'Spider-Man' gets caught in his own web
By Steven Patrick
My condolences, Spiderman fans, I've seen the first Mark Webb/Andrew Garfield reboot of Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire's amazing Peter Parker/Spiderman trilogy, and it will make you yearn for the good old days of 2002.
The world was a simpler place then and Hollywood had a pretty decent plan of how to bring one the most popular comic-book characters of all time onto the silver screen.
The Amazing Spider-Man revision seeks to update the superhero for younger audiences. But for Spiderman to call "the love of his life", one Gwen Stacey (played by Emma Stone) instead of Mary Jane Watson, on his cell-phone while underground in the sewers does not constitute a renewal.
So, the "new and improved" Spiderman as directed by Webb—no pun intended—is his big claim to fame, following the acclaimed sleeper hit (500) Days Of Summer. The fact is, he never done a superhero movie before. He does have a couple of Green Day videos, though.
Anyway, you can tell Webb's romantic inclinations from the get-go. The Amazing Spider-Man comes across as a man-friendly chick-flick as opposed to a true-blue superhero action movie. The flirty, playful love scenes are tedious and stall the movie's momentum. Unlike The Avengers, Amazing doesn't thunder to a final crescendo, but plods along jerkily until the end.
The plot centres on Peter finding a clue to the mysterious leaving of his parents when he was a kid. His search leads him to his dad's former partner Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), whose lab work is all about figuring out how to make humans invincible and grow back a lost limb. Of course Connors injects the serum into his own body and changes into the villainous Lizard.
And while Tobey Maguire's Peter was true to the comic-book's geeky outcast personality, Andrew Garfield's Parker is so self-assured he comes off more like, well, James Dean. Parker is almost a rebel with two causes—responsibility and vengeance—and seems way too cool for school.
As for the Lizard, he comes across as an overgrown gecko that looks a bit like Godzilla. He's nowhere near as menacing as in the comic-book, or as interesting a villain compared to the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus or Venom from the three movies before this.
Finally, there's the mystique of everybody's favourite masked vigilante being slowly diluted as the movie progresses. There's Spiderman unmasking at the drop of a hat, letting everybody but his Aunt May know who he is. It's a wonder he doesn't announce his true identity on Twitter. I guess he doesn't want to deceive with the web that he weaves.
Published: 4th July 2012