The Amazing Spider-Man Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Emh, Jun 24, 2012.

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How do you rate The Amazing Spider-Man?

  1. Excellent

    33.8%
  2. Good

    42.6%
  3. Fair

    14.7%
  4. Poor

    5.9%
  5. Terrible

    2.9%
  1. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Allow me to preface this by saying that I'm one of the few people who didn't like any of the Sam Raimi films for a wide range of reasons (but they were not without their merits), some of which I'll go over as I review this movie. Because I didn't like the Raimi films, I went in with high hopes, although I must admit I agree with the masses that it was unnecessary to retell the origin story.

    Where to start? First and foremost, I allow me to start with the praises. Andrew Garfield was everything I always wanted for Peter Parker and Spider-Man, something Tobey Maguire failed utterly in my opinion (although the scene where he messes around with the carjacker started off well, it felt like Kick-Ass by the end). Garfield wonderfully balanced the wise-cracking Spider-Man in spades, while portraying Peter Parker stumbling as the awkward but intelligent teenager. Martin Sheen was absolutely wonderful as Uncle Ben (but then I could listen to Sheen reading the yellow pages and I would be mesmerized), while Sally Field was a good Aunt May, but I must admit Rosemary Harris was spot-on and better suited for the role in the Raimi trilogy. Rhys Ifans managed the complexity of Curt Connors fairly well (the man who wanted to heal himself and others in pain while struggling with the inner animal that wanted to break free), but I would say he falls short in comparison to Dafae, Franco, and Molina (who were the biggest, and perhaps the only, highlights of the Raimi trilogy outside of Harris).

    Rounding off the cast were Denis Leary and Emma Stone as the father and daughter Stacys. Leary does an adequate job with the material he's given which, unfortunately, isn't much. He's not the wise elderly cop of comics (or third film) but is more of a J.J.J. who wants law and justice in the streets and has no tolerance with vigilantes. Until, of course, he magically changes his mind at the end when he discovers Spider-Man's identity and that Gwen is in danger. The sudden change of heart was a bit hard to take, although making Peter promise to stay away from Gwen just before he died felt real.

    As for Emma Stone, I felt she filled the role of Gwen Stacy very well and had a strong chemistry with Garfield, something I never felt between Maguire and Dunst (but I also think Dunst is one of the worst actresses ever). The only criticism I have is that she struggled somewhat with the weak material she's given. It didn't sit well with me that Gwen went from upset at Peter for sneaking into the Oscorp tour to suddenly wanting to go out with him after Peter humiliates Flash Thompson.

    While the acting and most of the visual effects were spot on (I wasn't completely convinced by The Lizard's appearance), my biggest problem with the film, like the Raimi trilogy, lies with the script. I don't like how the origin story is changed so that Richard Parker and Curt Connors were colleagues at Oscorp studying genetics, genetics that directly causes Peter to become Spider-Man. Nor did I like how after Richard dies, all research came to crashing halt as if Connors' knowledge in the field had little bearing and the research only really continued when Peter magically solved some equation (because math fixes everything) that no one else in the past decade and a half couldn't figure out! Initially, it was also suggested that Connors had a hand in Richard's and Mary's deaths but the middle-of-the-credits scene suggests otherwise (more on this later). Either way, this doesn't sit well with me (although the comics' answer to this isn't much better admittedly).

    The majority of the film plays out much like the first Raimi film: heavy focus on the origin as Peter discovers how to use his powers, Uncle Ben dies, Peter struggles with the cute girl at high school, all while the villain begins to unhatch his evil plan of...whatever. The whole plot is very much by the numbers and run of the mill. The story isn't deep and doesn't really seem to say much. Hell, we don't even get the whole "with great powers comes great responsibility" speech (although Ben does yell at Peter a little bit about responsibility shortly before he dies).

    One note on Uncle Ben's death. While it was nice to see the situation played out in a simpler manner than Raimi's version (and reversion) while maintaining the core essence of Peter letting a criminal go that directly causes Ben's death, I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that the only reason Ben was in harm's way in the first place was because of Peter's earlier actions (not related to the criminal). While this does show that it's doubly Peter's indirect fault for Ben's death, the film doesn't focus on this fact or develop it in any means.

    Lastly, there were far too many cringe-worthy moments (and not just the typical high school awkward moments or feeling too much like Kick-Ass) much like the Raimi films, although nothing on the level of the stupid musical number walking down the street scene that was in Spider-Man 2 (I think, it's been ages since I've seen it).

    Despite (or because) of my high hopes, my final grade for this film, unfortunately, is Fair/B-/2.5 stars out of 5.



    Almost forgot: Stick around during the credits. Like The Avengers (and I think a few other films recently), there's a scene in the middle of the credits (however, there isn't one at the very end). The scene focuses on Connors entering his cell and is visited by a mysterious visitor who asks Connors if Peter knows the truth about his parents' death. Connors says no but screams at the visitor to leave Peter alone. The visitor vanishes from the cell as quickly as he appears, seemingly walking through walls. Or perhaps he was just an illusion? My only guess it's suppose to be Mysterio but I might be off. How this related to greater scheme of things, I don't know, but like I said earlier, I don't like it either way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  2. Roshi

    Roshi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If it's Mysterio, I can't guarantee I won't jizz in my pants!
     
  3. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Jun 20, 2001
    I've had little to no interest in this movie. It's always felt like one of those direct-to-video sequels with new cast members, except this one isn't direct-to-video. Still, it's Spider-Man, so I plan to check it out next week. I expect it to be fun. Guess a proper reading of your review will have to come then. And not to nit-pick, but I'm not too fond of the gold plating on the eyes. Makes Spider-Man look jaundiced.
     
  4. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not THE James Garfield? Woah. I didn't expect that. Didn't think he had it in him.
     
  5. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Oops, that's a hell of a brain fart. Almost as bad as accidentally calling Martha Jones as Martha Stewart (I did that once in a poll). :lol:
     
  6. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You think that Rosemary Harris was good as Aunt May?!?! She was one of the worst parts of the trilogy, IMHO.

    I'm not excited about this movie. Not at all. I'll still go see it, but I just can't get excited.
     
  7. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    I thought both Aunt May AND Uncle Ben came off pitch perfect in Rami's film.

    I don't like Gwen Stacy, never have, and never will. MJ is Peter's girl, no matter how much JoeyQ and his Apprentices of Suck dislike their relationship.

    I'll wait until I can borrow this from the Library (or if someone offers to take me to go see it) from the sound of things, it isn't worth my hard-scrounged cash.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  8. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed to both points.
     
  9. Derishton

    Derishton Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Triple-agreed.
     
  10. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Holy shit, that is impressive. I may have to see this now.

    But seriously, I'm finding it difficult to get excited about a reboot. But it is Spider-Man, so I'm sure I'll see it sooner or later.
     
  11. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've noticed a lot of friends are not particularly excited. I don't know if it's because it's so recent for them, but for me... it just doesn't look like fun. Not with all of the "secrets" of Parker's past... blah blah blah.

    I'm sure the movie will do fine... I just don't know if I'll see it anytime soon.
     
  12. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, as much as I love the new style and tone, it's still the fourth time we're seeing Spider-Man on the big screen. The novelty has worn off a little too much by now, unfortunately.

    I'm sure I'll probably feel the same way when the fourth Iron Man or Captain America movie comes out as well.
     
  13. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or even the 3rd Iron Man movie... I can't say I'm super excited... I've already seen Iron Man 1, 2, and he's a big part of the Avengers...
     
  14. banzaiduck

    banzaiduck Lieutenant

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    I've already reached that point with all these fucking comic book flicks. Most of them outright suck.

    BANZAI!!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not so sure about that because of all the potential interactions and crossover appeal of those movies. This new Spidey has none of that and is primarily treading on material we've all seen relatively recently.
     
  16. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah that might help a little, but these are still going to be mostly solo movies we're talking about. And there's only so many times you can watch RDJ be a smartass, or fly around in his armor before it all feels old hat.

    And frankly, I was already starting to feel that with the second IM movie.

    I agree it would defintely be nice to see Spidey interact with somebody else at some point, though. Even if it's not the Avengers or X-Men or FF. Because that's usually when he's at his most fun.
     
  17. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, that never gets old.
     
  18. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I love Mary-Jane (especially the Mary-Jane of the 70's and 80's) and hate what they've done to her character in recent years in the comics, but I think Kirsten Dunst was horrible as Mary-Jane (although it doesn't help that I think she's a terrible actress in general). That being said, I always thought it was important to introduce Gwen first and then move onto Mary-Jane but Raimi completely fucked that up. As I said in my review, I found the retelling of the origin story unnecessary, but since they were there anyways, I am happy they went with Gwen first this time around.
     
  19. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Agreed. I've always been a big Gwen Stacy fan and Mary Jane fan (also there's been little hints for those actually reading Amazing Spider-Man over the last few months, especially in Spider-Island, that Dan Slott could be in the process of undoing One More Day) and am glad that she's getting the proper treatment she deserves in "The Amazing Spider-Man". I wouldn't be surprised if Webb and Orci and Kurtzman introduced MJ in the later films.
     
  20. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's going to be awfully hard to top Emma Stone though. There might be "sexier" girls out there, but it's hard to think of anybody who would be half as spunky and charming.