Topic: "The Amazing Spider-Man" Review by Sam [Mild Spoilers, marked]
After probably one of the most successful trilogies of all time (and one of the worse sequels ever), Spider-Man is back on the big screen.
After being announced in late 2009 that it was to be rebooted, I had mixed feelings. Initially, I felt Raimi still had some more story to tell, but then again, I didn't really like his take on Spidey anyway. After the announcement of Webb I was quite optimistic. This is what franchises need. An, essentially, indie director to come in who is more accustomed to doing more character driven films so even if the movie sucks, you can at least say the characters were interesting. You can teach most people how to direct action, you can't teach them how to tell a good story.
Does this mean I think Spider-Man is a well told story? Fuck no.
STORY, SCRIPT AND STRUCTURE
Now it's plain to see from the first ten minutes that they have tried to separate this film from the origin of not even ten years ago. They did this by shoehorning in some stuff about his parents. More specifically, his dad. I won't go into the details of what is so interesting about his dad because even I'm not too sure. but
The main issue I have with having his dad in the film is that he ends up having too many father figures (his dad, uncle ben, connors and even captain stacy at the end) and it ultimately devalues the main relationship in the mythos; the one of uncle Ben.
What I quite hate about this film is that they really downplay Peter's intelligence. He comes across this formula his dad wrote and they really could've had him figure it out himself. He builds the webshooters as though he's baking a cake. They barely explain why he needs to websling around and have a split second scene of him stealing the main component of it i.e. the web. They could've done a lot more with that. Perhaps he makes a prototype then goes back to Oscorp and then re-hones his device....you know? like real science?
Connors has been expertly fucked up in this film. They failed to grasp any of the motives that were present in the comics.
The script is quite lazy at times; for example there is a scene that
Structure wise it's fine though the first hour seemed very slow.
The characters are written adequately even if they may stray away from the comics at some points. Peter in the first half of the film could barely string two sentences together. For Gwen it seemed like they were unsure whether they wanted the character from the original comics or the ultimate series. So naturally, you'd make a mess and clump them together.
Dialogue was a bit cheesy at times, though we see more of the quipping spidey which we missed in the original trilogy. Also, Uncle Ben never says his most important line, but some weird implicated version.
Andrew Garfield is a spectacular actor and I see big things for him. He gave it all he could and he really outshines Tobey (though so could a bath mat). The problem being that he doesn't have much to do dialogue wise. He nails the performance though and the death of uncle Ben (SPOILER) was very well done. Emma Stone is wonderful as usual and you could see how she was cast with the great amount chemistry between her and Andrew. Ifans is also superb in the scenes where he isn't a lizard. It did surface recently that many of his key scenes were cut so he may have put on an even better show, but we may never see it. Martin Sheen just needs to turn up and you know that shit will be cash. Sally Field was surprising brilliant as Aunt May and was, in my opinion, the best 'adult' in the film.
The acting, generally, was great considering how much the script sucked. Let's put it this way: They made the best of what they were given.
By far the best aspect of the film. It's a very dynamically shot film with a wealth of different shots used. A specific fight scene in the school has a good amount of dollying and whip-panning making the sequence come to life. The film looks great and though the CG lizard looks like a dinosaur with leukaemia the special effects overall were wonderful. The biggest improvement over the Raimi series being that of the webslinging. It looks superb and I recall them making a big deal about having a wealth of practical stunts done during production. And I can see why. It really is an improvement in both the webslinging and action sequences.
The 3d was ok. They used a few of those 1st person shots that frequented the trailer to add the effect of the 3d, but I would see the film in 2d if given the choice now. I specifically remember more than a few scenes that were completely 2d and could be enjoyed without the glasses on.
The only thing I didn't like about the cinematography was that it seemed very dark. I understand it's a darker film in tone and that this should be reflected in the movie itself, but it seems like they did some DI to make it intentionally difficult to see small features in the day time scenes.
Overall, I am disappointed. I had high hopes for this and I felt empty inside after I left the cinema. A kind of...That was it?
It could have been a lot better with the cast that they had. The story was weak and it seemed unnecessary to redo the origin only 10 years after the orginal Raimi attempt.
I have yet to see a good Spider-Man film.