Film: The Amazing Spider-Man, released July 13, 2012
To preface this review, allow me to provide my thought process in approaching this reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. The first trilogy was very good, other than the finale where Venom was completely botched (I mean really, Venom doesn’t appear on screen until 1 hour, 47 minutes into the movie). That aside, I was looking forward to more Spider-Man adventures. For one, I don’t regularly read his comics so the movies are my main source of his world. And, as you can gather, I was very much enjoying the idea of having the taste of terrible movie out of my mouth.
I also didn’t read too much about the reboot. I went in not knowing if it was sort of picking up where the trilogy left off, was completely rebooting with another origin story or if it was Spider-Man perhaps in another world. Shame on me for not doing research, as the worst experience is what was actually delivered.
So now, let’s talk about the movie. Some possible spoilers for some, you have been warned.
The Bad: (Spoiler alert) — The movie is a complete reboot, meaning we are once again shown the origin of Spider-Man. We’re once again shown his Uncle Ben dying. We’re once again given the whole “With great power comes great responsibility” speech. This is not needed, especially since it takes up a little more than the first hour of the movie. It feels very slow. A better approach would have been to have Spider-Man already exist and perhaps dive into his past with a couple flashbacks. The movie plays up on it being the untold story of his parents, yet that subject isn’t able to fully evolve because of all the origin stuff it has to get out of the way first.
As we all know, Sony Pictures is involved with the Spider-Man franchise. Be prepared to see all kinds of great Sony products — phones, computers, tablets, handy cams. The amount of product placement in this movie is beyond ridiculous. That could be just a pet peeve of mine, but it certainly is very noticeable and it shouldn’t be. I couldn’t tell you one thing about the tech equipment in the Avengers. Not the case here. If only Marvel truly owned the Spider-Man movie rights as it does with the characters in the Avengers universe.
The Good: The action. When Peter Parker actually becomes Spider-Man, again very late into the movie, the action is great. There’s just not enough of it.
Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone play their characters very well. You can tell Garfield wanted to play Spider-Man and it wasn’t just another role. He embraced the part and it showed through the writing of the script (we’re happily introduced to the more sarcastic, joke-telling Spidey). It was fun.
The best part about the movie is the fact it’s over and out of the way. With a great cast on board and action in hand, the franchise should only get better. I’m not sure what they have in store for the second, or even third, movie, but the potential is definitely here. Spider-Man is filled with great villains and characters and those relationships should be able to be explored now that we all know a spider bites Peter Parker and he fails to save his Uncle Ben.
Just please, oh please, don’t screw up Venom.
My grade: C (would have been C+ if not for product placement). Like I said, the potential is there for movies 2 and 3. However, it’s kind of embarrassing that this had to come out in between Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.