resemble a high schooler. To make this situation even worse, Emma Stone has a line where she says that she is 17 years old. There is no freaking way she is 17. She looks at least 25. It is something that gets on your nerves and never really goes away. That’s why I’m looking forward to Spiderman: Homecoming. Tom Holland was 20 when he filmed that movie. He genuinely looks like a high schooler. It’s believable.
            To sum it up, The Amazing Spider-Man is not better than any of the original trilogy. I would gladly watch Spider-Man 3 over this any day. They just took a bunch of ingredients needed to make a movie and simply made a movie. No special touch or anything unique. There was no flare or special charm to it. The color scheme was very greyscale which isn’t very good when you have a superhero as bright as Spidey. At least James Horner did a good job at composing this movie.

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