Review: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

Long story short: It’s no Spider-Man 2.

Short story long:

I love Spider-Man. I went into this move stoked to see Spider-Man do spider…well things, and I wasn’t disappointed. The action was superb and the way everything was set up made the reboot do just that: refresh our perception of Spider-Man.

Unfortunately, the movie suffers one major ill: post-production. The whole time I was watching this movie, I couldn’t get over the lack of cinematic flair. From the first time we see Peter Parker dawn his mask to the Lizard’s transformation, there is just a terrible structure to everything, which is typically what you address in editing.

There’s also an underwhelming attention to pacing, resulting in a final product with the right ingredients, minus a cohesive flow.

I won’t even complain about the web shooters or off-putting glow-lights appearing out of Peter Parker’s wrists. These lore updates are welcome to a worn franchise. The only re-imagining that I had any real issue with was how they dealt with the death of the Uncle Ben (played well by Martin Sheen), arguably the most important character in the Spider-Man mythology for how he prompts Peter Parker into a life of superhero servitude. Unfortunately, the execution of this arc and others was sloppy to a fault.

The love interest, Emma Stone performing admirably as Gwen Stacey, will be most folks’ favorite aspect of this film. The rest of the supporting cast, including a weak-willed Flash Thompson, standard police captain antagonist, and an even less interesting antagonist in the form of “The Lizard,” bring The Amazing Spider-Man down to earth from its web slinging heights.

Grade: C

Extra Credits:

  • Five years is far too short to reboot a film franchise, especially if we’re doing another origin story.
  • The mystery surrounding Peter’s parents doesn’t amount to as much as the marketing would have moviegoers believe. This isn’t necessary a flaw of the film itself, just a missed opportunity.
  • Another key difference that seemed inevitable: No Mary Jane or Harry Osborn, though I doubt that will remain the case with future installments.
  • Amazing Spider-Man certainly excels at core characters, but if I had to put my finger on the key difference between both franchises, it would have to be the absence of any style here compared to the straight-out-of-a-comic-book approach of the Sam Raimi films.
  • Thankfully, they didn’t do a poor job with the Stan Lee cameo.

 

 

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