running tine: 136 min
“Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.”- IMDB.com
So, if you read my first of many comic book reviews, then thank you. If you didn’t, well go READ IT HERE if you were looking for a story that had dealt with the “joining” of Peter & Gwen, then just stick to the comics. If you were looking for anything that Sam Rami did in the first two spider-man movies (Most Spider-Man fans pretend that third one never happened), then you won’t get that. This movie didn’t enhance those movies, it didn’t get deeper. WHY?! From when Andrew Garfield was even announced to be the new Peter,(Andrew Garfield was announced for the lead role in early July 2010 ) this movie was claimed to “Not be a reboot, but more so a story that was never told within the previous 3 films”. Yeah.. ITS A REBOOT!
*[SPOILERS START HERE]*
The tone of this movie is 1000% more emotional than anything else. Which makes it its own right off the bat. So for that, I won’t compare the two franchises much. The plot is the “driving” force, which of course is “what happened to peter’s parents?” Though, as much on the surface as it was, it also wasn’t. That’s a real film makers skill. To be able to have a moral story, & not have it bombard you like it did in WRATH OF THE TITANS. The recurring philosophy in Spider-Man, is “With great power comes GREAT responsibility”. Uncle Ben (Peters Uncle who later becomes the guardian of Peter), teaches him that in the comics, sadly with his death that could have been averted had Peter stopped a robber–the first spider-man movie did it right. The sad part here, is I don’t even think Uncle Ben said those words in this film. Moving on, when Peter finally gets his powers, is when the story stops dragging on because to that point, it kinda just felt like a long boring origin story, though I think they did too much with that, the made it too connected to something that in all honesty kinda goes against the Marvel way of being in a bad place at the wrong time and with some determination making that experience, a good thing. As I said, the death of Uncle Ben is why Spider-Man even exists, so I felt almost all of the things in this movie, it was the most poorly handled scene (That may be an editing thing, but that’s much later and not an excuse). When we are finally introduced to the lizard– I felt for the first time, in most super hero movies, that finally we have an actual villain–one who isn’t totally into stopping the hero, but one that the entire city fears, one that wants to cause others (citizens) harm, & doesn’t care how its done. In The Avengers ending, it depicts how the public reacts via news reports & such, this is what Spider-Man needed. We need more “reactions” from the citizens to see the scope of how bad this villain really I feel. To skip through a bit so not to ruin the entire spectacle (feel free to ask me a question though), the school scene (you’ll know it when it happens) is the best scene. The final moments of the film at the building are quite good, well, on Spidey’s way there. Book the cliché american flag. The death spidey deals with at the end seemed a bit “forced” to me, as was the guilt trip.
Acting in this movie isn’t note worthy from anyone other than Aunt May, Andrew Garfield, and Emma Stone. Everyone else., wasn’t all that great. I think the role of Doctor Connor played by Rhys Ifans, wasn’t all that well done. He didn’t seem flat, just not believable in that role. Uncle Ben’s (Martin Sheen) scene where he tells Peter about the power/responsibility ruined everything that he was supposed to be in that movie to me, because the words weren’t said. I get if you can’t deliver the line, then you obviously take it out, but as great actors do, you analyze a script, and bring the words from the page to screen in a way that you the actor, are capable of doing. Andrew was the person I looked at the “hardest” though. I didn’t go in there with any biases or anything, other than he’s playing my favourite super hero. I think for the tone of this film he does a great job. As for Spider-Man as a whole, not so much. I don’t think his portrayal is close to anything that has been written, but if I HAD TO COMPARE, it would be Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Not only cause of him being a teenager in this movie, but because that particular franchise of spider-man comics has a lot more emotion than the main stream “Amazing Spider-Man” comic books, maybe because he is a teen in those books, and so his emotions are just everywhere, but they are still more present there than other Spidey titles–His performance may have been the one saving grace for the film.
The Editing & special f/x was fairly decent, there were some scenes that were seen in the trailers, that weren’t’ fully used in the movie (its a pov shot), and even still, it’s not that bad. The web swinging needed to be reinvented from the side scrolling of the previous spider-man films & it very much so was. It’s a joy to watch especially in 3-D (there was a CGI glitch with the Oscorp building), The Lizard, was done in the best way. I’ve always felt that, in the comics, he looks too much like a lizard that can walk which is sort of comical (depending on the artist). This take, he seemed more of what makes sense with Dr. Curt Connors being a human battling a within himself with which gene takes over. As terrifying as a walking lizard may be for some, this version makes more sense. The web swinging seemed more practical, and yet still very fantasy. They didn’t crap out on showing us the swinging. There’s random slow-motion moments, which I felt was just odd, but very cool at the same time, I think they were memorable poses seen in the comics. There weren’t too many shots I noticed that had meaning, not to say it wasn’t there but on the first watch, there just wasn’t any I noticed. The 3-D was pretty decent, it wasn’t the best that was out there but it wasn’t the worst. Any complaint I could make, could very well be that I was on a bad angle. The costume I still think is the WORST SUIT EVER FOR SPIDER-MAN PERIOD.
This isn’t a perfect movie, it isn’t the best movie of the summer, it sure isn’t the best of any spider-man film. I don’t think we’re gonna have a good film for spider-man again, until sony gives up the rights. This film is supposed to be the untold story, but when you get to the end, & see the post credit scene, you realize this is a movie to be told in two parts. There are many things in this film that show us why he dons the infamous red & blue suit. I just don’t think this is the smartest take on this character, for they skipped over things, that as a fan of the hero, was needed. If it’s one thing that’s been a delight to see in most comic book movies is the hidden nods to characters/events, this movie didn’t have much of that. Just a picture of Donald Glover from community who auditioned. As I said, this is a movie that is meant to be told in two parts, because we sure as hell didn’t get the answers they claimed to want to give us.
- Overall rating of the movie: 3.2 out of 5,
- Cinematography: 4 out of 5,
- Editing: 3.5 out of 5,
- Audio: 4 out of 5,
- Acting: 3 out of 5,
- Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Theatres on a cheap day
THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW