Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman


The Amazing Spiderman was a disappointing miss for me as far as movies go. It's a harmless, fast-paced action flick, but without much heart or logic to enrich the CG-ified, all-too-familiar story. The script, acting, and directing are all quite frankly middling, and put together result in a piece that feels flat and forced.




The biggest weakness is the script. The writers were trying to be original, but ended up with something almost exactly like the original Spiderman movie, complete with green, bipolar villain, only with additional lame attempts at jokes thrown in. It's clear they had no clue where they wanted to take the story - they tried to make some parts dark and "realistic", then completely undermined these by other completely outlandish, comic moments. For instance, we get emo, dark Peter at first, but then cut away to a sarcastic, jokester Peter who's overfond of unnecessary narration once he's in suit.


There's also a plot hole about every minute. Just some of the big ones: Peter managing to "sneak" into Oscorp without having to so much as say his name (seriously, have these writers never gone into an office building in NY?), Gwen managing to produce an antidote for Lizardism in about 5 mins, the fact that Peter takes off his mask every time he's out (including in front of an entire SWAT team!) without having his identity compromised, etc.


As with every recent superhero movie, it became obvious they were aspiring to Dark Knight levels of depth, but undermined their own efforts by combining Iron Man elements of ridiculousness. Seriously, stick to one or the other. And compared with the level of villains we've seen before, Lizard is a pathetic caricature who owes his entire presence to CG.


The directing doesn't improve much upon the poor script. We get whip-fast cutaways between scenes, rapid-fire dialog, and rather pathetic fight scenes that try too hard at straddling the fence between comical and The Serious. I didn't get much oomph out of the final fight between Lizard and Spiderman, and the way Gwen's father died felt shoved-in and silly (not to mention predictable).


Andrew Garfield gives a weak performance that's all histrionics and no heart (no matter how hard he tried), and I wasn't ever able to take him seriously. Emma Stone was somewhat better as the quirky love interest, but that's a role she's pretty much played 1000x before. Both looked way too old to be highschoolers, and I'm rather confused on why they had to hire a guy who's almost 30 to play a 17 year old.


There wasn't much to hold onto from any of the characters, no matter how hard the film tried to draw out emotion from me. I don't understand why Gwen's dad suddenly trusted Peter (who was nothing but a douche in front of him), nor why Gwen liked him. I get they had a lot to cram into the time, but a large story shouldn't take away from basic character development.


Uncle Ben's death also had ZERO emotional impact for me. For one, he kind of brought it upon himself by trying to be a do-gooder idiot and FIGHTING FOR A GUN. For another, the actor playing him was AWFUL, to the point that Andrew shone like a king of acting beside him. His forced, robotic way of reciting lines (especially pronounced in that ridiculous voicemail) coupled with the hammy "morality" dialog came off disingenuous and lecture-like. Aunt Mae wasn't much better, and together they were a vat of aged bad acting.


I'd say if you're looking for an action film, you might draw some entertainment value from this, but if you're looking for a story that actually makes sense, I'd give this a pass and just rewatch one of the first two Batmans.

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