VIDEO: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Unusual Suspect reviews Andrew Garfield’s debut as our favorite web-slinging superhero. This is The Amazing Spider-Man!

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  • Jonathan Campbell

    9:45

    FIRST!

    (not YouTube, but still)

    Ahem. continuing,

    • Jonathan Campbell

      Okay, having had sleep now, and thinking I can remember most of this review, here are my thoughts:

      I enjoyed this movie, and yes, I think- pound for pound- its better than the Raimi films, even if it does repeat a lot of what they did (moreso than I realized). I agree that some plot points were dumb, and that scenes were cut that shouldn’t have been, and that the original planned story might have been better, but overall, its got better acting and a stronger, more engaging story than its predecessors, and while its a bit unfair to compare the production values, fight scenes and special-effects of this movie to a film made back in 2001, it also can’t be ignored that they are simply better.

      I don’t mind Garfield-Peter being bullied despite not being as much of a nerdy wimp as Maguire was, since a) that’s a bullying stereotype; bullies can target anyone for any reason (and Andrew Garfield actually WAS bullied at school, anyway), and b) Flash seemed to pick on a bunch of people, not just or even mainly Peter. The bullying might have a bit over-the-top but, on the other hand, I get the feeling that bullying is one of those hidden statistics, the kind of thing that’s much more common (physical or otherwise) than most people realize. Even if, yes, Peter clearly goes to a school where the teachers are crap.

      Though, the age thing bothered me when Garfield was cast as well.

      And I think “Peter Parker = nerdy wimp” is something that owes more to the Raimi series than the cartoons or the comics. Peter STARTED OUT as a nerdy wimp before he got his powers, but afterwards he pretty quickly grew out of it and started acting cooler and more confident. So its less that Garfield isn’t playing Peter Parker, more that he’s skipping a certain part of Peter’s original character arc.

      I also don’t mind the camera thing, because while I noticed it the first time I watched this movie, I’d already realized that other superhero films (and many films in general) have the same problem- it seems pretty standard in movies these days to treat cameras arbitrarily. I mean, Batman had to hack every phone in Gotham to find the Joker, because Gotham City appears to have precisely ONE security camera in its entire area.

      As for Marvel Studios….I’m glad Sony has the rights over them.

      Firstly, Marvel isn’t missing out on anything- they still make money off of this, and they are STILL involved in making these movies.

      Secondly, Marvel has actually been kind of hit-and-miss overall when it comes to its own movies- of the ten flicks released so far, only four- Iron Man, Avengers, TWS and GotG- have been widely successful in every regard; the rest, though they all made back their money and then some, have been much more divisive amongst critics and fans, and in almost every case each movie had a certain amount of goodwill towards it on the grounds of “give it a chance”. Standards were relatively low for Iron Man, Thor, Captain America et al. because people seemed more interested in “can this even work?” than “how awesome can they make this?” I’d even argue that Iron Man gets so fondly remembered more because of how fresh and different it was than whether its actually as good a superhero flick as people remember (not saying it isn’t good, though). For Spiderman, however, the standards would and should be higher.

      Thirdly…Spiderman simply works better solo. I’ve seen cartoons and read comics where he’s an Avenger and honestly….he doesn’t ass all that much. In fact he can be kind of distracting. Spiderman has a rich and deep world of his own to play in, a superb supporting cast of allies and villains and many, many excellent stories to adapt, and they are generally more interesting and better than any Avengers plot he would or could be apart of. Given how insanely popular the character is he might be in danger of overshadowing all the other heroes, but even if he doesn’t, he’s out of place. Time spent on the Avengers is time NOT spent on his own storylines and dealing with his own life, and I doubt Marvel Studios would or could devote the time and energy appropriate to exploring his world properly.

      Because yes, Peter can and should have his own Avengers-style verse. Whether its about money for the studio or not, Spiderman has so, so much to him and his world that having his own franchise is a much better choice. The Raimi films made the same mistake as the Burton / Schumacher films- they made it a Bond-style series where every flick was about the new villain, who died at the end, and in both they started with the best and most important villains (Joker / Green Goblin) and worked their way down, which meant – apart from any other problems those two series had- they were not ever going to go anywhere.

      The Amazing series has stuff that should have been handled differently and better, but I will never, ever complain about it trying to establish its own verse, because that is what Spiderman needs and deserves. What they are doing is weaving a tapestry, and while they might have made odd and distracting choices with it, I will still bare them good will because that is EXACTLY the right general direction Spiderman needs to be taken in. Plots like Peter’s parents and whatever Norman Osborn is up to (lets face it, he ain’t REALLY dead) might seem like bloated dead weight now, but I get the feeling this is a series that will need to be properly judged only AFTER its all over with. And thank the merciful God, they aren’t killing off their villains.

      /rant.

  • TheRedWorm

    Spider man, Spider man, does whatever the script demands!

    • maarvarq

      Scans, rhymes, and makes a sharp point. Excellent!

  • Gallen_Dugall

    Very entertaining. Your review, not ASM.
    ASM was on TV over the weekend so I skimmed through it. ASM is a gutless cash in.

  • Wizkamridr

    Never liked McGuire as Spidey. There were plenty of plot holes in this movie, but still enjoyed it. And when he got his powers in the comics (60’s) he was a confident jackass like in this version.

    • Gallen_Dugall

      yes, but they should have set it later in his career so they could justify his non-nerdiness and skipped all the back story.

  • I liked “the Amazing Spiderman”. Should have been a soft reboot as a direct sequel to the previous movies but with a new tone and direction, but on its own it works just fine.

    I reviewed it as part of a chain of reviews on my own blog ages ago.