Wednesday 11 July 2012
So it was with a sense of deep-seated skepticism that I entered the theater on Sunday to see The Amazing Spider-Man. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Garfield pulled off the loveable dork that is Peter Parker very well. He imbued his Parker with a sense of awkwardness and vulnerability, yet captured that inner steel core that makes Peter rise to heroic heights once he gets his spidey powers. He has fun with his new-found powers, has those moments of WTFery as he discovers he can climb walls and oh yeah, that his hands now stick to things. Like ladies blouses. A side note: poor Tia Texada, gone from badass TV cop to subway eye candy.
Director Marc Webb certainly amped up Spidey's story, showing us a bit more about Peter's parents and utilizing some wonderful f/x that had my jaw agape a few times. He also fleshed out Uncle Ben and Aunt May a bit more with the incredible Sally Field and Martin Sheen in the respective roles. And I love, LOVE the fact that he dumped that eternal screaming damsel in distress, Mary Jane Watson, in favor of the smart, thinks-on-her-feet, Gwen Stacy, played by the awesome Emma Stone. For the first time I was not seized with the impulse to backhand Peter's love interest into next week. Props, Mr. Webb for giving Peter an actual partner and not some pretty toy who is basically good for nothing.
Okay, now we come to the not so good, the writing. What do you call having Peter's father be the scientist who develops the spider that bites Peter? Contrivance. In all capital letters. I mean, really? That's just lazy writing. You can play with the source material to a certain degree, but this is messing with the very heart of the story. And what happened to the Big Secrets of Richard Parker's past, the plot point that drove the trailer fever? A lot was left out or quickly glossed over until the Easter egg after the first credits. The writers were apparently already anticipating sequels. I hate when they save everything for sequels. Use your imagination more. And I'm also disappointed that they left out the immortal Spider-Man line "With great power comes great responsibility." How can you leave out THE line every one knows and loves from the comics?
The Amazing Spider-Man is a good summer action flick that I enjoyed and will see again. Not in the movies though. I'm saving for multiple trips to see The Dark Knight Rises.