The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Really, Hollywood? This is your big 4th of July superhero movie? A boring, Batman-imitating remake of a film just now ten years old, made solely because Sony has to make a Spider-Man movie every five years or Marvel (which now means Disney) will take their rights back and put him in Avengers: By Then They’ll Be Using Subtitles Instead of Numbers. If you watched Raimi’s Spider-Man and thought, “What if this were all shot through the blue filter TV crime dramas use?” then you’ve found your Spider-Man film. Everybody else? Skip.

5 thoughts on “The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)”

  1. I didn’t even pay to see this shit. I saw it with a co-worker on the company computer. I am also just as sick of “dark and gritty” as you are, probably more so. Man of Steel looks like the same brooding, dreary, shit that Nolan and everyone else have been doing for almost ten years now. I am tired of it.

    1. Hell, I was getting fatigued during the early-to-mid 90s, when every comic book character seemed to either suffer some horrible trauma – justifying their mutation into a “darker, grittier, more realistic” version of themselves (Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Guy Gardner, Ant Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Flash) – or a sudden onset case of death (Superman, Batman [symbolically], Captain America again, most of the X-Men, Green Arrow again, the entire Green Lantern Corps), clearing the path for “darker” versions of themselves to assume their mantle.

      I’d be fine with it if it were done well, by someone with something to accomplish. A vision they want to fulfill. Problem is, most of the people employed in this Great Darkening are hired hands and/or outright hacks (like our boy Zack) with visions of dollar signs and temporary, trendy cache, because in Hollywood, those are your rubrics for success. That and first-weekend-of-release box office.

      1. They really aren’t suppose to consistently suffer which is why Christopher Nolan doesn’t get Batman and in a painfully ironic statement in Batman Begins Bruce states that he has to be more than a man; Nolan has gone out of his away to establish quite the contrary.

        1. But see, at least that’s something. Something more than, “If we don’t make a movie every five years, they’re going to take our toys away.” In the broadest general terms, a main character in pain = an interesting story. The problem’s almost always one of execution. As in ASM. Spider-Man is not Batman, nor should he borrow aesthetics from Batman unless and until he crosses over with Batman. Which has happened in the past, with mixed results. Better than the “meh”-to-“ARRRRGHHHH!” results generated by this movie, or most of the post-2005 “reboots.”

  2. David, I love your reviews and after binge-viewing all of your comic book ones again, I’ve got to say I totally disagree with this one. The Amazing Spiderman IS a suits-driven shameless cash grab but I still think it’s a worthy addition to my DVD collection. Then again, I have all of Mila Jovavich’s movies and unironically love the Resident Evil series so my taste my be questionable.

    NEVERTHELESS,

    The Amazing Spiderman is a movie who suffers less from being based on Batman Begins than, say, the Man of Steel because Spiderman has always been the weird hybrid of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne. I say this as a fan who wallpapered his room in polybagged issues of Spider-Man from the Hobgoblin to Clone Saga.

    Peter Parker as an angst driven teen suffering from the weight of both his guilt and anger is, actually, pretty close to the interpretation of the character I grew up with. Well, not the teen part, because god forbid superheroes ever mature but, really, the whole thing where Peter Parker becomes an obsessively revenge-driven Emo type who listens to Linkin Park in Spiderman 3 was so dissonant for me because–well, THAT IS PART OF PETER PARKER’S THING. He *is* anger and revenge-driven under all the witty jokes and playful banter. He remembers the “with great power comes great responsibility” thing because, dammit, that cheeseball saying is one of the few things he has to remember his dead Uncle by.

    The Amazing Spiderman does a lot of things right which the previous trilogy did not. Peter Parker’s love of science, his social awkwardness being a bigger issue than any 1960s nerd stereotypes, and the fact Peter actually quips while in the damn suit. Sally Field may be an awful visual choice for Aunt May but I believed her when she wondered why her surrogate son was coming home at odd hours of the night with signs of getting the crap beaten out of him. Admittedly, I had to wonder who was doing it before the Lizard but I understood what the story was trying to convey. Peter Parker is THE teenaged superhero, existing above all the rest since Robin and others were conceived as cash-in adolescents.

    I also don’t agree that Doctor Kurt Conners being a surrogate father figure to Peter Parker is a bad thing since this, combined with MAD SCIENCE, since that’s always been Doctor Conner’s thing. I even approve of the removal of Connor’s family since it makes the act where he saves Peter in the end all the more touching. This version of Doctor Conners has only his research to keep him going and the prospect of a new arm is only secondary to SCIENCE! Shameless sequel bait or not, I also want to see this movie franchise’s version of Norman Osbourne.

    As for Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy? I more or less find her and Kirsten Dunt’s Mary Jane to be interchanegable except the former can do math. Still, if an attractive girl was into science and showed me attention in high school–you’d bet I’d think we were the love story of our age. Besides, at the end we also have them united in tragedy so there’s that.

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