(a Remake Shmee-Shmake special edition)
Clarification from LAFRANKENSTEIN: I began this article a few weeks ago, before The Amazing Spider-man was released, and had planned to finish and post it a few days before the movie opened. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I saw the movie, wasn’t very happy with it, and thought, “meh, what’s the point now?” Then I happened to mention to my editor that I (who depending on your perspective, may or may not be really behind in my workload for the site) have a half done Spidey article that’s headed for the trash bin. Well, after a few hours in the Alien Cyborgs Re-education Dungeon…er sorry, I mean Help Center…I’m back and scribbling away!
So be aware, the first half of this is pre-viewing and the second half is after having seen the movie.
AMAZINGLY UNNECESSARY: Part 2
Now I’m back, having seen The Amazing Spider-Man, and I kinda wish I hadn’t. If I was writing this the day I saw it, the rest of this article would be one long expletive-filled rant. I know what you’re thinking, “with how you write, it’s gonna be that anyway”…smart ass.
A friend of mine who’s a HUGE Andrew Garfield fan recently asked me what I thought of the film. I started to list off all these reasons that this new movie wasn’t as good as the Raimi trio, and more importantly all the ways that it strayed, nay, RAN SCREAMING away from the source material. As I paused for a breath, she interrupted me.
“I don’t care about that stuff.” She said.
“I don’t know what happened in the comics. Why do I care if it’s the same or not? How was Andrew Garfield? Is C. Thomas Howell good in it?”
I was dumbfounded and enlightened at the same time. I’ve got my head so far up Marvel’s ass that I can’t see the webbing for the spiders. It’s impossible for me to watch it as just a movie. In a way it’s the newest chapter of a fifty year old book of modern mythology, and being a major motion picture, most people will take it as canon. That’s one of the main reasons that remakes bother me in the first place…People who are too young, or just can’t be bothered with the history, now think that this is what Spider-Man is all about.
That said, I’m going easy on the film from here on out…and to be honest, at this point, I’m just getting tired of bitching about it…seems like every third conversation I’ve had in the last two weeks has found its way to me listing problems with this movie. Instead, I’m going to just list off what I feel are the worst offenses…
First though, just for fun, I’m going to re-visit my three trailer points again…
- Did the web shooters really matter? Nope. Sure, we got a few shots of him building them in his room, but he stole the fluid from Oscorp, never ran out of fluid, never did ANYTHING else with them that necessitated them being home made. Did it make him seem smarter to have looked shit up online, stolen the fluid design, and get outed by Gwen as the 2nd smartest kid in school? And on top of all of that, did we even see a real one at all? It seemed like they were always CGI. And how was he constantly wearing them around at school and such? And since they took the time to show us how strong the webs are (with a hackneyed online video of high tension cable) why did they never mention that they dissolve in about an hour? How is it that he webs Gwen’s ass and pulls her in for a kiss, but in the very next shot there’s no webbing? (the only time they were a plot point is the very end when they were broken and spidey fell off the building, which I’ll get to in a moment)
- As I started to mention previously, I dig me some Emma Stone, but it felt like she was coasting here. The character was dull, underwritten, and shoe-horned into the Oscorp plot in a frustrating way. A sophomore in high school is leading tour groups, making antidotes and helping with Oscorp level experiments? This is biogenetic engineering, not the goddamn natural history museum! Plus, can I say that I thought they stayed TOO true to the look of the character? Emma’s Gwen Stacy looks like she stepped right out of a comic panel, but that’s also why she’s wrong here. Everybody else at Midtown high looks like typical high schoolers in 2012…shit, Flash Thompson’s even in a Jersey Douche track suit…Gwen however appears ready to crash a mod party after buying the new Beatles record.
- The jokes worked okay. Not overused like I feared.
My other issues…
The whole movie is just a long lead in to a would-be sequel. We don’t actually get any answers to that whole “Untold Story” the commercials kept promising. What exactly is the deal with Peter Parker’s parents? What’s the deal with the once mentioned, apparently terminally ill, Norman Osborn? What’s the deal with that guy who killed uncle Ben? What’s the deal with that black light room filled with spiders? What’s the deal with all those cheap looking CGI lizards that don’t seem to realize they’re in the wrong climate? What’s the fucking deal with that final credits scene?
The REAL Marvel movies (yes kiddies, this is still Sony…not Marvel Studios…and this movie only exists because they had to exploit the property or lose the movie rights, so if you’re under the impression that this is Marvel’s Spidey, and that “they’re finally getting it right”…well you’re mistaken) has gotten a lot of criticism for adding characters and subplots to their movies to shamelessly hint at the Avengers, but even IM2 wasn’t half as bad as this.
My pick for ABSOLUTE WORST THING IN THE MOVIE? The crane gag.
Even if you loved the movie, (and I have yet to meet anyone who did) you’ve gotta admit this is piss poor film making. I think this exact board was in like the Spidey game they had for Sega Genesis…you’ve got thirty seconds to swing from crane to crane and make it the whole way uptown to fight the Lizard before he sets off his reptile bomb…can you do it?
For us to suspend our disbelief and buy this sequence, we have to allow for the following “facts.”
- That some random construction worker (and star of 80’s blackface comedy Soul Man) could see Spidey fighting on TV, and within just a few minutes order every construction crane along that street to be repositioned…at night.
- That every other block of said street is under construction in the first place…and has the same exact yellow crane on site.
- That getting shot in the leg is some kind of hindrance to one’s upper body strength…which is used for swinging…by someone who has super-powered upper body strength.
- That swinging from crane to crane is markedly faster than swinging from building to building…which is what he’d be stuck doing if he hadn’t received such negligible assistance from the Construction Corps.
- That the police captain (who’s now on Spidey’s side and found a way to get his own ass up to Oscorp pretty quickly) wouldn’t just say “Peter, you’re hurt, web onto this helicopter and we’ll totally fly you uptown…oh, and here’s a few more random Godzilla jokes that nobody under 30 will understand.”
This movie has so many problems I could go on for a half dozen more pages, but I’m already running long here…So two last bits…solely because to my mind they go against the character of Spidey himself.
The filmmakers are doing a Spider-Man origin story and nobody EVER says “With great power, comes great responsibility.” What. The. Fuck. I mean it’s only one of the greatest things ever written in a comic book…and it also happens to sum up your hero’s motivation…I mean it’s the motherfucking four color equivalent of the New Testament’s “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” As it originally appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15:
“AND A LEAN SILENT FIGURE SLOWLY FADES INTO THE GATHERING DARKNESS, AWARE AT LAST THAT IN THIS WORLD, WITH GREAT POWER THERE MUST ALSO COME – - GREAT RESPONSIBILITY!”
And lastly, how is it that Spidey needs the half-changed Lizard to pull him up to the rooftop at the end? Did somebody forget he can STICK TO GODDAMN WALLS?
p.s. – if anyone thinks I’m just hating or being too harsh, drop a comment below…if this post gets enough, I’ll go back, watch the movie again, and if I still hate it, write a few more pages on other reasons it sucked…or possibly a page or two on how it’s been redeemed.
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