'Amazing Spider-Man' likes, dislikes
I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible after a screening of the film last week. Bottom line: If you like Spider-Man, superheroes or big-time action, the movie, which opens on Tuesday, will be quite the joyride. Still, as much as there is to like, there's enough to dislike.
Sorry to nitpick, but in an earlier blog previewing the summer of the superhero, I theorized "Amazing Spider-Man" might sneak up on moviegoers the same way "Batman Begins" did in 2005. Financially, it definitely has that chance, but style-wise, it doesn't. That's not a bad thing. "Begins" was a great film. "Amazing Spider-Man" is a good film, a fun film.
What I liked about "The Amazing Spider-Man":
- Andrew Garfield is a better Spider-Man than Toby Maguire, but Maguire is a better Peter Parker than Garfield. If you enjoy the action of Spider-Man to the character development of Peter Parker, this is your film.
-The Lizard as the villain. There are detractors of this villain, mostly because it's been a fringe character since Spider-Man was created in 1962, although Dr. Curt Connors, who transforms into the creature, first appeared in "The Amazing Spider-Man" comic book No. 6. The Lizard serves a purpose here, and has a tie-in with Parker's transformation into Spider-Man (although we don't know it yet). The computer graphics used to create the Lizard are impressive.
-Spider-Man takes a beating. He's clawed at, knocked senseless and even shot at. There's a point in which you're not sure he's going to make it to the final battle, which is refreshing for a superhero movie. When a hero is vulnerable, you care about him or her more, right?
-The nostalgia. Spider-Man creates his web shooters, just as he did in his first comic book appearance in "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15. Maguire's Spider-Man's webbing was a part of his anatomy, a drastic change from the character's roots. The 1960s' Spider-Man was definitely a smart aleck, and Garfield shows that better than Maguire did in three films.
What I didn't like:
-Peter's relationship with Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone. It seemed forced to me, with not much build-up. This Parker is supposed to be more of an outcast, than a nerd, while Stacy is the obvious bombshell, although she's also a bit of a science geek too. Still, there wasn't a lot of development there to make me believe these two characters fell head over heels for each other this quick.
-The score. I guessed I've been spoiled by Hans Zimmer's scores from "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight." Still, the score here is anything but amazing.
-The mystery of Peter's parents. This is the biggest twist from Director Sam Raimi's trilogy. "Amazing" starts with Peter at a young age, and instantly his mother and father are on the run (from what and who is anyone's guess). Enter Aunt May and Uncle Ben. From there, Spider-Man fans know the rest. However, not much, if anything is revealed about mom and dad's whereabouts and what their disappearance has to do with Peter. The set-up is there for the sequel.
-The creation of Peter's costume and his web shooters. Not much of a spoiler here, but Peter sews his web costume and creates high-tech web shooters in a matter of minutes. That's weak, especially for the web shooters.
That's it, enjoy "The Amazing Spider-Man."
- Mark Podolski | @mpodo