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- 136 min.
- Marc Webb
- Action, Sci-Fi
- Rating *
- Votes *
- 3.1% (1:32)
frankqbA very promising and enjoyable first 30 minutes doesn't hold up. The script becomes thinner and thinner with minimal dialogue and zero logic, directionless emotion, and a vanishing sense of morality. The editing evolves into a barely unwatchable mess lacking any sense of grace or subtlety. I found it difficult to find an establishing shot in the later stages of the film.
On top of that, Peter Parker seems to come off as a little pushy and creepy (and strangely patriarchal), and the usually-more self-assured Emma Stone is wasted in a powerless role. Women are not exactly valued here.
That said, the film is not without merit. There are great performances from most of the cast (and the cast is filled with mostly stars). Andrew Garfield is more watchable than Tobey McGuire, but a poorer actor, and the film's resolution seems to spit in the face of the very message it was trying to push.
An unnecessary mess of a reboot for pure profit and a desire to do it in 3D.
2 stars out of 5 9 years 9 months ago
SokrateszThe Mediocre Spider-Man movie full of Bad Science, Plot Holes and Angsty Teenagers. 10 years 10 months ago
Big anderReally a very bad film. Which is a shame.
Its biggest problem is that it can't decide how it wants to diverge from what we've already seen, and sometimes whether or not it wants to diverge at all. On one hand there are a ton of little references in the film to indicate that being a bit repetitive is okay.The there's only one story anyway stuff, and the "who am I" that ended spider-man 1were clear nods to the original films. Obviously, the film is trying to convince us that it's okay that it's sort of similar to what we've seen. But in all the scenes it redoes the film is too uncomfortable itself to straight up copy. So instead of a longer form training montage, it's a shorter blurb. Instead ofUncle Ben's death being focused on very intensely, it happens in the blink of an eye and falls to the background. What Webb must not have realized is that making the scenes different in worse ways doesn't keep them from also being repetitive, so it's even worse. Give us time to savorPeter learning about his powers and hiding his identity. It was fun then, it would have been fun now. Those alterations and other bigger changes scream "look how different I am!" because of how obvious they are. When you come incredibly close to saying a line likew/great power comes great responsibility and then don't say it, you're only drawing attention to the fact that it's not being said.The film is simultaneously shouting at the audience "it's okay that I'm the same!" The end result is awkward, stilted and boring.
The narrative problems don't even come close to ending there. Where to start...how about Connors. At the beginning he's shown to be careful and pragmatic, yet hopeful. He wants to help and think that help will be possible soon, but is wary of going too fast. Then he becomes Lizard. After that he's nearly a demon. He's rash, violent, and blind.Returns to his human state happening in between being the Lizard do not put his fury at bay, and he has to take more of the drug to become the Lizard again. He's still angry and all while he's a human though. But at the end, when he's cured again, he saves Peter? Maybe this round of antidote resulted in a different change than before. It brought back his more human side. Alright. However, he never seemed to be caught in a moral dilemma. He was one way, he changed, and then he was cured. So his turn to saving Peter isn't satisfying at all.Connors' entire plot is the opposite of compelling.
Despite having a boring villain, the fights could have been tense. Instead we get a handful of fights in quick succession, all with just about the same stakes.Peter figures out almost instantly that Connors is the Lizard, and Connors figures out Peter is Spidey not too long afterwards. So their relationship is about the same throughout. Beyond that, Connors' goal never changes. He never has multiple objectives, just the one: be the Lizard and spread it to people. It's even edited together and paced so oddly and annoyingly: we go straight from a lizard fight to a maybe 2 minute scene of Gwen and Peter which ends in them swinging through the night, which jarringly cuts to the school as the lizard arrives. The hell?Thus, instead of a roller coaster of events, you get what's essentially one long drawn-out fight. Tedious.
Even with bad main villain fights, some of the Spidey's other hero activities could have been fun. Nope.He spends the first section of his time as a hero hunting blonde-haired criminals, stopping somewhere around 3 to 5. Between all 5 of those, maybe 2 of them involved people actually in danger, and all were about stopping simple robbers. That has no impact on us and should have little impact on the city. Then, he encounters the lizard and saves those cars. Now, most of those were empty, but saving the one kid was cool. So that's about 5 people he's actually saved, and one interesting activity. Then the rest of everything...fighting the Lizard.I've already discussed how boring that was. The rest of his activities were just as bad. And the result of those activities:cranes join up to help him swing. I fucking lost it laughing at this scene. Like I said, he's saved about 5 people by my count. Even if we want to boost it a bit, that'd be 10 max. And it's not clear at all whether he was truly helping people doing that, he's had only cursory coverage so far. But a gigantic group of crane operators, who are all luckily located on the same street, make a path for him. All because someone they maybe know a little had their son saved by Spidey. This is all in the middle of a panicky city-wide evacuation. A dozen men who, at this point, should have had no huge interest in Spidey risked their lives for this. And the melodrama lent to the scene is laughable. If you have to do a "city loves Spider-Man" scene, don't make it so ridiculous and heavy-handed.
Some wit could have improved that. Peter firing off a few one-liners as he busts muggers? I'm game for that. Again, nope. He has several funny lines in that excellent carjacker scene and some unfunny attempts at wit ADR'd over other scenes. As Spidey he's just absolutely dull.
As Peter he's less dull, but he's still not exactly charming. For me it's not just that he's whiny, it's that he's nothing close to a nerd or any kind of kid that'd be unpopular in high school. He's into photography, he's really smart, he's good-looking, he wears American Apparel, he skates, and he's often awkward but nice. That kid in a high school today has a good group of friends, is decently respected. He's given no reason for being a loner other than "he's whiny." It's practically repellant.
That sucks because Garfield really brings up the material, and with better writing he'd be a truly fantastic Spidey. Emma Stone is much the same with Gwen: she elevates the material a lot, but it's still not enough. Mostly because her character isn't given enough to do. If these two were plopped down into a well-written Spider-Man story, it'd be great. They have amazing chemistry.
How about that first-person swinging? I had someone assuring me that wasn't in the actual film. Wrong! It's there and does not look good. The effects are pretty wonderful everywhere except for there and during theStan Lee cameo, where the fight in the background looks to take place in a completely different area. Speaking of this: what the hell at that cameo? Why keep doing these so distractingly? Make him a cab driver or something, not a dumb punchline.Almost as bad as the ridiculous product placement. It was as bad as Fringe's, but instead of having maybe one close-up of a phone every episode, it was an insane amount of in-focus and visible Vaio and Sony logos and screens over 2 hours. In that dosage it becomes grating even to those experienced with ignoring product placement.
Even with such great effects, the Lizard looks awful. It's simply not a cool creature design. He's a joke. And his mouth while he talks is awful.
That's a lot. Writing about the film made me realize just how much I disliked about it. I didn't feel as badly walking out. But I still didn't feel good. And that's because despite the super strong chemistry and acting, the film doesn't work on a thematic level at all. There are two main threads: 1) what is the risk behind having secrets or behind secrets being uncovered? 2) in so many words, with great power comes great responsibility. The second one is sort of tacked on further into the film, and is developed only okay.It is established pretty well that Peter's only interested in revenge for a while, and the he shifts to being interested in public good. That's fine, but it happens about halfway through. So it's done by then.The first of those is left completely open, has only some movement from the beginning.Richard Parker's secrets put people at risk, but they aren't uncovered. They're impact Peter and have turned him into a superhero, but we get no hint as to what's going on. Peter's secret identity essentially hurts Ben. Richard's equation kills Captain Stacy and puts the entire city at risk. So the idea that secrets in general hurt others is communicated pretty well, but posing them through the enigma that is Richard only to give us zero information on him is not satisfactory. Yes, it's not as bad knowing that the answers will come in sequels. But as a standalone film, it really hurts TASM.
Dissatisfaction defines TASM. I was never a comics person, but I was a huge Spider-Man (1994) and Spider-Man Unlimited fan. And from that I grew to love a snarky Peter who steps up to serious challenges while remaining fun. The Amazing Spider-Man can't do that. It doesn't know how much of a reboot it wants to be, it doesn't know how or when to be humorous, it doesn't understand narrative flow or how to provide satisfying consequences, and it's a general bore. With a different director and writer, the sequel could be stupendous thanks to the brilliant leads. For now, all we get is an empty, uncomfortable and sour film. 10 years 11 months ago
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In 2 official lists
This movie ranks #118 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office
Box Office Mojo's All Ti…118
This movie ranks #270 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
Box Office Mojo's All Ti…270