Jul 282012

(No spoilers.)

The boys, my nephew Chris, and I saw The Amazing Spider-Man at the late morning matinee.

It is a reboot, completely ignoring the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies.  I’m not sure exactly why those stopped, but I presume it wasn’t any perceived weakness in the films themselves, because they were and are fine, you know?

In any case, here we are with a new Peter Parker, a new Uncle Ben, a new MJ named Gwen, a new bad guy, and so forth.  The trappings are all very familiar, with minor differences here and there from the previous films’ universe and resident narrative.  I know nothing about what constitutes comic canon, so I can’t comment on that angle, but none of it offends on its own merits.  I did notice that the Daily Bugle office and J. Jonah Jameson are totally absent from this film, so I guess Parker isn’t freelancing for them/him anymore.  (Or “yet,” maybe?)

My biggest irritation with the previous series was how chatty Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man was with himself.  He was all the time babbling about something, even in the middle of a big fight.  Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is markedly better in this regard, and what he does say tends to be less corny.

Indeed, it’s a strong cast all the way around.  Garfield and Emma Stone have convincing chemistry.  Denis Leary and Martin Sheen kill in supporting roles.  Rhys Ifans does a good job scaring you and garnering sympathy as a tragic villain.  C. Thomas Howell sneaked up on me very appealingly.  Sally Field isn’t given much to do, but she’s there too.

It’s a tad long at a deuce and a quarter, but it uses it well.  The back story is unrushed, but never lethargic.  There’s a solid mix of action-setup-action in the second half that avoids the trap of too much in-your-face for too long.

It’s an enjoyable superhero movie with no significant flaws.  I still can’t quite avoid a bit of a “whatever” sentiment because it was unnecessary, but in all respects it should be a fine foundation for two or three sequels.


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 Posted by at 5:09 pm

  2 Responses to “Review: The Amazing Spider-Man”

  1. Gwen Stacy was Peter’s girl before MJ. She met an untimely demise via a fight with Green Goblin. She was cloned like a billion times by the Jackal. It’s a fair nod to use her instead of MJ, especially in the Marvel Ultimate Universe canon.

    Your comparison to The Avengers?

  2. See, that’s my total dearth of canonical knowledge showing.

    Recall that my grade on The Avengers is technically Incomplete at this point, but I suspect The Avengers is the larger picture. This Spider-Man movie will be one to pick up on Blu-ray when you can get it for twelve bucks.

    Speaking of, the recent Marvel movies are remaining annoyingly high. I’d like them, but I’m not going $20 a pop for them.

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