It’s been a few weeks since I’ve watched Spidey on screen; it’s about time to post a review, since The Batman review”s following on my heels.
Also: it’s Spider-Man, not Spiderman.
What is it about?
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), directed by M. Webb and starring
Peter Parker Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, is a reboot of the (successful) Raimi/Tobey Maguire franchise. Peter Parker, a photography-science geek at the bottom of high school food chain, snarks his way through life and ends up curious about the unexplained departure (and subsequent death) of his parents some ten years ago. He finds a briefcase full of probably classified documents dealing with the Decay Algorithm.
The Decay Algorithm is the missing key to cross-species genetics, a project in Oscorp (yes, that Oscorp, with a corporation tower that is just as cool as Stark’s) led by Dr. Curt Conners (and before, Spidey’s dad). The main end of the thesis is to help the world, starting with a certain offscreen and dying Norman Osborn.
Peter visits Oscorp and (ha!) gets bitten by a genetically modified spider. After a series of happy shots featuring a teenage with spider powers, trouble sets in. The expected tragedy of Uncle Ben’s murder by a thief happens. Peter goes on a vendetta to find the killer, and in the process stitches up the famous spandex suit (–this is still a question for me; how in the world did he stitch up such an awesome suit? He’s a teenager with zero resources!).
Now that he’s a superhero, the supervillain also comes in. The Decay Algorithm doesn’t work so well (at least with a specific reptile), and a giant mutated man-lizard ends attacking New York. The goal of the villain? Infect everyone with the biochemical for lizard transgenics.
Peter Parker saves the day, and at the same time dates Gwen Stacy (daughter of the NYPD Chief, who’s got it in for your friendly neighborhood Spiderman) and gets hugged by Aunt May.
Why watch it?
Even if it’s probably out of the cinemas already, find someway to watch it because it is awesome. It’s something that could be watched again and again; it’s a happy feels type of film, with an enjoyable amount of action, high school drama and comedic lines.
:) Watch it if you love superhero movies, CGI and other brilliant effects, guys in spandex suits and Spidermaaaaan.
And the best things about it?
Comic Loyalty: Spidey’s characterization | Webb’s Spiderman borrows a lot more from the comic book than Sam Raimi’s, in terms of personality, setting and powers.
Peter Parker is supposed to be a brilliant geek (scientist), wallflower, photographer and snarkist (new word, yes). Both movies got it in terms of being a photographer (Raimi’s Spidey works in the Daily Bugle, while nu!Spidey’s takes pictures for whatever high school org). While McGuire did a better job of being a wallflower (Garfield had some time standing up to Flash, the tsundere), nu!Spidey is a better geek (he fixes some mechanical household things, and creates various things, notably a door locker and his web slingers). Garfield also played a much funnier, snarkier and sarcastic Spidey than McGuire did. While not yet to the essence of the comics, it still brightened compared with older Spidey’s one-line comebacks.
So: setting. As far as I know, the original comics had Peter Parker in high school for his origin story. This was downplayed in the older movies, where he was shown in college once (or twice) and then never shown again. I’m pretty sure Mary Jane wasn’t the love of Peter’s life during his origin arcs. The new movie’s Gwen Stacy was a faithful touch, though she should have showed up in college, not high school. (*Though Parker working for the Daily Bugle was pretty neat, with his antagonistic relationship with the chief.)
Amazing Spiderman certainly stayed more realistic –as far as one could be when it’s a superhero story– regarding his abilities and powers (though both movie Spider-Men (?) got bit by genetically modified spiders, even though in the comics, I think it was a radioactive spider which did all the mojo). There’s the spider sense, sticking to walls (better exposited in the older movies, though) and proportional strength/agility, healing (not shown, though?) and flexibility. What makes it more accurate is the web slinging part of the deal. Raimi’s world had a Peter Parker shooting webs organically from his wrists whenever he makes a certain gesture. First, it’s weird. It’s a huge bucket of luck that Parker figured out the very specific gesture. Second, it’s still weird. Any organic substance should come out of a natural orifice (like in real spiders) –unless Spidey wanted to tear his skin (like Wolverine) every time he shot some web (and there’s a question of where that’s being synthesized), the webs should come out from his mouth or anus. Though Parker should have been the one to synthesize the web (because he’s that much of a genius), Garfield’s Spidey (who stole? acquired? some biocable from Oscorp) was still closer to the real thing. The end.
And other notes…
– I love the effects.
– I found some things slightly stupid or incredibly unbelievable. The cranes scene (how nice some people are!), the liquid nitrogen (just bust open a new case!) and god knows what else.
– I miss the Osborns, especially Harry. I don’t miss Mary Jane, though (am I mean? Haha. I like Gwen better).
So watch it! :D