It has only been a decade since Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-man’ came out in 2002. Raimi’s Spider-man remains fresh in my mind. Tobey Maguire’d fit perfectly in the shoes of Peter Parker. Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane?…MEH…she could have been replaced by someone better though. Raimi’s Spider-man brought back the true vim of the comics, cheese and charisma in equal proportions. Looking back on Raimi’s Spider-Man now, it feels like “Yea it could use come ‘Dark Knight’ treatment for the web slinging superhero”. But still the unnerving question remains…Is it time already for a reboot? And are we ready to accept it.
I’d been having mixed feelings since I heard the news that Marc Webb was at it with ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’. A reboot with Andrew Garfield in the lead as Peter Parker/Spidey with Emma Stone as ‘Gwen Stacy’. Me, being a spidey fan, really wanted the reboot to come out well. At the same time I was skeptic as well. Well it wasnt just me. Everywhere I looked I saw banners and billboards smeared with ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, on cups and even on napkins. Seems the filmakers themselves were skeptic if people would accept a reboot of a mere decade old franchise hence the huge promotions.
I didn’t need an origin story. PERIOD. Even kids these days knows how Peter came to be Spider-Man and going through all those origin sequences was tiring indeed. And it wasn’t particularly done well too, I’d say. Remember the enthusiasm during Tobey’s first time? His first web swing? The goosebumps were absent this time. The whole finding-out-the-powers scenes were jammed in a dull warehouse sequence along with some skate tricks. I am sorry for comparing each and everything to Raimi’s Spider-Man but hey that’s what you get when you come up with a reboot in 5 years since ‘Spider-Man 3’. If the origin story was set aside it would have made room for some real character development and depth or even a completely new story arc making way for another trilogy. The first act dragged and the second act was slow to pick up the pace. The third act though, saw a brisk change in pace. All thanks to the set-piece moments and 3D. Its what saved the movie from being a total disappointment. We’ve never seen Spider-man in 3D and The Amazing Spider-man does just that: Throw in a lot of 3D web swinging and bloody hell it works! I am glad I sat through the entire dull first half to be greeted with an ‘amazing’ second half. Where Marc Webb, shined ofcourse, was crafting the Gwen-Peter romance. He did his (500) Days of Summer wonder with the lovers.
Andrew Garfield seemed like he was epileptic playing Peter Parker. Though it seems its to justify he was an introvert and a social outcast. His lines as Spidey seemed more sarcastic than wisecracking. Nonetheless when he played a better Spidey when unmasked. He seemed vulnerable and less plastic than Tobey Maguire’s unmasked scenes. Emma Stone played the role of Gwen Stacy much much better than Bryce Dallas Howard’s slut of a Gwen in Spider-Man 3. Rhys Ifans was noteworthy as Dr. Connors. The Lizard was an intimidating villain…ie until he talked. CG was impressively done but failed when The Lizard talked. It just felt very unconvincing. Dennis Leary as Captain Stacy and an overprotective dad to Gwen Stacy was the only character I felt my intrigue invested to. His performances was the most genuine of the lot maybe because he was one among the common people, devoid of powers yet brave enough to face the Lizard. Total omission of J Jonah Jameson was unforgivable!
Ah the visuals. Now that’s something to talk about here. As mentioned previously, 3D came off as a savior for ‘The Amazing Spider-man’. 3D & CG Visuals saved what it lacked in the narrative. Its obvious from all the 3D webswinging we have seen, a 3D conversion of the original Spider-man trilogy could be underway (and I am partially looking forward to it. ‘Partially’ coz post-converted 3D sucks most of the time.)
Danny Elfman/Christoph Young did a great job in invoking the right emotions composing for Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. When Raimi’s trilogy had tons of remarkable score, ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ here failed miserably to even come out with a catchy main theme. James Horner’s score went largely unnoticed. Anyways I was never a James Horner fan, be it Avatar or Troy.
In the end it felt like an overlong, overdone and overstatement of a Spider-Man reboot. There was no ‘Dark Knight Treatment’, having the previous Spider-man Trilogy afresh in my mind made it enduring task to sit through the Amazing Spider-man. It only fortifies the fact that Reboots are not to be done anytime soon if the previous franchise was alive and kicking…unless its done by Christopher Nolan of course. Mark Webb needs to spin his web anew if ever he comes out with a sequel. And talk about sequel…it seems there’s one in the pipeline, evident from the post-credit sequence.
PS: Irfan Khan had a blink n miss role and was not even significant like Stan Lees cameo.