Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Amazing Spider-man

I thought the idea of rebooting this franchise was dumb, but if they had to do it this was a good effort. It's a really good movie and a good Spider-man movie, with an awesome villain and a girlfriend who actually contributes instead of making dumb decisions and getting kidnapped all the time. If anything Gwen Stacy is put in danger because she insists on helping, not because she's too dumb to stay out of harm's way like her predecessor. It makes it all the more tragic to consider that she may be doomed to follow her comic book counterpart to a fate that becomes one of Spidey's deepest regrets as a superhero.

The marketing called this an "untold story", downplaying the reboot with a suggestion that it was more of a return to portions of the story that were previously not known. But this is not the case. It's a straight-up remake.The story is new even though you have to sit through an origin re-telling that's more or less a reconstruction of what we already saw in the first movie, but it's well told and has a deeper dimension than previous movies gave it. There's a bit of a conspiracy feeling that seems slightly forced and is obviously the requisite setup for future installments, but at least the character and story seem well positioned for sequels.

There was a shameless backdoor kind of marketing that was done to endear us to the new Spider-man, Andrew Garfield, by constantly reminding us that he too is a superfan and therefore deserving of the role because he is, after all, one of us. I have to admit that this helped allay my concerns at his being an unknown. What helps more is how well he embodies the role both as the awkward Peter Parker and as the streetwise Spider-man. They also do a better job of bringing out Spidey's inner wiseass than previous movies. While I loved the Raimi movies, they were so mired in the the ongoing angst of his courtship with the vapid and undeserving MJ that you forgot he was supposed to be funny.

Over all, I'd say they did a great job and I'm looking forward to further installments. Superhero movies work in cycles, something I'm sure is weighing heavily on the minds of Warner executives now that Christopher Nolan is finishing up his run at the helm of the Dark Knight franchise.

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