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To reward myself for surviving the never-ending defensive driving course from somewhere not nearly cool enough to be hell, I went to a movie. The only thing I felt motivated to see was The Amazing Spiderman.

My reaction was: ...meh.

Yes, I know my nerd card deserves to be taken away. Try it, buddy. I know kung fu.

Part of the problem here is that I just wasn't all that excited about it to begin with. Not because I have a problem with Spiderman as a character, but let's be honest. The last of the Tobey Maguire Spider man movies was only five years ago. And maybe you've managed to forget the horror that was emo Peter Parker and the inexplicable dance scene, but it's still pretty well seared into my brain. While I can normally get my juices going for a reboot (Batman Begins anyone?) I need a little more than five years.

Spiderman, how can we miss you if you never go away?

Honestly, I'm concerned that the cycle is ever-shortening between movie release and the following remake of the movie. We may be approaching some sort of remake event horizon, where the remake and movie it's remaking are released simultaneously, signalling we've crossed some sort of ghastly event horizon where Hollywood has just collapsed into a singularity. Spaghettification and increasing popcorn prices will inevitably follow.

My enthusiasm level was admittedly pretty low going in. But I was prepared to be entertained, and I certainly was. Don't get me wrong; I didn't emerge from this movie bearing Prometheus-levels of steaming nerdrage. Rather, I left the theater with the only thought on my mind as, "Man, I could murder the shit out of a taco salad right about now."

So that's really to say, the movie didn't make much of an impact on me.

It's got good things going for it. Andrew Garfield is definitely a superior Spiderman compared to Tobey Maguire. The dialog for Spiderman was generally superior as well - finally, all the snark and sarcasm that the comics promised us for years! (Plus, the stunts were definitely better, and hey - electronic web shooters!)

I can't say I'm impressed with Gwen Stacy as a character over Mary Jane Watson, not that this is necessarily Emma Stone's fault. (And she had some good on-screen chemistry with Andrew Garfield so I bought their relationship no problem.) There are other problems I have with Gwen Stacy, but it's all said much better here than I could, other to note that yeah, she did seem a little too perfect. Mary Jane definitely has a much richer internal life going in the first movie than poor Gwen Stacy did in this one.

I think part of the "meh" problem was have the Lizard as the villain. He wasn't all that exciting, and Rhys Ifans tried his darndest, but he's no Willem Dafoe. With an unexciting villain, the plot of the week "oh no the city is doomed" wasn't anything to really write home about.

So it was a fun way to spend an evening, and I don't regret what I paid for the ticket. But I'm not excited for a sequel the way I was with the original Spiderman, even if Tobey Maguire wasn't really the ideal Peter Parker.

It's not you, Amazing Spiderman, it's me. You should have given me more time to get over the other guy first so I could have come at you with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm. Too late.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
stoic_rose
Jul. 12th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
I really liked Gwen Stacy, but then I've always been a Gwen Stacy fan. The thing is, she provides important lessons for Peter later on (which they certainly laid the ground work for). I don't want to be spoiler-y. But she makes a good first love, and Mary Jane makes a better life long mate.

I felt the same way about the movie though. I think they could have given us a reboot without rehashing the origin story all over again. At this point everyone remembers who Spider-man is, we could have just jumped right into Peter already having his powers. But, Hollywood often forgets that audiences aren't dumb.
katsudon
Jul. 14th, 2012 12:32 pm (UTC)
I think from the perspective of developing Spiderman with a new actor, the origin was probably important. But it really is a no-win from an audience perspective, because it wasn't significantly different from the first of the Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies.

It would just have been nice if Gwen Stacy had a little more internal life, which I think is really the fault of the scripting.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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