Thursday, July 5, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Theatrical Release

Rating: 4 out of 5 radioactive spider bites that lead to amazing powers and not horrible cancer death

Review:  I'm going to go for the more free flow, spoiler-free (for the most part) review of movies in theaters.  This is due to the overwhelmingly (meaning no) response to the Avengers review.

  I went and saw Amazing Spider-Man today and I have to say I was pretty impressed.  The movie is a reboot rather than a sequel, which, based on how Raimi left the franchise, is entirely understandable.  You couldn't build a grass hut on that crappy foundation.  I think the logical sequel to that mess would just be 2 hours of people shitting on a pile of Spider-Man comic books.  Also there would be the introduction of the Dirty Dozen which would be the combination of two Sinister Six's and include Spider-Man who would then also have to fight himself.  Also it it would turn out that they all killed Uncle Ben.

  I digress.

  So Amazing Spider-Man.  They changed Peter Parker quite a bit, he's now more 'gothy', more 'emo', more 'skater'.  Which I liked actually liked, I thought it was an interesting interpretation of the classic 'science nerd' persona.  Also Peter has this cocky air about him which I also kind of like.  There is the burden that your associate with the character but also this attitude where he knows he can take pretty much anybody on.  He's angsty with attitude but he doesn't drift into cliche territory and remains interesting.

  The supporting cast is pretty good, everyone plays well off each other and puts in the effort.  Emma Stone is smoking hot as Gwen Stacy.  She's a very pale woman, which is quite attractive, but by making her blonde she looks extra pale, it kinda washes her out, but she remains is attractive in a totally awkward, nerdy way.  She and Andrew Garfield have good chemistry and are good as a couple.  Gwen Stacy never really drifts into the 'villain bait' that Mary-Jane did in the previous movie.  She's smart, brave and can stand on her own as well as be part of a duo.  Martin Sheen is awesome as Uncle Ben, that guy always brings it and I always enjoy watching him.  Sally Field plays Aunt May but Aunt May takes a back seat compared to all the other characters but, it's Sally Field for god's sake.  What can I say, I like her, I really like her.  Dennis Leary is also awesome as Gwen Stacy's dad, Captain Stacy.  He pretty much plays himself as a civil servant, which is pretty much every role he's had since Rescue Me started.  It's not a stretch but he's so god damn (Batman) good at it that it's fun to watch no matter how many times I have to see it.

  The weakest point is Flash Thompson.  Flash is a jerk but he's not really that much of a jerk to Peter.  Him being a bully get's dropped pretty quick and while he displays at least one act of massive assholery all we really see is that one act, followed by him being unrepentant about an accident before he gets owned and changes.  It just doesn't seem right.  Flash was really only in the first movie of the Raimi trilogy but he was a total jerk and pretty happy with his level of jerkdom.  Of course he just sort of vanished but while he was there it was true to the character.

  I won't ruin the story much but I will say that it's a great take on the origin.  It's pretty fresh and original with plenty of room for development.  Oscorp is front and center but Norman Osborn is nowhere to be seen.  We see him in silhouette as part of a projection in the Oscorp lobby.  He's mentioned several times but he's not physically present.  His presence looms over everything and he is the impetus for everything that's happening.  I just hope that when he does make his grand entrance they make him the traditional, comic, Goblin and not either the previous movie version or the Ultimate version.  I never liked the Ultimate Goblin who was more like a flaming Hulk and not the usual Goblin.  The downside of this is we have no Harry Osborn to be developed.  Hopefully he'll make an appearance next movie but I fear that will delay Goblins appearance.  You really need a whole movie to establish Norman and Harry before transforming them.  But how cool would it be if they made Norman Green Goblin and Harry Hobgoblin and they teamed against Spider-Man?  They're definitely going for the slow burn on this one, which is a good thing.  It's a pretty good movie so I recommend checking it out, I, for one, am looking forward to seeing where they go with all this.  They got a dynamite cast, a great setting, a solid foundation and a fantastic director in the ironically named Marc Webb so it'll be awesome to see where they go from here.

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