Sunday, August 05, 2012

"The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012) - Movie Review

While many wondered why reboot the Spiderman franchise in a decade, I was optimistic , one being director Marc Webb who provided “(500) Days of Summer” and second that Christopher Nolan rewrote the definition of reboot . Granted that Webb’s previous venture was a different genre, style and presentation but it marked something intelligent, creative and passion. While all of them are present in “The Amazing Spider-Man”, none of it come into complete fruition.

Sam Raimi’s film is still afresh in my memory and the movie does not re-invent itself. It needs a birth within, may be a clean sheet of genesis of this high school kid trying to enter this unfair world filled with crime and secrets. It is Andrew Garfield as the lean, flexible and troubled Peter Parker. He gets bullied, beaten and discarded. It is sometimes hard to believe Garfield gets pushed away but there is blonde beauty Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) who notices him just enough and lets him make the move.
Gwen works as an intern at Oscorp under Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). Peter’s parents Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) and Mary Parker (Embeth Davidtz) leave him with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) as they appear to flee from danger. Decade and half later, Pete is on the hunt for his curiosity on his parent’s disappearance through an old suit case. That leads to Dr. Connors to the eventual spider biting and skills development we have seen.

Yes, the graphics and stunts are immensely impressive. Yes, it is nail biting to see him hold the vehicles over the bridge and tackle The Lizard at the same time. Yet, none of those complete Webb’s presentation. There are several things I did like about the film which is how they treat Peter Parker as the confused teenage kid. His joy in learning the skills and putting his mind to use and his anger and guilt haunting him to swing through the sky scrapers.

Emma Stone is a perfect choice for Gwen Stacy who is the perfect equal necessary for Parker. She is strong willed and has some stinging lines that puts her someone as a necessary character than a pure love interest. Garfield makes a good Spiderman but not a convincing high schooler through Peter Parker. In Raimi’s version, Parker tries to balance school and night activity while here it comes and goes as it pleases.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” is a summer blockbuster and remains that way. It is a level above the mindless entertainment but level below for something far greater than the regular churns of super hero films. It has a sense of humour that needs further amplification but stays within as the studio might have brought its iron claw in rewriting the script. What ends up is an half hearted attempt that does not sweep us our feet and look forward for a sequel.

Rhys Ifans’ Connors is motivated due to a drug addiction rather than a philosophical or profound change in the perspective of giving something to the world. His Lizard while is powerful and beastly becomes just another thing to beat than to ponder on the motivation. Another supporting role that would have used some more time on the screen would be Denis Leary’s Captain Stacy who is hell bound in catching Spider-Man than the Lizard. The cops never likes someone who is outdoing their duties. Not everyone is Commissioner Gordon!

Of course there will be a sequel and I am not sure whether the same team returns but the hope would be to bring in a dimension that Raimi did not take. Why cannot be a darker turn and make a real birth of the boy into a man? Why cannot one be truly faithful to the comic and yet paint a much more deeper picture of these masked people whom in my child hood have seen as a symbol of pure good? That there are things in the real world that creeps into their superhero laws to sustain. I Nolan has set up a much higher scale for these kind of films.

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