For reasons unknown the amazing Raimi-verse of Spiderman came to a gut-wrenching halt as production was beginning on the 4th entry of the Sam Raimi’s and Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman series. The 4th film had been casted and was about to begin on the story of Dr. Connor and his relationship with Peter Parker’s parents who had yet to be acknowledged in this series. Dr. Connor had made cameos in previous film as kind of a build up to the beginning of this second trilogy that never happened.
About 6 months later, Sony Pictures announced they would be rebooting Spiderman using the untold story of how Peter Parker became Spiderman and how his relationships with his parents and Dr. Connor prepared him to become the hero that he is today…..That sounds vaguely similar to the Spiderman movie we were about to see…. And wasn’t the story of how he became Spiderman just told? Like a couple of years ago? Oh I see this one will be “Darker”. That’s totally worth throwing away the years of character development of a genre defining and critically appraised and box-office record setting series.
That’s the backstory to this strangely too soon reboot of the Spiderman series. I understand wanting to pick up that younger audience that was probably missed with Spiderman due to the superhero movie boom in its wake, but the series still was bringing in the numbers so I am not sure what the difference is… Ranting done. The new reboot was aimed acquiring the missed audience of the previous series by casting some very strong up and coming actors that turned out to be quite good.
The Mark Webb (500 days of summer) directed reboot stars Emma Stone (Superbad) and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as Gwen Stacey and Peter Parker respectively. This untold story explains the circumstances in which Peter lost his parents and ended up growing up on the mean streets of New York with his Aunt (Sally Field) and Uncle (Martin Sheen). Peter is bullied at school but has a brilliant mind that through a series of sneaky antics ends up catching the eye of Dr. Connors who was supposedly one of Peter’s father good friends and coworker. Antics ensue and Spiderman 1 is repeated until Dr. Connors goes all Norman Osborn and injects himself with a green serum…. that was designed to combine reptile’s abilities to regenerate limbs at will. And thus The Lizard was born. The terrifying lizard man realizes the potential of his reptilic side and sets out on a diabolical plot to turn all of New York into reptiles. Spidey of course beats the villain, and to save the girl he ignores her Peter Parker style.
- Webb is a magnificent director that keeps what could be a disaster surprisingly grounded and safe.
- Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are both very strong actors. Seeing Emma in a serious role (haven’t seen The Help yet) was really exciting. Garfield blew me away in TSN and again shows real promise in The Amazing Spiderman
- The 3D was really nice and though it didn’t necessarily add a lot to the film, it certainly didn’t take from it either.
- We literally have seen this movie before with Spiderman. It’s very difficult to not notice them dodging any relation to the older series. Uncle Ben didn’t even say his iconic line “With great power comes great responsibility”.
- The “modern geek” translation to damaged skateboarder really didn’t work well for me. Maguire’s Spiderman was tortured and picked on as an ugly geeky loser, while Garfield has women swooning over him and is an awesome skateboarder who is socially inept.
- While I love Rhys Ifans Dr. Connors, he had one too many similarities to the originals Norman Osborn.
- The story was surprisingly bland with little originality. As well as the romance being complete cheese in a mostly cheese less film. It worked in Raimi’s because he is the king of making cheese awesome. Cheese.
- Also the relationships just flat out weren’t very believable, and I love my romance so that kind of killed it for me.
Overall the movie was decent. It was better than I thought it was going to be but still not good enough for me to justify a reboot.
That being said I think that this first film was the hump that they needed to clear to make way for what could be a great series. Hopefully the keep Webb on for the next film, he really added a lot to the film and a director of that caliber was needed to make it what it was.
I give it a 3 out of 5
Stay at least 1 minute into the credits…..