Written by / 7/05/2012 / No comments / , , , , , ,

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

year: 2012 cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Sally Field rating: *1/2
In one scene, right after a spider in the Oscorp Laboratories bites Peter Parker, he falls asleep in a subway only to be awakened by a random loser who (for some strange reason) places a beer bottle on Parker’s head. A drop of water from the bottle rolls down onto Peter’s face, causing him to fling to the top of the car and stick to the ceiling – like a spider. Over a dozen people witness this spectacular feat... and what happens next? A lady gets angry because some of the beer spilled on her clothes.

This reaction sums up how amazing the entire film is.

After fully realizing his powers and using them to skateboard with furious bravado outside his high school, Peter Parker (much too) quickly dons the Spidey outfit that seems more like a surfer’s wetsuit than a real transformation. He seeks his uncle's murderer from the supposedly pivotal scene lacking the tragic fate of the protagonist's mentor in Sam Raimi’s version. This doesn’t perpetuate Parker into a vigilante misusing his powers, but gives him reason to fly around wielding his skills that actor Andrew Garfield never seems in any particular awe about.

The SOCIAL NETWORK star, resembling Anthony Perkins had he become a melancholy hipster, doesn’t give Peter Parker the underdog value Tobey Maguire successfully conveyed – but that’s the script's fault. Parker’s not a nerd or even an outcast; having lost his parents for mysterious reasons, he’s simply not a happy camper. Other than the rushed changeling into the titular superhero, wherein Garfield acts like a cocky street-fighter behind the mask, there’s hardly any character arc for the good guy or the villain.

Osco’s resident genius Dr. Curt Conners transforms into The Lizard so quick, running amok New York City like a raptor on steroids, there’s not much reason, or worthy motivation, for his actions. But this lack of purpose fits a movie that, when not wallowing in romantic melodrama between Parker and girlfriend Gwen Stacey… whose hard-nosed cop father is a weak replacement for the much-needed human antagonist J. Jonah Jameson…  doesn’t live up to the original film or the comic books that, for better or worse, had a good time.

But the real problem is the Origin Story, so rushed and uncreative it's amazing they even went there at all.
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