It languishes in dull territory and left me wanting some grittier content over the already overcooked and cheesy Spider-Man story.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Ten years ago Hollywood graced the world with their Tobey Maguire led rendition of Spider-Man which helped pave the way for a generation of super hero movies to litter our summer line up. Then, Hollywood upped the ante and delivered upon us Spider-Man 2 which was met with critical and financial acclaim. With dollar signs in their eyes and arguably the best source material in the entire Spider-Man universe, Hollywood churned out Spider-Man 3, and came up about two feet short of home plate and was tagged out by a mob of pitchfork wielding critics and fans. Poor Hollywood retreated into its cave of remake henchmen and stewed upon the decision of what to do with the Spider-Man franchise. “We will remake it!” They cried as they threw stacks of $100 bills at each other. “Yes! And we won’t even bother with any of that Nolan-esque gritty reboot nonsense either!” And they made it so. With new directors, writers, and actors, Hollywood was ready to rock-and-roll with their shiny new Spider-Man vehicle in The Amazing Spider-Man!
And rock-and-roll they did not. I can’t imagine a more flat remake than this. It literally treads the same water as the original only more failingly. Andrew Garfield may make an arguably better Peter Parker/Spider-Man with his British-ness and super hair, but everyone forgets that in 2002, Tobey Maguire was being hailed as the true savior of all things spider related.
The Amazing Spider-Man sticks closer to the source material in that they invite Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy to the party and provides a more fleshed out and real super science corporation Oscorp versus the cartoonish one provided in 2002. But the film has the much of the same origin story as the ten year old Spider-Man.
Even if it isn’t exactly the same plot-wise as the original 2002 version, it feels the same. The film still has that sappy ham-fisted moment where everyone agrees to help Spider-Man at a moment of great need. I imagine if a Brooklynite man saw a teenager dressed in a spandex unitard shooting ropes out his wrists and limping around sixty stories overhead, they wouldn’t say, “My good gracious, that man needs our help! Quick! Frank! Help conjure the manpower needed to help this poor unitard wearing teenager in his swinging ways!”
The Amazing Spider-Man also falters with some of the action scenes as well. One particular scene that stands out as especially awkward is one where the villain, a scientist lizard-man, attacks the school Peter Parker attends in an attempt to destroy him quickly. During the whole fight, the musical score accompanying the fight is a wailing and triumphant orchestral movement that is a very strange juxtaposition of the fight scene in which Peter Parker is getting his spider face smashed into everything.
The biologist in me also cringed when the villain grabs a couple of unlabeled beakers of presumably colored water and mixes them together to form a perfectly sized explosion to knock Spider-Man out from his hiding spot. Hollywood still hasn’t grasped the concept that their audience can tell when their being spoon fed fake science. Although, I say this whilst viewing a Spider-Teenager fly around a city fighting crime. But my point is still valid!
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man languishes in dull territory and left me wanting some grittier content over the already overcooked and cheesy Spider-Man story. It was steering towards campy but narrowly avoids it with some humor, well done special effects and close ups of Emma Stone. It simply lacks any heart. However, Hollywood knows a money maker when they see it and I’m sure there will probably be two more multimillion dollar installments of Spider-Man and we will have two more chances to see random New Yorkers delivering pancake flat lines like, “He needs our help!” Until then, I will be figuring out how to make wall demolishing explosives out of blue and green colored liquids in my nearest science classroom.